Many collectors believe that their NFTs are “on chain” and therefore safe from deletion. In fact, only about 10% of NFTs are truly “on chain”. Around 50% of NFTs are on private web servers, where there’s no value in backing up. The remaining ~40% of NFTs are on IPFS, and these are the files that really make sense to back up.
While IPFS is the gold standard for how NFTs are stored, this does not mean they are completely safe. Files can still disappear from IPFS if the server(s) hosting those files shut down, or through the normal “garbage collection” processes that run on servers and remove files.
While pinning files on IPFS can significantly help with ensuring the long-term survival of your NFTs, it is still possible for these files to disappear over time. The best insurance policy is to have a physical backup of your NFTs stored away safely on your hard drive (or better still, a cold storage device.) In the event that an NFT you own disappears from IPFS, you can restore the associated file(s) to IPFS with minimal effort.
To learn more about why it’s important to back up your NFTs, you can read our post on RightClickSave called “The NFT Apocalypse