Nesting and properties


Nesting is a process of forming a structural relationship between two NFTs that form a parent-child relationship in a tree structure. Such a relationship is formed by forwarding token A2 to the address of token A1 by which A2 becomes a child of token A1 (conversely, token A1 becomes the parent of A2).

We can use the tokenIdToAddress function to obtain a token's address. As it will become apparent from the example code given below, we are constructing a valid and unique Ethereum address by incorporating the collection and token IDs into a 'root' Ethereum address.

(click to expand)
const { ethers } = require('ethers');
const tokenIdToAddress = (collectionId, tokenId) => {
 if (collectionId >= 0xffffffff || collectionId < 0) throw new Error('collectionId overflow');
 if (tokenId >= 0xffffffff || tokenId < 0) throw new Error('tokenId overflow');
 return ethers.utils.toChecksumAddress(
   `0xf8238ccfff8ed887463fd5e0${collectionId.toString(16).padStart(8, '0')}${tokenId.toString(16).padStart(8, '0')}`

We can perform the nesting simply by sending the token to this address by invoking a transfer call:
api.tx.unique.transfer({Ethereum: tokenIdToAddress(ACollectionId, A1TokenId)}, ACollectionId, A2TokenId, 1)

ACollectionId is the ID of the collection the NFTs A1 and A2 belong to and A1TokenId and A2TokenId are the individual tokens IDs (all of them integer numbers).

A prerequisite for nesting is that both the tokens must belong to the same owner.

Unnesting can be performed via a regular transfer call (transferFrom):

api.tx.unique.transferFrom({Ethereum: tokenIdToAddress(ACollectionId, A1TokenId)}, {Substrate: newOwnerAddress}, ACollectionId, A2TokenId, 1)

Only the owner of the parent NFT (A1) can perform a withdrawal of the NFT from a bundle. By withdrawing a parent NFT, the whole branch of descendant tokens nested under is are also transferred (A1 can thus be viewed as a branch root).

The nesting depth of a bundle is limited to 5 generations (or 5 layers deep). As previously mentioned, a nested token must share a common owner with the root token.

Nesting settings

By default, nesting for a collection is disabled. To enable it we need to change the nesting rule. The Nesting rule is a part of the collection permissions.

api.tx.unique.setCollectionPermissions(ACollectionId, {
   nesting: {tokenOwner: true}

With the nesting enabled, tokens can be nested as long as they share a common owner, but they can belong to different collections. So in a case where tokens A1 and B1 share a common owner, a token from collection B (B1) can be nested under a token in collection A (A1). To reiterate an important point, the collections need not have a common owner.

However, this behavior can be restricted by imposing a list of allowed collections. This would ensure that only tokens from a restricted list of collections (defined by the collection IDs) can be nested:

api.tx.unique.setCollectionPermissions(ACollectionId, {
   nesting: {tokenOwner: true, restricted: [ACollectionId, BCollectionId]}

This behavior can be reset by passing null as a restricted list argument:

api.tx.unique.setCollectionPermissions(ACollectionId, {
   nesting: {restricted: null}

You can extend the rights of nesting to collection administrators if any have been declared. When an administrator enables nesting, the owner of the collection is implicitly given nesting rights as well.

api.tx.unique.setCollectionPermissions(ACollectionId, {
   nesting: {collectionAdmin: true}

Administrators can nest only tokens owned by them to the managed collectionโ€™s tokens. However, they can nest into a token that is owned by someone else (owner or another administrator). If an administrator imposes a collection restriction list, this list will also extend to the owner, i.e. the owner must also obey collection restriction rules set forth by the administrator.

To disable nesting we would use:

api.tx.unique.setCollectionPermissions(ACollectionId, {
   nesting: {tokenOwner: false, collectionAdmin: false}

Once nesting is disabled, it will not be possible to nest new tokens into the bundle. The nested structure remains accessible to the root owner. Changing the nesting rule property does not affect the existing structure of the bundle in any way.

RPC Methods

๐Ÿ”ถ topmostTokenOwner

Obtain the root token owner for a token in a nested branch.

api.rpc.unique.topmostTokenOwner(collectionId, tokenId)

Example: If in a case where User is the owner of token A that has a nested child token B, that in turn has a nested child token C, this function is invoked with token C as the argument, it would return as the result the owner of token A, i.e. User.

๐Ÿ”ถ tokenChildren

Obtain a list of all the direct descendants of a given token. A direct descendant is a child nested one layer deep.

api.rpc.unique.tokenChildren(collectionId, tokenId)

The response obtained by invoking the call has the format:

{token: childTokenId, collection: childTokenCollectionId}

Example: Let's consider a nested structure where tokens A1 and A2 belong to collection A and token B1 belongs to collection B

By invoking this function with the ids of collection A and token A1, a response would be:

[{token: A2, collection: A}, {token: B1, collection: B}]

As presented in this example the tokenChildren lists only A1 and B2 as they are direct, or first generation, or layer 1 of nesting depth descendants. Token B2 is a second generation descendant, or a layer 2 nested token. However, B2 will appear as a result of a call invoked with ids for collection B and token B1.


Only a leaf node token in a bundle can be burned. A leaf node is a token that belongs to a branch and has no descendants. This rule implies that in order to burn a root of a branch you must burn all the leaf nodes in sequence first.

So in the example provided below, to burn the token A3 which is the root of a branch of descendants A5, A4, B1 and B2 it would be necessary to disassemble the branch, i.e. to burn the tokens in a specific order: B2, B1, A4, A5, A3.

Non-empty collections cannot be burned.

Collection and Token Properties

Properties (hereinafter also referred to as 'parameters') of NFT collections and tokens are implemented in the blockchain as a BTreeMap data storage block.

Furthermore, this BTreeMap consists of a unique set of keys and values which are defined by the owner or administrator of a collection.

Each token of a collection inherits a list of common key/value pairs that can be attributed/set for that token and that are defined for that collection (listed in tokenPropertyPermissions - see below). A token cannot be attributed an arbitrary key, only a key from this list. But setting of an attribute's value is optional. An attribute can remain 'unset', i.e. there is no default value that is automatically set for a newly created token. If the user has the permissions that allow setting of properties, they may set and change the values of the token's keys.

The parameter block is restricted by both the data size and the number of keys. The maximum number of keys is 64 for both the collections and tokens. The maximum size of a parameter data block (keys and values) for a collection is 40kB and for a token 32kB.

Key naming is restricted to a limited set of the following characters: Latin letter any case, numbers, dot, hyphen and underscore (regex: ^[0-9a-zA-Z.-_]).

Only the owner and designated administrators can modify the properties of a collection.

Access to changing token parameters is based on access rights to token keys stored in the collection (tokenPropertyPermissions).

Only the owner and designated administrators of a collection can add and modify keys.

Keys can only be added. To avoid token corruption, a key cannot be removed once it is created/added. Although keys can't be deleted we can delete the values attributed to a key if the key is mutable.

A value of a key can be changed by the owner/administrator only if it has not been declared as an immutable key ('mutable' attribute set to false).

A note on the mutability attribute: if it is set to false token data can only be set once. Immutable data stays immutable forever. Furthermore, the mutable attribute can be changed only from true to false. Changing it from false to true is not possible.

In summary, the configuration or permissions to create and modify properties of a collection is carried out using three keys - mutable, collectionAdmin and tokenOwner.

  • mutable attribute sets the immutability attribute.
  • collectionAdmin grants the designated collection administrator and the collection owner 'write/modify' access
  • tokenOwner grants the token owner 'write/modify' access

RPC Methods

๐Ÿ”ถ collectionProperties

Obtain collection properties array.


Returns an array of objects: {key: string, value: string}

๐Ÿ”ถ propertyPermissions

Get property permissions array.


Returns an array of objects: {key: string, permission: {mutable: bool, tokenOwner: bool, collectionAdmin: bool}}

๐Ÿ”ถ tokenData

Get token data.


api.rpc.unique.tokenData(collectionId, tokenId)

with key properties.

๐Ÿ”ถ tokenProperties

Token properties can also be obtained via the dedicated tokenProperties method:

api.rpc.unique.tokenProperties(collectionId, tokenId)

Returns an array of objects: {key: string, value: string}

Migrations for Existing Quartz Collections

These collection fields have been deprecated and are not supported with the most recent upgrade to the blockchain:

  • schemaVersion
  • offchainSchema
  • constOnChainSchema
  • variableOnChainSchema

For the existing collections, these fields have been moved to the corresponding property keys prefixed by '_old_'.

The following token fields have been deprecated and are no longer supported with the new properties schema:

  • variableData
  • constData

For the existing tokens, constData has been moved to _old_constData.