Wednesday, December 22, 2021 11:16 AM
Blockchain and NFTs
What is Blockchain? Even though the concepts around blockchain technology can be wildly complex, blockchains themselves are quite straightforward. In regular human-speak, a blockchain is just a public database. Blockchains store a history of transactions between parties on a forum that can be accessible by anybody. Let's discuss the main differences between a regular database and the blockchain! First, a blockchain is append-only. Once data has been written, it can't be changed (known as immutability). That information is locked on the blockchain forever. Second, a blockchain takes the form of a linked-list instead of a table. That is, every set of transactions (known as a block) that is added to the blockchain must point to the previous block. That way, there's a linear history of every transaction that has ever occurred the blockchain. Finally, blockchains are decentralised - they're not owned by any particular organisation, and can't be taken down in the same way as a regular database. That's because a single blockchain is copied among over hundreds of different users who each run nodes, each containing an identical copy of the entire history of the blockchain. Since all of these nodes are communicating and agreeing on the state of the blockchain constantly, the only way to "hack" a blockchain is to perform a 51% attack: convincing the majority of nodes to agree on a new, different blockchain state. What are NFTs? Non-fungible tokens are certificates of ownership on digital works comparable to certificates of authenticity in the world of physical art. They can be purchased for investment, collecting or the desire to own an artwork. By purchasing an NFT, therefore, it is possible to prove the ownership of the digital work. Art was one of the earliest use cases for NFT and blockchain in general, thanks to its ability to provide evidence of authenticity on digital art, which otherwise would have had to contend with the potential of mass reproduction and distribution of unauthorised art through the Internet.