What is Blockchain for New Users

A series of articles introducing and guiding new users by Mintable.app

Computers (peers) talking to each other in the blockchain

In simple terms, Blockchain is an independent decentralized network. The internet we know is a centralized network. The actual browsing experience remains the same regardless of centralized or decentralized though.

In today’s modern world, most, if not all our financial activity is done digitally. We do everything from buying milk to paying bills with our Credit Cards or Online banking. This easily explains why Banks have changed their vocation in the last 20 years; from teller banking to electronic convenience.

What has also change in 20 years, is the world wide web. To the point where most of us cannot comprehend a lifestyle without access to it. That technology has reached its limits though... What was once conceive as a communication and research tool, is now a financial world on itself; lodged on centralized servers. The most unsafe technology for financial signatures.

Identity Thief, Financial Frauds, Hacking are only to name a few of the inconveniences of a network that operates on centralized servers. But that centralized system is all we’ve ever had — old technology with its centralized limitations.

It was only a question of time until a new technology would evolve to adapt to our new modern financial needs. This is where Blockchain Technologies come in play.

Why should I use Decentralized Networks or even care about them?

For a few powerful reasons... In today’s modern world, it provides a huge boost to financial security for online transaction. Right now, your bank servers have millions of dollars being invested to secure them. Being centralized, the hacker only needs to knock on one door, or get access to one of a company’s security failure (think about all those data breaches this year…😠). A decentralized network, does not have centralized servers that can be targeted. Right now, on the web, all data can be hacked. But when the data is across a network of decentralized servers, the hacking — becomes much much harder, in fact, almost impossible. If we look at Bitcoin or Ethereum (the two largest blockchains) they have never actually been hacked — and together they have been running for 15 years (can’t say that for some of our largest banks…).

Blockchain solved securing a network, by becoming unhackable.

Hack one server… or hack every server — which is harder?

Apart to finally having a really secure online experience, why else does it matter?

Full control. You see, living in a world where everything is centralized in one place, you have no control over your own digital footprint. From your Facebook account to your Credit score at Equifax, you have no control who has access to it or even worse, what happens if its hacked.

On the blockchain, you will have only 1 key, and when we say YOU, we mean, only YOU. That key, will hold access to everything you do on the blockchain, all of your needs for today’s online experience and security will be tied to that one key — just like your front door is tied to one key (maybe two if you have two locks). That one key, can hold your private information, your financial wealth, legal contracts, personal data and so much more. The possibilities are evolving rapidly and being implemented on a daily basis. With something like this new technology endless possibilities can utilize blockchains, which means everyday we have a new, never before seen — type of service that is powered by the blockchain.

You buy it, you own it.

Let’s say you're a gamer and own one of only 10 rare items for a game. That game company one day decide to ban you for no apparent reason removing your account and those rare items you spent a lot of time and hard work for. You lose your item and what ever investment you had. But if that game was using blockchain, then it would be impossible for anyone to take those items from you. On the Blockchain, it’s really yours and you can sell it to who ever you want, transfer it to anyone, hold it for any amount of time, its completely your item, in your control. No bank can freeze your monetary assets, no company can delete your balance. What is yours, is yours — on the Blockchain.

Why do we talk about crypto often, and not Blockchain?

First, the lexicon in the Blockchain world can be at times confusing. The term Wallet that we will see next, is not your conventional wallet. You see, each Cryptocurrency runs on a specific Blockchain. There are several different Blockchains. Bitcoin for example, is one type of Blockchain we call proof-of-work. And to make things more confusing, you can even have several Cryptocurrencies (tokens) on one blockchain, Ethereum for example has thousands of different tokens on its one blockchain.

What is a Wallet?

MetaMask — the largest crypto wallet for Ethereum (very safe)

It’s your Crypto Passport, your crypto bank account, your crypto wallet. A wallet holds your keys that allows you to interact with each Blockchain, like your key ring holds the key to unlock the front door of your house.

Your wallet has two function, digital and financial signature. When you create most wallets, a 12 word seed phrase will be provided. That is you key to your safe, share it and your account is vulnerable, treat it like the password to unlock your bank account — because thats what it is. Things get more and more complicated from here — but the key takeaway is — when you create a wallet, you get a password to use that wallet. That password can never be shared, because if you share it, it means whoever knows that password can spend your crypto. Setting up a wallet is easy — and once you have a wallet, you can load some crypto on it (like you do your bank account) and then start exploring the blockchain.

What is Mintable?

As we explained, Blockchain technology is not just about Coins and Tokens. When it comes to Data, Files, Images or other digital assets, a token type named ERC-721 comes to play. This token is also known as NFT or Non Fungible Token. The most common use case for ERC-721s are artwork and games, but thats not the only thing that 721s can be used for.

Mintable is the perfect platform for creating ERC-721 tokens and managing them. Mintable takes a very complex task and turns it into its simplest form allowing anyone to Mint/Create Non Fungible Tokens by deploying the smart contract for them. Meaning, you can create and tokenize any asset on the blockchain — without needing to know how to code.

Convinced of the benefits yet?

Coming up, we will have a series, explaining in more detail, how to set up and keep your wallet safe, and whilst trying to keep things simple, we will explain the basics of using the blockchain. Hopefully, you’ll understand and fall in love with a technology that provides online freedom like never experienced before. Here’s a taste of the topics will cover.

Beginner topics

  • How to choose the right wallet for you and set it up in the right way. Why is the wallet I choose important?
  • What is Web3 or Dapps
  • What is gas and how do transaction fees work?
  • How do load crypto like Ether onto my wallet?
  • What are NFT’s? (Non Fungible Tokens)
  • Why do I need Mintable for my NFTs? Whats the point of it?
  • Whats batch minting and why would I need it?

In the meantime while we write the next topics — you can check out more information here:

Getting started with the Ethereum blockchain — ethhub.io

Use the App!

App — https://mintable.app

Discord — https://discord.gg/fUEmc8d

Twitter — https://twitter.com/MintableApp

Events — We will be at many events in the next coming weeks in Asia. If you are going to any of the asian blockchain conferences, please reach out to us and lets meet up!