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Blockchain / Crypto / NFTs

Hire DeFi / crypto enthusiasts skilled in blockchain analysis; crypto exchanges, cryptocurrency; Bitcoin, Ethereum; Web3, NFTs and emerging crypto-communities. Find Blockchain / Crypto / NFTs WFH freelancers on February 23, 2024 who work remotely. Read less

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Top Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Blockchain?
The blockchain is a computerized database that changes how data is stored in a system. The past traditional method of storing information in a database is that is would be stored in a single location. In a blockchain, there is no longer a single location: https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/financial-services/fintech/bitcoin-blockchain-cryptocurrency.html

Data is replicated across every single node (or computer) within the blockchain, which each stores a copy of the exact same data. So in the case of a smart contract, which is an agreement between a Buyer and Seller written in code, when one is processed, the smart contract is processed on every node in the entire blockchain at the exact same time. The benefit of this is that it gives the blockchain auditing superpowers: https://www.ibm.com/topics/what-is-blockchain

Data in the nodes of the chain cannot be removed or changed without others knowing, and any changes are tied to the identity of the person who changes the information with a clear, historical trail of who changed what and when. Multiple transactions happen together in blocks and are then chained together into an ordered list with timestamps, so they cannot be modified and any tampering can be identified quickly and attributed to a bad actor with an ID. As an information system, distributing data about transactions over many different computers through a peer-to-peer network, increases trust and lowers the incidence of fraud.
With traditional paper money and coinage issued by the Federal Reserve, to pay for goods and services, a Buyer will physically (and privately) transfer an amount to a seller, that no one else can know or see. How these transactions get completed is controlled by a central authority like the Reserve Bank or even governments in some cases. With crypto, everyone knows about everyone else's transactions, which are publicly viewable and in fact broadcast around the distributed nodes of the blockchain: https://www.fool.com/investing/stock-market/market-sectors/financials/cryptocurrency-stocks/types-of-cryptocurrencies/

There is no central authority, instead every transaction for example, buying a house with Bitcoins, are made as digital "I owe yous" (IOUs) - an amount that the Buyer agrees to pay in the future and the Seller is owed at the time of the transaction and later collects - all tracked through public key cryptography to identify the sending and receiving identities in every single transaction. Like a debit and credit must always balance in double-entry accounting, on the blockchain, the IOU transactions owed and received amounts must always instantly be the same, ensuring no one ever spends funds they do not have. A record or ledger of every crypto transaction that has ever existed is stored in the blockchain, too. This helps guarantee, as with traditional paper money, the same cryptocoins cannot be spent twice: https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/definitions/what-is-cryptocurrency
Smart contracts is really an option contract between a Buyer and Seller written in code, where the parties are anonymous, but the contact is the public ledger or node on the blockchain: https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2018/05/26/an-introduction-to-smart-contracts-and-their-potential-and-inherent-limitations/

A triggering event like an expiration date and strike price is hit and the contract executes itself according to the agreed terms in the code. This enables fair exchange with no direct contact between the Buyer and Seller because regulators can assess the activity on the blockchain while keeping the identities of the two parties private.

There is therefore no need for a trusted third-party to be involved in a transaction as with Escrow, data is backed up and stored in a shared public ledger which is instant and cannot be lost. Although Bitcoin smart contracts exist, they are usually run on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (https://ethereum.org/en/developers/docs/evm/) and run in a JavaScript-type language called Solidity.
NFTs can be understood as "digital title deeds", tied to unique identification codes and metadata recorded in a blockchain ledger. They represent "non-fungible" or non-transferable ownership linked in a digital asset usually like a video clip or image file like a GIF or PNG image but also music and film copyrights. This allows collectors to value, collect and own "digital art" in the same way physical, non-virtual artworks are collected: https://nftnow.com/guides/what-is-nft-meaning/

The owner of an NFT owns the original piece of hex values signed by the creator, letting others freely copy the raw data, but not able to claim ownership of the author's original signature. NFTs work because of Smart Contracts. The NFT owner signs the transaction, including the hash of NFT data (usually with Ethereum ERC-721 and ERC-1155 token standards as lines of code) , and then sends the transaction to a smart contract. Upon receipt of the transaction by the smart contract with the NFT data, the minting and trading process is initiated. When the transaction is confirmed, the NFT will be permanently linked to a unique blockchain address: https://aws.amazon.com/blockchain/nfts-explained/

NFTs can also be used to prove ownership in other applications like real estate contracts and university licenses and certificates, as NFTs are tied through smart contracts to the blockchain enabling instant verification by employers. Through tokenizing retail consumer goods like pharmaceuticals and electronic parts has the benefit of enabling manufacturers, distributors and retailers to instantly track and verify the authenticity of products on sale using the blockchain.