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Unique Network

Unique Network is an infrastructure for the next generation NFTs, offering developers independence from network-wide transaction fees and upgrades.

TYPE: building for polkadot, substrate builders program

Case Study

"Flexibility is the strongest side of Substrate - it allows unmatched customization that is needed to handle non-fungible asset classes on-chain. We used it to create the next generation NFT chain, capable of supporting innovative use cases and liberating NFTs from the collectables."

Unique Network is a Substrate-based NFT chain for the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystems. It provides all basic NFT functionality provided by other blockchains – minting, transferring, or burning NFTs, along with the basic tools needed – a wallet, minting solution, gallery and a marketplace as a white-label suite, ready to use. Demonstrating the power and flexibility of Substrate, Unique Network offers advanced functionality such as flexible economic models, scheduling, and refungibility – all in an interoperable environment with EVM and Solidity. Unique Network is built to enable the next generation of NFT use cases.


What challenges is the project focusing and what problems is it trying to solve?

Rigid economic model challenge: Other blockchains require their users to own cryptocurrency in order to execute a transaction. This creates an enormous friction for mass market adoption of NFTs.

Subscription use case challenge: Existing blockchains do not allow NFTs to be rented or managed by delegated parties. This breaks the conventional business model of building a stable income flow based on regular payments.


How did the specific features of Substrate solve the challenges faced?

Rigid economic model challenge: Substrate allows customization of transaction handling on all transaction stages.

Subscription use case challenge: Substrate allows execution of code before and after each block.


What was the concrete solution or implementation that couldn’t be done without Substrate and is heavily reliant on one or more of the key features of Substrate?

Rigid economic model challenge: Dapp users are not required to pay transaction fees anymore, which means they can use the dapp without having to:

  • learn what a crypto address is
  • register on the crypto exchange
  • pass KYC
  • buy volatile cryptocurrency
  • create and fund a wallet from a crypto exchange.

Substrate makes this possible using a Signed Extension to customize the address that pays the transaction fee. When the Signed Extension detects the transaction of certain types (e.g. a transfer in a particular NFT collection), it assigns the sponsor address to pay the transaction fee. This approach allows building frictionless dapps and enables true Freemium Gaming on blockchain.

Subscription use case challenge: To enable subscription models, Unique Network created a scheduling solution based on the scheduler pallet provided by FRAME. With their custom scheduler pallet, a user may (safely from the block weight perspective) schedule any transaction from a simple balance transfer to an EVM smart contract call. This will help generate a stable income flow based on regular payments.

Pallets (3-6 as top priority):

  1. nft
  2. nft-charge-transaction
  3. evm-transaction-payment
  4. scheduler

Links and Resources:



Sponsoring pallet repo