If you write apps, whether it be native Windows development, or perhaps targeting a broader market encompassing mobile devices, cryptocurrency is an area of incandescent growth and potential opportunity. Like the white-hot-topic of AI, cryptocurrency is a new frontier, and it seems everybody wants to stake their claim.
Cryptocurrency has evolved into a global sensation in recent years, although much is yet to be learned about this evolving technology. Numerous concerns and worries are stirring around technology and its capacity to disrupt traditional financial systems.
Cryptocurrency innovators wish to claim that these new forms of monetary exchange are all financial ‘trustless’ systems that are not directly tied to any government or nation-state. But some claim that cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens – NFTs, the buzz word of the moment, and Blockchain, the technology underpinning these wispish intangibles, are an independent and reliable system.
According to Joseph A. Grundfest, an American academic, regardless of whether you think that’s a good or bad thing, it is not entirely accurate. Cryptocurrencies are still reliant on the underlying infrastructure powering cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, much of which is located in China. So, the Chinese government could theoretically push changes to cryptocurrencies at a fundamental level by setting its will on the data miners who keep them operating.
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What is the story of NFTs and art?
Right now, NFTs are dominating the tech news. News media loves to gorge on stories of life-changing amounts of money being paid for an NFT associated with a piece of art, particularly focusing on facts like the buyer has, in effect, got nothing tangible to show for their hard-earned cash. Combine that with the use of AI to produce original and unique paintings and artworks and you have an almost impossible to resist temptation for a journalist looking to fill out a blank page with some exciting headlines: “anonymous author pays a million dollars for an NFT of an abstract painting by an AI artist”.
As a tech person, this use of Blockchain, to secure the details of the sale, might look frivolous when compared to the many different companies solving complex problems with Blockchain and AI. While some others are generating similar non-human “art pieces” using AI or one of the many open-source projects that use layers of images which they combine to generate dozens of variations of images for you to sell online, in the NFT market. It’s less of Bob Ross and more Robot Ross.
What is an NFT?
NFT stands for “Non-Fungible Token”. This means that you can interchange one asset, here in our case images or animated NFT. This is a unique digital asset representing objects like digital artworks, tweets, pictures, videos, and music. The NFT acts a little like a digital checksum – except it’s a checksum of a moment in time combined with an object. So, the NFT refers to a very specific image or group of images in a way which is incontrovertibly that object or objects. A bit like having a postal code for a train which always meant that someone sending a letter to that postal code would always end up reaching the train no matter where it was or when you sent the letter. It’s a weird thing worthy of the best Wachowski sister movie plot. Hard to understand until someone explains it – and then, just when you think you understand it all you suddenly realize you now know enough to know you don’t know enough.
This is a type of cryptocurrency and is built using the same programming concepts as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The distinction is that these NFTs cannot be swapped for identical products. That NFT will always refer to the exact same thing.
So, NFTs allocate the art piece or animated video a special ID number. This ID number is validated and updated whenever the art is purchased or traded.
These art pieces are easy to replicate, you can create a similar art piece and sell them online but, since every art piece has its value and ID, those duplicated will not hold the same value as the original art piece.
The best thing is that you can get a royalty for each art piece that you have sold. This might sound simple, but NFTs are kind of helping to track all those trades on the network and the creator of the artwork can get royalties without a problem. It can ensure the rights to your art piece are observed and applied.
How can I start with NFTs?
First of all, you need to understand what a smart contract is. How do these smart contracts interact with NFTs?
What is a smart contract?
Smart contracts are one of the most powerful capabilities of blockchain technology that we are talking about. This smart contract (digital contract) holds the terms of the agreement between users within code. These smart contracts can be programmed to run in any specific conditions and exist on the blockchain network.
How does Blockchain Technology affect the supply chain?
For numerous businesses across diverse industries, a key to success is a smooth-functioning, efficient supply chain. Blockchain is already applied to complex processes to eliminate potential human errors. Moreover, it creates a more reliable and authentic system overall.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the leading cloud computing services platforms that offer BaaS or Blockchain-as-a-Service.
This BaaS by AWS can provide you to launch your Blockchain service easily. AWS BaaS provides the simplest way to build scalable blockchain networks and ledger applications for your business.
If you would like to learn about how to start your AWS and Delphi development, be sure to watch this latest AWS + Delphi workshop.
Blockchain technology is still an evolving area of technology. Despite this, a significant number of engineers are trying to adopt and investigate the possibilities of Blockchain, and we are beginning to see promising results emerging.