What are Native Assets?

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What are Native Assets?

This page refers to features planned for the Babylon version of the Radix network, coming in Q2 2023, and may not apply to the current Olympia network version. For more information about the Radix roadmap, click here. To learn about other core capabilities of Babylon, return to Start Here! Upcoming Babylon Concepts and Technologies.

Native Assets are the way things like tokens, NFTs, badges, pool units (also known as “LP tokens”), and much more are represented on the Radix network. In Radix Engine terms, Native Assets are called “resources” – but the important thing is that the Radix network itself natively understands the concepts of assets and enforces how they should intuitively behave.

Native Assets are the basis of Radix’s asset-oriented form of smart contracts, via the Radix Engine and Scrypto. They provide enormous benefits for ease and security of dApp development. But they also provide the basis of a greatly improved Radix Wallet user experience.

The different behaviors and data that make different kinds of assets unique are all expressed in the resource configuration of each Native Asset – not in complex smart contract code. This means that while Radix is still capable of the full range of asset types (like, say, soulbound tokens or rental NFTs), it means that the Radix Wallet can directly read each asset’s configuration and clearly show the user everything they need to know about it in a plain human-readable way.

For example, seeing all of the data that makes an NFT unique doesn’t require visiting a third party site – it’s all visible in the wallet. Or the redemption value of an LP token can be shown in the wallet, because the wallet can see that it is an LP token and look it up from the pool it is associated with.

Providing clear transparency of Native Asset behavior is also extremely valuable. For example, for some tokens, it may be important for the issuer to be able to recall that token – perhaps for something like a user authorization badge that can be revoked. On Radix, that capability is a simple configuration option – but users must be able to clearly see that this is a token that somebody can recall. For a user authorization badge, that won’t be a surprise. But if a scammer wanted to try to be sneaky by issuing a token they can yank back, well, users can see that right in the Radix Wallet and nobody will be fooled.

In the future, it will also be possible to enable physical scanning of Native Assets via NFC tap of the user’s mobile phone. All Native Assets are, of course, held in user Smart Accounts. And Smart Accounts include the ability of the wallet cryptographically proving its control via a signed “challenge” (similar to logins using Personas). All an NFC tap has to do is pass such a challenge to the scanner, and the scanner can quickly verify that the holder of that phone has control of the Smart Account that holds the Native Asset in question.

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