Bitcoin for Beginners

Words like “Bitcoin” and “blockchain” are repeated daily in several stories in both the daily financial and internet news, not to mention in several social media discussions by news and business personalities. For the average consumer, the terms can be easily conflated or confused, especially as most mentions in the media are about the current value trends of Bitcoin or a few informational tidbits about blockchain itself. In order to understand the media attention of Bitcoin, it first must be understood what it is exactly.

Bitcoin is what is referred to as a decentralized cryptocurrency. What that means is that Bitcoin is a digital form of currency whose value is not backed by gold, silver, or any government tender, but is extremely secure due to the underlying technology that keeps records of trade. This technology is known as blockchain technology. The popularity of Bitcoin and other decentralized cryptocurrencies is due to the underlying blockchain, which keeps a sort of digital ledger that is itself decentralized across a wide network of systems.

Another factor in the popularity of Bitcoin is due to speculation and investment in the cryptocurrency by many investors, both large and small. The central idea is that Bitcoin will be used more regularly over time, becoming more valuable over time. This certainly follows recent history, as the first increase in value in 2010 raised the price of one Bitcoin to eight cents. In today’s market, one Bitcoin is worth over $60,000.

As popular and lucrative as Bitcoin has proven to be so far in the market, the cryptocurrency market itself is extremely volatile. All cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, is valued by speculation, as opposed to actual investment. It is not uncommon for one cryptocurrency to lose a significant portion of its value in a matter of days, or for one cryptocurrency to balloon in value in the market over the same amount of time.

The primary way to invest in Bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency, for that matter) is to have a “wallet,” or an online reservoir for your purchased Bitcoin. A number of brokers and trading sites offer this service to consumers, such as CoinBase, Robinhood, and eToro.

Bitcoin for Beginners

How to Create Your Own NFTs

Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are unique tokens that grant ownership rights over digital art, JPEGs, or videos. NFTs are minted on blockchains, which means they are recorded on the same digital ledger as the namesake currency but are separate from the fungible tokens that many investors are familiar with, like Ethereum. With news outlets running stories of newly made NFT millionaires, many artists are probably wondering how NFTs are made?

To start with, a creator needs to choose a platform to host their art. Rarible, OpenSea, and Super Farm are some of the most popular NFT sites. After choosing a platform, creators have to settle up a hosting charge to have work minted on the blockchain. For instance, OpenSea charges around $100 in Ethereum to host NFTs on the blockchain. These fees are paid in the native crypto you will later receive for the art. To settle up with the selected platform, users must link a crypto wallet to their accounts and transfer the selected currency.

Coinbase’s wallet is popular, especially since the exchange went public. Other choices include MetaMask, Fortmatic, and Bitski. It is essential to remember certain exchanges like Robinhood hold coins for users, meaning crypto purchases on these sites can’t be spent to create or purchase NFTs.

Once settled up with the platform, users can freely publish their work. However, first, they must decide whether to upload the series as a “bundle” or as individual pieces. Individual art allows buyers to bid on the work and hopefully initiate a bidding war, whereas “bundles” are set at a fixed price. Another consideration NFT creators should consider is that some platforms charge for each upload, while others charge a one-time fee.

Once a creator has decided how to sell their work, it’s as easy as click and drag to publish a piece. Users can set a price or open up to bids with a minimum purchase price. All prices are set to the native blockchain the NFT was minted on. If an NFT were created on OpenSea’s Ethereum Platform, all bids would be in Ethereum. Once an NFT is purchased, the artist will receive an alert. Once the buyer’s transactions settle, the user can transfer their new crypto to the appropriate wallet and exchange it for their native fiat currency.

How to Create Your Own NFTs