byoa in depth

Putting apps inside NFTs to control and enhance your UX in web3 apps and the metaverse.

Welcome to byoa

The metaverse is first and foremost about interoperability and personal property rights and freedoms. Web2 apps have a vertical integration and black box around data and user experience. The move to web3 offers an opportunity to build out enhanced data and UX ownership for users.

byoa is an open ecosystem of apps inside NFTs to control and enhance your UX in web3 apps and the metaverse. byoa NFTs run using the byoa-sdk, a credibly neutral integration point for the byoa ecosystem. Web3 apps opt into byoa by choosing to integrate byoa-sdk.

The potential for byoa NFTs range from accessibility, mental wellness, DeFi opportunities, and more.

byoa NFTs are NFTs

An NFT is a way of owning immutable property unique to the holder on the blockchain. One NFT equals one owner equals one asset. These NFTs store their metadata on decentralized chains like IPFS and Arweave. This metadata could include a link to an image - like a cryptopunk - which is what people traditionally associate an NFT with.

A byoa NFT is all of the above, and additionally it's metadata also includes a reference to some executable code. This executable code is also decentralized and immutable and stored on the blockchain.

So, you can think of a byoa NFT the same as a jpeg NFT, just that the metadata also tells you a file location for some executable code. This executable code is the app/algorithm in byoa.

Running byoa NFTs

You can run byoa NFTs on any compatible web3 site. We provide a byoa-sdk to allow developers to integrate the byoa functionality into their site. We also provide forks of common web3 apps that already integrate the byoa-sdk so you can get started even quicker. Additionally, we will provide plugins to inject the byoa-sdk into any property.

On a page that has implemented or had byoa-sdk injected properly, it's as simple as clicking a button to connect your wallet, and then clicking on a byoa NFT that you wish to run.

Acquiring byoa NFTs

There are many ways to acquire a byoa NFT. has provided an app store that you can peruse to find certified apps that implement the byoa-sdk standard for the NFTs. You visit the app store, find a byoa NFT you want, and mint it. Minting is currently on L1 Ethereum, and in the future we will support flavors of L2 Ethereum as well.

You could also acquire a byoa NFT through other app stores that provide byoa NFTs that meet the specification of the open byoa-sdk standard.

Who makes byoa NFTs? Do I need to know how to code?

You do not need to know how to code in order to take advantage of byoa. byoa NFTs are built by developers within the community and made available to you within the app store. You just need to find a byoa that you like and mint it into your wallet.

What byoa NFTs are available now?

You can visit the byoa app store to see the latest on availability. We are constantly working on new apps and onboarding new developers to the program to provide more and more apps available.

Relationship to the Mallows project

The Mallows project was the first use of byoa NFTs and used a beta version of the byoa-sdk to run and showcase all the novel algorithms. We consider the Mallows the mascot of byoa!

Where can I learn more?

Please check out the original byoa whitepaper available here. Additionally, follow us on Twitter and join the Mallows discord.

Examples of byoa

There are many types of ways that byoa can be used, and these range from experiences that improve accessibility, to mental wellness, enhanced analytics, and more. Below we present some concepts we'd like to see tackled with byoa NFTs:

byoa as a content distribution platform.

Rent a movie by minting an NFT that givesyou the right to watch the movie as often as you want for the next two days.

Limited runs of the byoa algorithm.

For example, pay $5 and get to run the algorithminside the NFT N times - could be a song, movie, image filter, etc.

Decentralized bookmarks.

For example, I might mint a byoa NFT that represents abookmark for Compound Finance, and then that bookmark shows up on my personalweb3 landing page.

Mental wellness.

A semi-centralized byoa NFT that allows me to add trigger words orconcepts, which then get automatically filtered out via recommendations from acentralized AI service. We gave a demo of a prototype.

Content moderation.

Similar to mental wellness, a centralized AI service could be used in a semi-centralized byoa NFT to provide parental controls in any UX context.


A byoa NFT may be used to carry a user’s accessibility preferences to any UX context. For example, a prototype “accessibility hub” is inside some Mallows byoa NFTs.

Custom HUDs.

A host web3 app may expose data or hooks in its integration with byoa-sdk, and those data and hooks can power a user-defined HUD or windowing system. For example, a small floating HUD on Compound Finance that automatically appraises the user of competing lending rates.

NFT preferences.

A byoa NFT whose only job it is to contain your preference of whichof your other avatar NFTs should be used as your metaverse profile photo.

Data usage rights.

A byoa NFT that informs the host app of your stated preferences for handling your data. Similar to a browser's "Do not track" setting, except more expressive and you take it with you in any UX context.

Global, user-defined cookies.

For example, a byoa NFT that replicates certain web2session cookies, encrypted, so that you may use them on other platforms.

Embedded and decentralized social networks.

Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about decentralized social media. We're excited for it. As well, we think it’d be cool to embed asocial network in a byoa NFT, such that your current web3 app is your "location" in the social network or virtual world. For example, when you load the page, you see the avatars of other users who are currently visiting your app/page (adjusted for the other users' privacy and activity sharing preferences). Each avatar you see might be based onan "NFT preference" byoa NFT in the other users’ wallets, which is an example of composability and dependencies among byoa NFTs.

Custom embedded financial charts.

For example on Uniswap, a byoa NFT for acustom real-time price chart that auto-displays the current pool you're working with.

Delivering centralized product functionality into an embedded byoa context.

In theprevious example of "custom embedded financial charts", the byoa NFT contained thecode to draw the chart. But, the ethereum community already has a good collection ofcharting and data science tools. Instead of bundling the code to draw the chart in thebyoa NFT, we might use a byoa NFT to serve an embedded chart from an existingproduct.

TradFi payment credentials.

A semi-centralized byoa NFT that’s run by a compliant company. It uses the byoa-sdk to offer your credit card number to the host page in a compliant way. It’s like Chrome storing your credit card numbers, except it's semi-centralized, cuts out the middle man (Google), and is more voluntary and lean because the user controls the decision to own that byoa NFT and the company controls the implementation of that byoa NFT in a direct customer relationship.

Self-contained billing and payments.

The code to process a DeFi payment is a vertical slice of UI, off-chain processing, and smart contract code. We can embed all that code into a byoa NFT, so that the NFT itself would have everything it needs - including the UI - to process a payment in a fully autonomous and self-sovereign way. Note that the byoa algorithm may be executed by the user before they pay a fee to mint the NFT.For example, the user might execute a byoa algorithm to submit a payment and generate a zk-proof of that payment, and then the byoa NFT’s contract consumes that proof as a required input into minting the NFT. An NFT that literally sells itself.

NFT collection governance of immutable, off-chain logic.

Make a crypto punks DAO, where each 1 punk NFT gets 1 vote in governance. They might then vote to upgrade the canonical implementation of a punk 3D renderer that's used in the metaverse. For example, you'd package a 3D renderer into a byoa NFT, and then the byoa-sdk would offer that renderer to other byoa NFTs as the canonical punk 3D renderer. When you enter a new room in the metaverse, the 3D punks you see are based on their collective decision to appear that way.


The byoa-sdk may coordinate micropayments, as well as help humans to sign policies for automated micropayments within safety thresholds. For example, your browser might automatically pay a newspaper $0.10 for reading an article, without bothering you at all, because you signed a policy to agree to pay "$0.10 per article onTier 4 American News Sites".


A user could opt into advertising by minting an advertising byoa NFT.They’d then see ads in a window drawn by byoa-sdk, and get paid to view these ads.The user may express preferences over which ads they see, how often they see the ads, as well as which data from the host app or their wallet may be shared with the advertising byoa NFT. The user has control over their ad experience and keeps 100% of the money. Another potential benefit is that the advertising byoa implementation may be fully decentralized and content-addressed, and then an auditor could prove that the advertising code is private and will always be private.

Developer Program Application

Want to start developing byoa apps for the app-store? Please submit your contact info below and we'll be in touch with you about the onboarding process. Thanks!

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