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UNIC provides creators with protection and users with authentication, through encoded invisible signatures that make NFTs scannable across the digital spectrum and in the physical world.


Created At

ETHSanFrancisco 2022

Winner of


🏃‍♀️ Evmos — Runner Up


🛠 Optimism — Best Developer Infra/Tooling


🏆 ETHSanFrancisco Finalist

Project Description

[Introduction] UNIC was inspired by the world’s demand for a solution to counterfeits, one that can truly preserve and protect the authenticity of digital and physical assets. The market today lacks a solution that can verify immediately and accurately cross-platform or off-chain assets, whether it is an image file from BAYC or a purse from GUCCI. We are here to solve the counterfeit problem, once and for all.

[Project Detail] Our solution centers around the invisible signature, which is similar to the QR code except it is invisible to the human eye and yet detectable by a smartphone camera. UNIC’s invisible signatures can be encoded covertly and forensically into any image, such as NFT artwork itself or a logo that represents the NFT collection. The coolest part is that the signatured images are scannable even from the physical world once printed on any kind of physical material such as paper, clothes, leather, etc. Therefore, UNIC’s invisible signature essentially provides a pre-blockchain secure layer to ensure that the final asset linked to the NFT, whether digital or physical, is truly on the blockchain and minted by the actual creator. On the UNIC platform, creators can upload digital files to mint NFTs with encrypted invisible signatures. Creators or owners of the signatured NFTs can freely do whatever they want with them, such as displaying them as phone wallpapers or printing them on a hoodie or poster. Whatever they do, the final assets will still be scannable for verification. With the UNIC mobile application, users can self-verify the authenticity of the NFTs within a few seconds simply by scanning, not having to go through tracing the contract address, inspecting token information, and validating the blockchain history.

[Ecosystem] Conceptually, UNIC aims to become the standard for NFT verification in the digital world, the physical world, the metaverse, and beyond. To achieve this vast vision, our strategy is to build a trustworthy and reliable ecosystem that actively collaborates with diverse projects and is widely recognized by other Web3 ecosystems.

FUEL: UNIC is a secure NFT verification that can be applied to diverse industries in both Web2 as well as Web3. Therefore, scalability, ease of design, and flexibility are highly crucial to the platform. Fuel is clearly an ideliastic destination for UNIC as it meets all of the requirements with a modular blockchain stack. Not only that, Fuel’s security will also be an essential element in building UNIC’s trustworthy reputation as a verifier.

IPFS: For IPFS, UNIC utilizes to establish a peer-to-peer network that stores and hosts NFTs in a decentralized manner. Centralized verification is meaningless in the world of Web3, as everyone’s goal is go transparent and decentralized. Having verifiable NFTs stored through practically spreads the verification across the peer-to-peer network, making the true signatured NFT last forever. What we are trying to create is not a simple scan-to-verify solution, but a truly decentralized system in which anyone can authenticate an NFT. The trustless reliability of the signatured NFTs will be built upon the IPFS network.

APECOIN: As a token built to support what’s next in Web3 and controlled by the most powerful Web3 community, Apecoin is an idealistic candidate for UNIC to run on. The Apecoin community can expand to verifying the authenticity of NFTs, which would be meaningful since they are backed up by the world’s most famous NFT collection. Apecoin will be integrated into the UNIC infrastructure by the platform requiring the creator to have a certain amount of Apecoin if the creator wants to mint a signatured NFT that will be scannable. This will pave the way for Apecoin to take lead in establishing the authenticity standards of physical retail, digital media in the Metaverse, and beyond!

POLYGON <Public Good>: A fundamental engine for UNIC’s growth will be scalability for our infrastructure, and that means faster transactions as well as lower fees for creators. Not only is Polygon one of the Web3 leaders in both speed and cost, but also offers UNIC easy access to all major scaling and infrastructure solutions. We are trying to solve a international public problem: counterfeits. By implementing our solution on Polygon, minting will be quick and affordable. Creators, ranging from artists to brands, will be able to mint scannable NFTs easily just by uploading the original digital file on UNIC platform. Our strategy to scale globally is that implemention of our solution requires absolutely zero manufacturing adjustment or anything like special ink. The creator needs to just print it out on anything and it’s scannable! UnicMapper: 0x4D46c584A47ed0B8F5b5B569Bf20b8328d39fca3 UnicFactory: 0x287fAb9bf5F74d41B3627CE883f854fB289e388E

EVMOS: UNIC must support chains that are trustworthy, and Evmos is clearly one that should be on the list. Not only is the public reputation amazing but the philosophy of the chain to provide interoperability between blockchains for intercommunication is something that is vital to UNIC. What would be the point if verification approved on blockchain networks does not get recognized by others? We definitely need the Internet of Blockchains so that verification can be approved cross-chain effectively. Invisible-signatured NFTs that are scannable from UNIC will be verifiable across Ethereum-based applications as well as the Cosmos ecosystem! UnicMapper: 0xc8753345C072AD81FC08d48fa7A7E1Ab31568651 UnicFactory: 0x88c29719C7B28af24c2597F2B2D39E505E0B65F3

OPTIMISM <NFT Infrastructure>: OP Lab’s mission to “build the most secure, stable, and decentralized blockchain” is very similar to our vision, which is to “build the most secure, stable, and decentralized NFT verification”. The two share a philosophy to make the world better, and UNIC will run on OP to provide an infrastructure for creators to mint scannable NFTs that have encrypted invisible signatures. UNIC looks forward to contribute to OP’s drive to global adoption, as our solution also had no boundary limits! UnicMapper: 0x4D46c584A47ed0B8F5b5B569Bf20b8328d39fca3 UnicFactory: 0xd2Fc928b9dea02b9c82C5e0423dB9b14C8Eb0764

GNOSIS CHAIN: UNIC plans to support diverse experiences for users, including decentralized and trustless governance of NFT verification itself. With a Gnosis multisig wallet, a DAO will be able to establish its own standards for NFT verification. This will provide an effective approach to identifying what exactly NFT verification can be. For example, a DAO can require a creator to possess certain limit of a token to mint a scannable NFT. That decision will be processed in a decentralized manner by Gnosis.

How it's Made

We used react, react native, solidity, sway, and nodejs and rushed to fit all of these together to make a basic prototype. IPFS was specifically meaningful for us because the scannable NFTs that we created must be unique in their own terms, and immutable. Using solidity for ERC1155 and lazy minting, nodejs for steganography and apis, react for interacting with the contracts for creating our NFTs, and react native for scanning the hidden NFT in photos, were a lot of work but surely was fun to build.

We also created a mapper smartcontract so that the data from the image can be mapped to the NFT in a decentralized way, so that the asset is truly immutable and unique.

Chains that have cheaper gas fees like Fuel, Optimism, Polygon and Evmos helped us tremendously in testing our apps on production, and our future usecase in which we believe that creators should not have to pay a lot of money to create artwork that persists.

We used steganography and scanning libraries on iOS and nodejs to hide the NFT data on images and make them scannable, which is one of the core functionalities of our app although not specifically web3. One of the small bugs that took us a while to debug was making the images that were rendered on the web scannable, because the web optimizes the images on load.

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