When did crypto art emerge?

The first exploration in the NFTs was carried out on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain between 2012 and 2013 with the project “Colored Coins”. But the BTC programming language was not designed to interact with non-fungible tokens. But this did not prevent the creation of the first collectible, Rare Pepe, that continues to function and accumulate value within the BTC network. On the other hand, Ethereum (ETH) implemented smart contract technology to design and interact quickly and safely with NFTs in 2017 and now has two standards for this type of digital assets: ERC-721 and ERC-1155 . The pioneers within the ETH network were the Cryptopunks created by Larva Labs and later the CryptoKitties emerged.

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is an incorruptible digital accounting system of economic transactions that works in a decentralized way. This chain of blocks works as a database around the world through thousands of computers. In these chains you can register any information not necessarily digital and not only financial transactions. In terms of transactions, they are organized into a series of blocks where a new block with encrypted information is created once verified.

What is the blockchain used for?

In this case, it is used to tokenize pieces of art and give them the security of possessing the certificate of authenticity of their favorite works. But this is only one of the several options that this technology offers us.

Among its most famous uses are cryptocurrencies: decentralized cryptocurrencies that are verified by miners in a secure and transparent way. Users are able to send and receive funds at any time and money cannot be confiscated for any reason.

Gaming: Currently most online games are centralized and the information within the game belongs to the owners of said game (bank details, server history, items, among others). With the application of the blockchain, users are the actual owners of their accounts and digital files within the game.

Other options for the use of the blockchain are related to supply chains for companies, payments conditioned by different users, medical records or health cards, international money transactions without the presence of a central bank and finally crypto. philanthropy, where charitable and non-profit organizations are able to receive donations without limitations.

Who are the miners?

Actually anyone in the world with a quality computer equipment to validate the different transactions through complex mathematical puzzles in exchange for receiving rewards in cryptocurrencies. This form of work and validation is known as “Proof of work” (PoW).

What is gas?

Gas is the measure of the computational work required to process transactions and carry out smart contracts within the blockchain. The more complex the transactions, the more gas will be needed. The amount of gas depends on the supply and demand of the market. For this reason, a certain gas fee is charged at the time of tokenizing any digital file.

Can I have my artwork physically?

Yes and no. When acquiring any piece of art within the blockchain, you are free to do whatever you want with it. You can trade it, sell it, auction it, keep it in your wallet or display it in different spaces in the metaverse, such as Cryptovoxels or Decentraland. 

If it is a still image, you can print it and decorate your favorite physical space, if it is a video or gif, you have the opportunity to have a digital painting to display at home. The decision is yours. But the original digital piece will always be found on the internet digitally under a unique and unrepeatable alphanumeric address within the blockchain.

Can NFTs be copied?

Yes. Any file (image, GIF, video, song) can be downloaded without having to pay, but the quality of the file is modified and the person who downloads it does not have the alphanumeric code that certifies its authenticity and exclusivity. 

This also happens with physical parts. There are many almost exact replicas of the Mona Lisa, but we know that the original is in a museum with the original signature of the author. You can buy a replica of your favorite painting in physical form, but it will not have the certificate of authenticity, so your work does not have value. The same goes for NFTs, if you don’t have the certificate, you just have a worthless digital image.

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