Thank you for attending the 2022 ASU+GSV Summit! To show our appreciation and introduce you to the exciting world of Web3, we're gifting a free NFT that commemorates this event to all attendees.
If you are new to Web3, you might have a few questions about NFTs and why they're useful.
This site will try to answer some core questions while walking you through all the skills you need to learn to mint an NFT from the ground up.
An NFT, or a non-fungible token, can be thought of as a digital certificate of ownership, authenticity and uniqueness for anything - just like a certificate of authenticity in real life for a painting. Ownership of an NFT proves that a certain digital asset, such as a badge of attendance, a piece of digital art, an item inside a game, or even a music or a video, belongs to you and only you, guaranteed by the power of the blockchain.
This is revolutionary for enabling a new digital economy - previously, only physical assets could command value based on scarcity. Think of artists making artificially limited prints, or trading cards that retain high collectible value because of their scarcity. Digitally, this has been impossible to date for many things like art, because there is no collectible value without scarcity, and anyone can just right-click and save your art and get an identical copy of it. Owning an NFT of that art piece, however, proves that your copy of that art piece is the genuine original article sold by the artist, and not an unauthorized 'replica', just as with physical art.
For items in games, NFTs are a similarly revolutionary concept. With things like physical Magic the Gathering cards, you own your cards fully and can sell or give them to anyone, but with digital trading card games like Hearthstone, you can't. The game company often disallows trading entirely, or closely controls the markets for trading.
If every item in a game becomes an NFT, however, all of that gets turned on its head, and you can sell your item at anytime for however much you want to anyone you want. NFTs, in short, give you, the user, full control of your assets, and remove that control from the corporations that used to own the assets.
If you're still curious and want to learn more about this revolutionary technological innovation, we wrote the most comprehensive article on NFTs, NFTs 101, which will teach you all you want to know from the ground up. And if you still have questions - come ask any Web3 question at all over at ember.help, and we'll get it answered!
You can think of the blockchain as a giant public database anyone in the world can read from and write to. Normally, information online is stored by companies in private databases that 1. only they can control, and that 2. they can modify at will - for instance, Facebook stores all posts and user information on their own servers (and can delete your information at will), and banks similarly store all account and transaction information in their own private databases (and can close your accounts at any time). By contrast, blockchains are:
1. Decentralized, meaning they have no central single owner, and are copied and stored identically on thousands of computers all around the world. This means there is no one central point of failure, which means blockchains are very hard to take down.
2. Immutable, meaning that any data written to a blockchain will permanently be recorded forever. To be clear, specific information in a blockchain can be updated with future writes, but a history of all the modifications over time will be permanently recorded.
The blockchain is called as such because it is essentially a 'chain' made up of individual 'blocks' of data. Once a block of data is added to the chain, it can never be removed, which is what causes the blockchain to be a permanent, or immutable, store of data.
Each block stores a record of all the transactions that have occurred since the previous block, thereby creating a continuous chain of transaction records. This allows the current state of information on the blockchain to be updated, while maintaining the permanent history of all transactions.
For instance, if Alice has 10 Ether and Bob has 10 Ether, and Alice sends Bob 2 Ether in block 100, and then Bob sends Alice 4 Ether in block 200, the current state of the blockchain will show that Alice has 12 Ether and Bob has 8 Ether, while permanently recording the history of all those individual transactions Alice and Bob made.
In the world of Web3, you can truly own digital assets for the first time, and prove to everyone else you own them using blockchain technology.
True ownership of an NFT comes with a host of benefits. This NFT is permanently recorded on a blockchain, meaning that you don't have to worry about ever losing your NFT like you might other digital assets owned by a company that can shut down or otherwise discontinue hosting your assets.
You also have full ability to transfer or sell your NFT to anyone else automatically - just like you'd be able to with a commemorative certificate or badge in real life. NFTs are also broadly interoperable, meaning as your NFT collection grows, you'll automatically be able to display this NFT alongside all the other NFTs you own in digital galleries or perhaps even on a wall in your home in a virtual reality 'metaverse', just as you might in real life.
This NFT is largely commemorative, and serves as permanent, easily verifiable proof that you attended this event. We also hope this NFT can help demonstrate the magic of NFTs and true digital ownership firsthand, and that this process of minting an NFT will equip you with the foundational knowledge you need to navigate Web3 safely.
Minting an NFT is just like minting money - it means you're creating the NFT! Before you mint this NFT, it doesn't yet exist. We'll be calling a piece of code that lives on the blockchain, known as a smart contract, which will then create the NFT when you call it, and assign its ownership to you.
Later, we'll show you how you can also buy existing NFTs on secondary markets (like a used goods store!) directly from other people who minted them in the past. In that case, the tokens (NFTs) will just be transferred from their previous owners to you.
Once you feel like you understand what NFTs are and why we want them, go ahead and move on to the next step!Next