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How to Buy NFTs – Money

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Everyone by now has heard of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). However, the process of buying an NFT is not so clear cut. From Beeple and Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs making millions to Opensea’s $1.7 million and Axie Infinity’s $620 million hacker heists, the extreme highs and lows of this high-risk market have been known to scare off even experienced investors.
Read on to learn how to buy NFTs and everything you need to know to safely navigate some of the murkier waters out there.

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1. Open an exchange account and crypto wallet

Open a crypto exchange account

The first step in buying NFTs is to open an account on a crypto platform or crypto exchange. To do this, it’s important to first understand the difference between cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets and marketplaces, as there is often confusion between these terms.
Exchanges
Exchanges are online platforms that serve as brokerages where you can buy and sell various types of cryptocurrencies. To buy NFTs, you must create an account with the platform of your choice. Different companies offer different services, so you’ll want to find out how they work in regards to public and private keys, cryptocurrency wallets, trading fees, on- and off-chain services and customer support.

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Open a crypto wallet

  • Store your public and private keys
  • Safeguard your digital assets, including crypto coins and tokens, such as NFTs
  • Provide independent access to your funds and crypto assets via a seed phrase
  • You are fully responsible for safekeeping the seed phrase (phrase, recovery phrase)
  • The phrase and keys are two separate things

Despite the name, crypto wallets don’t actually store your coins and tokens. What they actually store are the keys that grant access to your digital assets.You’ll be given a unique seed phrase (sometimes simply referred to as a phrase or recovery phrase) to access your wallet. It’s important to safeguard your seed phrase since, much like a physical wallet, if you lose it, you lose everything in it.
Wallets can be hosted on an exchange or may operate independently, meaning you retain full control over and responsibility for your wallet and private keys. When you use a digital wallet hosted by an exchange, the exchange acts like a third-party, or intermediary in the transfer of crypto, much like a bank would. The company holds your private keys and is responsible for the security of your assets.
If, on the other hand, you want to buy, sell and trade NFTs without third-party involvement, you need a wallet that’s tied directly to the blockchain. This way, currency can be transferred directly between people using the public key.
There are two types of wallets available:
René Süss, CoFounder of the Hint of Mint marketplace recommends buying a cold wallet, “You should consider a hardware ledger to keep your crypto. You should buy them directly from the company that makes them.”
You should also be sure the crypto wallet you select is compatible with the Ethereum blockchain, the network that most NFTs are sold on, and Ether (ETH, Etherium), the cryptocurrency that is native to Ethereum blockchain. MetaMask wallet is the most widely used wallet across most marketplaces, but there are other options as well.
The majority of NFTs are built on the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is a type of network where transactions are recorded and distributed to members on a shared ledger.
The currency native to the Ethereum platform is called Ether or ETH, though you will also hear it referred to as Ethereum as well. As a cryptocurrency, Ethereum is similar to Bitcoin in that it can be bought, sold, traded or saved to increase its value.
Coins vs. tokens
The difference between the terms coin and token might be difficult to understand at first. Crypto coins belong to their own blockchain, are exchangeable, and are a store of value, meaning they retain their value and do not depreciate. In this regard, crypto coins function much like physical coins.
Tokens, unlike cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, are not native to a blockchain. Rather, they rely on smart contracts, programs stored inside blockchain that enable and verify transactions. Tokens work much like arcade tokens or carnival tickets do – they have value and can be traded for assets (like prizes or food). However, you couldn’t immediately buy gas for your car with your carnival tickets.
Most well-known and trusted marketplaces showcase NFTs that are built on Ethereum’s blockchain, so it’s important to make sure that the exchange and wallet you choose are compatible and work with Ethereum. However, the major issues with Ethereum are the high gas fees associated with it and slow transaction speeds due to network usage.
Having said that, Ethereum-based NFTs are not your only option. For example, the Polygon platform was built on top of the Ethereum blockchain aiming to provide more scalability and lower fees. Other Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchains that support NFTs, like Solana, Flow, Tezos and Cardano are also edging in on Etherium’s lead. However, Ethereum is still considered the forerunner of NFT platforms and the token most widely used to buy NFTs.

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3. Transfer Ethereum into a crypto wallet

Once you’ve chosen an exchange and bought ETH, the next step is to transfer it to a wallet. How you do this will be determined by the exchange where you buy ETH, the wallet you use, and the marketplace you’ll buy your NFT from.
For example, if you bought a cold storage wallet, since it’s a piece of hardware, you’ll also need to link your cold wallet to a third-party connection to the NFT marketplace such as MetaMask or Coinbase Wallet. These are the most widely used wallets in NFT marketplaces.
NFTs began in the digital art world, but you can buy many different types of NFTs nowadays, including:
Although the NFT marketplace landscape is constantly changing, most will fall into one of the following three categories:
You should consider creating accounts and subscribing to a variety of marketplaces in order to receive announcements about NFT drops. Social media is an important communication tool, and much information is shared on various platforms such as Discord and Twitter, or for investors, Rarity Sniper and Rarity Tools. When coveted NFTs drop, you must be ready to act quickly.
Once an account is created on the marketplace, you should connect your wallet to the marketplace selling the NFT. This process usually functions the same way across sites. Some marketplaces also have a way of setting up a new wallet from within the website, or they use their own proprietary wallet. Using a marketplace’s proprietary wallet might come with discounts and/or a reduction of additional gas fees incurred through the use of external wallets.
All websites will offer step-by-step guides. Be sure to read these guides, usually located in their own tab or in the FAQ section.
OpenSea is currently the largest and one of the most versatile NFT marketplaces out there. It offers a wide range of NFTs in a number of areas – art, music, sports, games, fashion and collectibles. Opensea’s numerous learning resources make it accessible and easy to use.
NBA Top Shot is an NFT marketplace that offers digital NFT collections of momentous NBA video highlights from games and individual players. One draw to NBA Top Shot is its large community of followers. Numerous contests and challenges give a social aspect to this marketplace. They offer numerous guides and support, making the marketplace easy to use.
Nifty Gateway distinguishes itself as a marketplace of heavily curated, exclusive collections from well-known multi- and mixed-media, fine art, video and animation artists. They offer a wide variety of NFT drops, drawing buyers whose aim is to collect or trade art with long-term value.
SuperRare focuses on single edition, unique artwork, rather than a broad range of NFT genres. SuperRare is very similar to a traditional art auction house, and works with well-known artists and high-priced artwork. SuperRare also has an active secondary marketplace. Their Help Center offers guides for navigating the marketplace, though this section is not as complete as those of other marketplaces.
Like their namesake, Mintable focuses on making the process of minting more affordable and offers two options, gasless and traditional minting. This function might appeal more to creators who often bear the brunt of minting costs.
Foundation is a community-led marketplace. This means you must receive an invitation to become a member; you can, in turn, invite others. In this sense, Foundation is not as accessible as other marketplaces, though they do offer quality digital art and video NFTs from well-known and unknown artists.
Rarible is similar to Opensea, but on a smaller scale. A large variety of NFTs across multiple genres are available to buy, sell and trade. They work with more than just the Ethereum network, making this marketplace accessible and relatively easy to use. There is also a community aspect to this marketplace. Rarible aims to become a full-fledged Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). It has launched its own governance token ($RARI) which allows holders to voice their ideas for future development and projects.
Well-known NFTs sell very quickly, so you will want to be sure that your wallet is connected and funded before the NFTs drop. It’s important to remember that buying an NFT doesn’t mean you have bought the copyright unless that is part of the direct agreement between the buyer and creator. Each marketplace might have different restrictions on the NFT you purchased.
Before you buy NFTs, it’s important to spend some time getting acquainted with how to keep your information — and cryptocurrency — safe. Süss stresses the importance of learning about security first and foremost. “You have to be safe in this space. This is the number one rule for everybody. Just like when you first start driving, you go to a driving school to learn the rules and be safe, you should also research what security measures you have to take before you even set up a wallet and buy something. There will always be scams out there.” Süss also recommends using two-factor authentication and doing a transaction with a small amount of money to make sure everything is working as it should.
Some common scams in this field have included:
Phishing scams – Fake links and pop-ups advertising such things as new NFT projects and drops on social media platforms.
Catfishing – Fake marketplace websites, social media accounts, and celebrity impersonators advertising NFT drops and collections.
Pump-and-dump schemes – Hype is built around an NFT or NFT collection so it sells at a high price, but then top-tier investors quickly cash out, leaving the bottom-tier investors with worthless assets.
Counterfeit NFTs – Some people might sell other people’s work as their own original work.
Most experts recommend sticking to some essential cybersecurity practices, such as strong passwords and two-factor authentication. Additionally, while storing your crypto on exchanges is convenient, they recommend that you store it in a cold wallet, a hardware device where keys and assets are stored offline.

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What are NFTs used for

There are a number of different reasons why you might want to buy NFTs, as they serve multiple purposes. Here are a few:
According to Mike Jelinek, an NFT investor, NFTs have a high potential for reward and risk. He adds that “there are buys you look at speculatively, that you want to flip, and ones that you want to hold onto. Understanding your budget and what you’re willing to lose is key.” He also recommends setting “short-term, medium-term and long-term goals for your investments.”
The NFT market is still relatively young and highly speculative. This means that we don’t have the full picture to determine an NFT’s long-term value yet. We recommend you take some time and truly reflect on your budget, your situation and your personal goals, asking yourself what you want to get out of the NFT space.
What type of NFT do you want?
Jelinek points to utility NFTs as a key point of focus. “In some cases, you are buying a picture, but most of the NFTs, the best ones, have utility built into them. You are buying into a community or business ecosystem that has community, social aspects, games and events. There are also NFT projects that have different mechanisms of earning and passive income.”
Make money as a creator: Creators can turn their artwork into NFTs through the process of minting. You must first mint your art in order for it to be sold in a marketplace. Depending on the marketplace blockchain used, this process can be extremely expensive. Many marketplaces are one-stop-shops and provide a minting option for creators in exchange for a commission. This rate varies drastically. Artists can also receive royalties for each secondary sale. Higher-end marketplaces are exclusive and require artist applications or invitations.
Make money as an investor: Some people use NFTs for trading and investing, and NFTs can also be a source for passive income. Using NFTs in this manner requires a substantial effort to learn about the cryptocurrency industry and NFT market. You are also encouraged to be very careful to avoid scams which are prevalent.
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Cardano (ADA) and Dogecoin (DOGE) Volatility Leads Investors To Buy Flasko (FLSK) | Bitcoinist.com – Bitcoinist

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Some cryptocurrencies are stable, but they are not capable of delivering the returns that investors are looking forward to having. Cardano (ADA) and Dogecoin (DOGE) are great examples of cryptocurrencies. Due to the same reason, investors are now looking for alternative cryptocurrencies like Flasko.
Dogecoin (DOGE) Is Hanging On
There is no demand at all for meme coins as of now. However, the best meme coin, Dogecoin (DOGE), is still hanging on.
Dogecoin (DOGE) completed a $44 billion acquisition last month. And Twitter is looking forward to working closely with Dogecoin (DOGE) as well. Hence, Dogecoin (DOGE) will be able to stay while other leading cryptocurrencies struggle.
Cardano (ADA) Might Bounce Back
Another major cryptocurrency that investors are mindful of is Cardano (ADA). Cardano (ADA) recently went through a massive update that helped investors to keep better hopes for the future of cryptocurrency.
Cardano (ADA) is gaining value along with the increasing popularity of Metaverse. At the end of the current bear market, Cardano (ADA) is expected to become one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrencies to be made available out there.
Flasko (FLSK) Is Doing Well
Despite the bear market, Flasko is doing good as a new project because of its unique and innovative concept. Flasko enables people to purchase luxurious and rare wines, champagne, and whiskey. The purchases are made digitally in the form of NFTs. However, there will be a physical allocation of the bottles, which users can get when they purchase the full NFT.
The phase 2 presale of Flasko project recently started at $0.085. This value is further expected to increase exponentially in early 2023.
Website: https://flasko.io
Presale: https://presale.flasko.io
Telegram: https://t.me/flaskoio
Twitter: https://twitter.com/flasko_io
 
Disclaimer: This is a paid release. The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the content provider and do not necessarily represent those of Bitcoinist. Bitcoinist does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of information available in such content. Do your research and invest at your own risk.
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Here's Why This Rare Bored Ape NFT Just Sold For $933,792 In ETH – Ethereum (ETH/USD) – Benzinga

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The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is an exclusive community for holders of the ape and mutant themed NFT collections on Ethereum's blockchain. Commonly referred to as the Bored Apes, only 10,000 generative art pieces will ever be in existence.
What happened: Bored Ape #1268 just sold for 780.00 ETH ETH/USD ($933,792 USD). The value of Bored Apes is typically determined by the Ape's attributes, with the laser eyes, crown, and golden fur traits being the most coveted.
Here are a list of its attributes and how many others have the same trait:
Why it Matters: Bored Apes are the ultimate store of culture for NFT collectors. The NFT collection has gained huge influence in 2021, with an ever growing list of top tier celebrities making apes their profile pictures on Twitter. With the recent explosion in popularity surrounding the Metaverse, rare blockchain-based avatars are all the rage for those looking to flex online.
Being a member of the Bored Ape Yacht Club is not just about flexing online. Yuga Labs, the creators of the Bored Apes throw exclusive parties often with free private performances from members of the club such as Lil Baby. Other notable celebrities in the club include Post Malone, Stephen Curry, Dez Bryant, and Jimmy Kimmel.
Yuga Labs also created another NFT collection known as the Mutant Apes, which also provides membership to the elusive club. There are a total of 20,000 Mutant Apes, and the price floor is historically lower than the Bored Apes.

See Also: NFT Release Calendar and Best NFT Projects of 2021
Data provided by OpenSea.
Checkout the full Bored Ape Yacht Club collection
You can learn more about this NFT here.
This article was generated by Benzinga's automated content engine and reviewed by an editor.
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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How to buy NFTs: Trojans' venture Moonlight aims to make it easier – USC News

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Blake Asherian realizes that most people don’t have a spare $60,000 just lying around — which is about what you’d need to buy an NFT (non-fungible token) of any real value. He also understands that at a broader level, most people don’t even know what an NFT is or how to buy one.
That’s why Asherian and three other Trojans — Gabriel Perez, Matthew Hausman and Can Toraman — have started Moonlight, a fractionalized NFT marketplace that allows users to buy, own and sell fractions of an NFT in a simple and user-friendly way.
Moonlight — Blake Asherian, CEO and founder; Matthew Hausman, frontend architect; Can Toraman, technical advisor; and Gabriel Perez, product and community (clockwise from top left) — allows users to buy, own and sell fractions of an NFT in a simple and user-friendly way. (Photos/Courtesy of Blake Asherian, Matthew Hausman, Can Toraman and Gabriel Perez)
Despite gaining significant traction within the last year, NFTs are still in their infancy, and there are financial risks involved given their uncertainty and high price tags. Moonlight hopes to remedy that, or at least help bridge the gap between most people and this emerging space.
“If the average personal income is 63K, and the average cost of a blue-chip NFT is 51K, that’s a big problem,” said Asherian, a business administration undergraduate in the USC Marshall School of Business.
“Part of the reason why people are not as prone to getting into NFTs is because there’s such a high barrier in terms of knowledge, and technology,” Asherian added. “We’re breaking down that barrier.”
The concept of Moonlight is simple: A group of people will choose an NFT they want to crowdfund, and once the funding goal is reached, each crowdfunder becomes a co-owner. From there, co-owners can buy and sell their fractions on Moonlight’s platform.
Though the platform might be simple — or at the least the goal is to make it as simple as possible for people — the concept of an NFT isn’t widely understood and can seem a little daunting.
Essentially, an NFT is a unique piece of digital art that is certified using blockchain, an immutable record of ownership. The non-fungible part means that no two items are alike or equal. NFTs function similarly to how people collect and sell art or trading cards. Some items are worth next to nothing, while others fetch millions of dollars.
Moonlight’s goal is for people to have the opportunity to own fractions of NFTs of real value, which is why the company focuses on “blue chip” — or most valuable — NFTs, like Bored Ape or CryptoPunks, which have the potential to provide long-term returns and can easily go for six figures.
But why would a digital image of an ape or a pixelated person be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars?
Well, why would someone pay over $7 million for a baseball card? Or thousands for any of the “contemporary art” listed on Sotheby’s?
All are fair questions, and the answers could vary depending on the person or item. The common factor is that collectors feel that these are assets that will increase in value. NFTs are just the newest version.
I would always argue with people: What is the difference between your trading card and an NFT? They took a picture of a guy and then put it on a piece of paper, and it has value somehow.
Matthew Hausman, Moonlight frontend architect
“I would always argue with people: What is the difference between your trading card and an NFT?” said Hausman, Moonlight frontend architect and 2021 USC Viterbi School of Engineering graduate.
“They took a picture of a guy and then put it on a piece of paper, and it has value somehow.”
For those who only read certain media accounts, it may seem like NFTs and the cryptocurrency used to buy them are a losing venture, and they might be for some. However, the creators of Moonlight were quick to point out that there are a lot of financial risks out there, and their platform’s crowdfunding feature can help eliminate some of those potential dangers.
With Moonlight, crowdfunding is key. Users select an NFT and then have a certain number of days to raise the funds. If the money is raised in time, the NFT is moved to the Moonlight platform where people can buy and sell shares. If the funds are not raised in time, then everyone who contributed gets their money back.
“No other protocol allows you to literally raise funds to buy cool stuff together,” Asherian said. “The secret sauce here is having a technology that can allow any number of people to put their money into something and as a group get anything they want.”
The next concept, fractionalization, is not necessarily new, but how Moonlight allows users to fractionalize is in direct response to a large issue within the NFT community. Right now, someone who owns an NFT can fractionalize it and sell those fractions at whatever price they see fit, regardless of the actual market value. People who are knowledgeable about and can afford a six-figure blue-chip NFT don’t have a need for fractionalization. So, the practice can take advantage of those who are new to the space — a problem that Moonlight wants to correct.
“For a bunch of people who are just entering the space of NFTs, how can they trust that that valuation is true?” Asherian said. “They don’t know enough about the protocols or the NFT collections. They’re kind of swayed in an untrue direction and it’s unfair to them.”
Asherian and his team at Moonlight emphasize that their platform is truly for everyone. NFTs — and even the cryptocurrency used to purchase them — might seem daunting for those who aren’t already in that world, but their hope is to take away some of that hesitance.
“At the end of the day, if you look at who’s into NFTs, it’s that 1%, right?” Asherian said. “We want to tap into the 99%, so we have to create a product that’s comprehensive for that group, which not too long ago included myself.”
The initial concept for Moonlight came to Asherian in late 2021, but his interest in NFTs started around two years ago when he was working for his cousin, Sean Rad, the founder and former CEO of the dating app Tinder. Rad — at one time at USC student — had invested in Genies, an avatar technology company, and Genies co-founder Akash Nigam started talking to Asherian about the company’s venture into NFTs. Though Asherian knew nothing about NFTs or blockchain, the concepts piqued his interest.
Soon after, he left his jobs to buy and sell NFTs full time. He admits that there were some definite growing pains early on because of the high barrier to entry, but those missteps put him in a position to succeed down the road.
He started drafting up the concept for Moonlight while studying abroad in Paris last year. He connected with fellow Trojans abroad which led to even more connections when he returned stateside. Asherian credits USC with introducing him to Perez, Hausman and Toraman, and making Moonlight what it is today.
Ever since I was a freshman, I’ve always heard that term ‘Trojan Family,’ but then I was really able to witness what it can do.
Blake Asherian, Moonlight CEO and founder
“I really believe in the Trojan Family and what it offers,” Asherian said. “Ever since I was a freshman, I’ve always heard that term ‘Trojan Family,’ but then I was really able to witness what it can do.”
A transfer student from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Perez said his interest in NFTs has been a gradual progression since he was in high school. He started by selling stocks with his friends, and then in college he found a new interest in cryptocurrency.
“I kind of fell in love with the philosophy behind Bitcoin, which is a very anti-centralization of money, anti-central banks, power-back-to-the-people sort of thing,” said Perez, a junior economics major in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
“Then I learned about Ethereum, which was the first time I realized this has a huge potential to be the currency of the internet in the future.”
Ultimately, Perez, product and community lead at Moonlight, felt that if he wanted to further his career in the crypto world, he’d have to move somewhere where he felt it was more popular and valued. He found just such an innovative environment at USC, where USC Viterbi even offers a blockchain minor.
He came to USC before the fall 2021 semester and joined Blockchain@USC — a student-run organization that engages with blockchain-related topics, develops blockchain applications, and connects with industry professionals — as the director of external relations.
We started talking about fractionalizing NFTs and the ability for smaller capital players to be able to dive into these collections, and I was hooked from there.
Gabriel Perez, Moonlight, product and community
At USC, both within his field of study and social groups, Perez surrounded himself with other like-minded people that shared his passion, which is when he first heard about NFTs and eventually met Asherian.
“We started talking about fractionalizing NFTs and the ability for smaller capital players to be able to dive into these collections, and I was hooked from there,” Perez said.
By the end of the spring 2022 semester, Perez and Asherian had formed the Moonlight team formed and started the work to launch their idea.
The Moonlight crew is aware of some of the sustainability concerns with NFTs, primarily the proof-of-work blockchain system that is used by most cryptocurrencies so that transactions can be processed peer-to-peer in a secure manner without the need for a third party. Proof-of-work consumes a significant amount of energy. Rooms full of computers are needed to run complex mathematical equations, and coolers are needed to make sure those computers don’t overheat. By one estimate, mining 1 Bitcoin consumes as much electricity as a standard American home would use in nine years.
Most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain, which currently uses proof-of-work. However, next month the Ethereum “Merge” will shift its blockchain to proof-of-stake, which uses 99.95% less energy by reducing the amount of computational work needed to verify the blocks and transactions that keep the blockchain secure.
“Fingers crossed that ‘Merge’ goes well because it’s a very anticipated catalyst in the crypto world,” Perez said. “If it does go correctly, NFTs are probably not going to have much of an environmental footprint at all, compared to something like a few office buildings downtown.”
But before they get to the point of using more sustainable blockchain, Asherian said they must establish their footing. Moonlight is projected to go live later this fall, and Asherian said once they’ve developed their community and built trust, they can influence people to move towards more sustainable methods.
“When you’re a huge marketplace that everyone starts suspecting has authority within the NFT space, then you’re able to sort of tell them what to do next,” Asherian said. “We really want to be able to gain that authority, and the way to do so is by being transparent, simple and fun.”
Trust and NFTs — or crypto, for that matter — might not go hand-in-hand just yet for much of the general population, but that’s exactly what Moonlight is hoping to fix. They see NFTs as an opportunity not just for those “in the know,” but for everyone.
“We believe there is power in numbers,” Asherian said. “At the end of the day, we want to give power to the people so they can own anything they want, together.”
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