Where are NFTs Stored?

NFTs have been garnering quite an attention over the years. From Eminem buying a cartoon ape to Beeple selling one for over $60 million. It has been crazy, to say the least. But where exactly are these digital creations stored?

You are probably thinking this is an easy answer, they are stored in your wallet. That’s technically not true. In this article, I will be clarifying this common misconception and much more. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.

What are NFTs?

In order to understand NFT storage, we must first understand what NFTs are. In essence, NFTs are proof of ownership. It is a unique record on the blockchain with specific metadata which cannot be faked or duplicated. Think of them as digital receipts which are recorded on a public database. Every transaction on the database is transparent and open to the public.

Where are NFTs stored?

Essentially, the metadata for NFTs is stored on the blockchain. This information is presented as code that is permanently verifiable. This includes the owner’s address, when it was sold, the trade history etc. Although the image can also be stored on-chain, due to the large file size they are usually stored off-chain. In other words, the contract including the proof of purchase is stored on the blockchain, while the contents themselves (images) are stored elsewhere. This is usually a decentralized hosting service like InterPlanetary File System

So what is a wallet used for?

Surprisingly, NFT wallets don’t store your NFTs. Instead, they provide an access point. Essentially, you use the private key associated with your wallet to access your crypto address on the blockchain. Your keys act as proof of ownership and allow you to trade. Without them, you lose all access to your crypto wallet. If you want to learn about the top 5 NFT wallets, click here.

How to keep your stored NFTs safe

In an industry rife with hacks it is vital that you secure your assets. The number one recommendation I have is to use a hardware wallet. This is a separate device shaped like a USB stick that is used to authorize transactions. Stealing from a hardware wallet is extremely hard and often requires physical possession or access to your private keys.

The hardware wallet I recommend is the ledger nano X. You can check out my review here. Lastly, never under any circumstance give out your private key. It should be stored offline and out of site. This is important as your private key is a set of randomly generated words that gives full access to your wallet.

Where to view your NFTs?

So you have purchased your NFT and are now wondering where you view it. Don’t worry, I will be detailing three ways to view your NFT:

  • Exchange – this is probably the easiest way to view your NFT. Connect your wallet to the exchange you traded on, then navigate to your account. There should be a full breakdown of your inventory.
  • Etherscan – If you are using Ethereum then you can check the on-chain information through Etherscan. Simply enter your wallet address in the search bar. You will then find the contract information for your NFT. This includes the time your NFT was sold, the corresponding wallet address and you can even speed up transactions by paying a fee.
  • Wallet – you can usually view your NFT collection in the wallet you used for the transaction. However, you may need to manually add the NFT address.


With the rise of NFTs, it is important to understand all aspects of storage. Hopefully, this article cleared up the common misconception about where NFTs are stored. In a nutshell, the blockchain stores the NFT, while you’re wallet, is used to access it. Once stored you can easily view it on an exchange or in your wallet. Thanks for reading. Want to learn about why NFTs are essential to the metaverse? Then click here.