Getting Started With Blockchain
What is a blockchain & how does it work? Why blockchain at all?
Blockchain is a database of the transaction history. This transaction history is stored inside a block, these blocks contain information regarding the previous block thus linking them together to create a chain of blocks, otherwise known as a Blockchain.
Blockchain is widely used due to two main reasons, blockchains are decentralized - this means there are no 3rd parties involved in approving your transactions on the chain, this also means blockchain is immutable (Tamper Proof) as they rely on all parties in the network agreeing on the blockchain (This is known as consensus).
Blockchain is highly secured due to its use of cryptographic keys and signatures - this prevents fraud such as other users pretending to be you as they would not be able to replicate your private keys.
What makes NFTs different from other digital assets like Bitcoin or Ethereum?
BTC and ETH are examples of fungible goods. They are interchangeable in the sense that each ETH is identical to another ETH, and can be used for practical purposes (buying, selling and borrowing). For example, if someone borrowed one ETH from you, they can pay you back with any other ETH. However, if they borrowed a specific tokenized piece of art from you, they would have to return that exact same piece of art back to you (as opposed to any other piece of art) — just imagine how ridiculous it would be to swap Mona Lisa with some random doodle.
What is a wallet?
Wallet is a home for your NFTs
Wallets are extremely important as these wallets are how you, the user interact with the blockchain and manage your private keys. Below we will go over some common wallet types.
What are the best ETH wallets to use for NFTs?
- Metamask - https://metamask.io/ - Metamask is one of the more advanced wallets in the Ethereum ecosystem, Metamask puts the user in full control of their funds from the start. Metamask offers two versions of their wallet, a mobile app, and a browser extension, At Rarible we recommend the browser extension. The downside to Metamask is that it currently has no easy in-app fiat to Ethereum purchasing system, this means you will need to purchase ETH elsewhere are move it to your Metamask wallet. Metamask's biggest selling point is giving the user full control over their data MetaMask generates passwords and keys on your device, so only you have access to your accounts and data.
- Fortmatic - https://fortmatic.com/ - Fortmatic is by far one of the easiest wallets to use, Fortmatic is SOC 2 Type 1 compliant with a non-custodial HSM architecture - this means you, the user, can access your keys at any time, however, it should be noted, once your key is exported from Fortmatic the public key and private key are no longer usable on the Fortmatic application, whilst the key has not been exported it is stored with Fortmatic which in some cases can pose a security risk. Fortmatic also offers a seamless ETH Purchasing method via Wyre within their wallet.
- Trust Wallet - https://trustwallet.com/ - Trust wallet is another great option however Trust Wallet is only available on Mobile, which means you must utilize Wallet Connect to use Trust Wallet on Rarible. Trust is very similar to Metamask in that it gives full control to the user from the start. Trust implements a number of features such as Purchasing Cryptocurrencies using a credit/debit card, storing multiple different Cryptocurrencies, in-app exchanges, etc.
What's the difference between the ERC-721 or ERC-1155 standards?
Think of ERC-721 as the OG NFT token standard. It paved the way for the creation of one of the spaces' pioneer projects, Cryptokitties, and is still being used by plenty of projects today as a foundation.
The ERC-1155 standard, in turn, was introduced later and gave developers more leeway in their experiments with NFT functionality. Technically, this standard allows for tokens to be transferred in batches (thus saving users gas fees) and to add smart contracts into the mix, amongst other functions.