The ABCs of NFTs – A Crypto dictionary

ABCs of NFTs
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If you’re new to the crypto space, you might be feeling a tad overwhelmed by all the new lingo to learn.

Trust us, we get it. The crypto world is evolving at a rapid pace, so even we have to bone up on the new terms every so often. So, to help you get started we’ve compiled an NFT/crypto dictionary so you can chat with your fellow NFT buds without wondering what the heck they’re talking about. 

Let’s get started:

Assets – this is just an industry term for a digital collectible – it could be a model, piece of art, music, a tweet or anything else you can buy as an NFT. Not everyone will call items assets, but it’s useful to know in case it does pop up in conversation.  

2D/3D – You already know what these terms are and might be wondering what they have to do with NFTs and crypto, but basically it describes the kind of item you are buying; 2D would be something like a poster, 3D would be a digital model. Here’s an example of a 2D collectible, and a 3D collectible. 

2DA/3D – This means 2D Animated or 3D Animated. You’ve probably guessed that these are animated versions of 3D models or 2D artwork. Basically, there’s something in the collectible that will move. If it’s a 2D Animated picture, you might find that the background moves, or that snow is falling. For a 3D Animated model (such as our Godzilla models) they will actually move around with cool actions – pretty neat, right! Have a look at an example of a 3DA collectible or 2DA on our marketplace

Bitcoin – The cryptocurrency that started all the hype. This is the most well-known cryptocurrency. The original purpose of Bitcoin was as an alternative payment method which would bypass banks and the regular financial institutions, and there are plenty of retailers who will accept Bitcoin as payment for everyday goods and services. However these days most people are buying the cryptocurrency as a form of investment, due to it’s rising value. 

Blockchain – This is the basis of all cryptocurrencies and NFTs. It was conceived by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 as a decentralised (i.e. not controlled by one person, company, or entity) leger of transactions. In short, it’s a way of keeping track of all transactions that occur within the blockchain, and there are also protocols set up to validate these transactions, so you know that what you’re buying, sending, or receiving is authentic. Now, we can’t deny that blockchain is quite technical, so we won’t go into too much detail here, but if you’re keen to learn more, our partners Binance have a useful intro to the techy stuff. 

Burning – Another cryptocurrency term; burning means permanently deleting or eliminating a specific amount of a cryptocurrency. It’s done for a number of reasons; it can be used as part of the blockchain authentication process (via something called Proof-of-Burning), or it can be used to moderate the value of a cryptocurrency (if there are fewer in circulation, the value goes up). Again, this is quite a technical term, so just one to be aware of unless you’re eager to get into this in a deep way. 

Crypto – This has become the de facto term for anything to do with cryptocurrencies, NFTs, digital collectibles etc. It’s a catch all word, so does get used in a variety of ways, so be careful not to assume that someone is using it in the same way you do. 

Cryptocurrency – You’ve probably heard of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, and maybe even Ripple (and hopefully Terra Virtua Kolect a.k.a TVK, which is our cryptocurrency token). In the pure sense, these are digital currencies (i.e. payment methods) that you can use to buy things on the blockchain. However, again be wary of how people are using the term as it does get thrown about and used incorrectly. 

DeFi – This is shorthand for Decentralised Finance, which is a catch-all term for any kind of financial activity that uses cryptocurrency and blockchain principles. You probably won’t come across this one a lot, but again it’s useful to know, as it’s a growing field and will be popping up more and more in everyday discussions. 

Digital collectibles – Our favourite term! In short, this is a brand new way to celebrate your fandom for your favourite films, TV, bands, sports, everything basically. Instead (or as well as) of collecting physical items that you probably don’t use (or even take out of the packet) you can fill your boots with digital toys, posters and more that you can enjoy and interact with. We’ve got loads of great resources to help explain this one, so check out our blog and intro video for examples and fun ideas. 

Drop – If you’re following us on social media, or part of our Discord or Telegram communities you will probably see us talking about ‘drops’. This is just the term we use for the release of new digital collectibles. So if something is ‘dropping’ at 5pm, it means that’s when you can hop online and buy it. 

Ethereum – This one is actually a bit confusing because Ethereum is talked about as both an exchange platform (i.e. you can trade things using the Ethereum platform, which is what we use at Terra Virtua) and a cryptocurrency. However, the official currency name is Eth, so if you want to buy the cryptocurrency, just bear that in mind. You can find out more about how Ethereum works and what you can do using it here.  

Exchange – Similar to the old school stock exchange, this is a place to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. There are a few around, some more reputable than others, so if you are considering getting into the cryptocurrency game please do your research and don’t just go with any old exchange. 

Farm – This relates to the mining of cryptocurrency. Farms are large scale operations that make mining more efficient. 

Fiat – Not the little car, this type of fiat actually just means money. Technically it means any currency that a government has confirmed as legal tender, and is backed by the government that has issued it. So, yeah, it’s just a fancy term for everyday money, but is a useful way to distinguish between normal currencies and digital ones. 

Gas – Another technical term, that’s a bit complex, but essentially this is the ‘fee’ you have to pay to transact something on the Ethereum blockchain. The price of gas is set by the miners on the blockchain, and can rise and fall depending on supply and demand. This affects you if you are minting (definition below) items for sale or buying items using the Ethereum network or Eth currency. 

Hashmask – A kind of artwork, normally created by multiple artists in collaboration. The special part of hashmasks is that when you buy one, you can actually choose the name yourself, which is unusual for an NFT, so adds additional value to the item. 

HODL – Also written in lowercase as hodl, this is a misspelling of the word HOLD (i.e. keep hold of your cryptocurrencies rather than selling them off), which became a meme and is now a standard term in the cryptoverse. See the origin of the term here

Key – Core to the security of cryptocurrencies and digital trading, your key is sort of like a password, but is auto-generated and links your account to the blockchain. When you register for any kind of crypto-based activity you get two keys: public and private. The public key traces the transaction on the blockchain, the private key is unique to you and secures your account. Top tip: do not lose your private key as it cannot be recovered and without it you can’t access your account. (For more safety tips check out our ‘Dos and Don’ts of Crypto’ blog).  

Metamask – Metamask is a third-party crypto-wallet which Terra Virtua utilizes. You can always link your Metamask account with your Terra Virtua account. There are other wallets, but not everything is co-compatible, so always check the requirements of the wallets, marketplaces, and exchanges you are using. 

Mining – The process of obtaining small bits of cryptocurrencies and adding them to the blockchain. Miners use complicated computer methods to verify and validate transactions, add these to the blockchain and let others on the network know that something has been added. If you’re a miner you can keep hold of these for yourself or sell them on.  

Minted – This is the process of validating information and adding that to the blockchain. This is a core part of NFTs, and what makes them so valuable, because once an item or asset is minted, this is proof that it’s authentic, and keeps track of how many there are. On the Terra Virtua marketplace, for example, on all items you’ll see info on how many were minted and which number you are buying. This allows you to prove that you have an authentic ietm, and one of only a few in existence. Minting is done by computers connected to the blockchain, so it’s not something you’ll probably have to deal with from a technical standpoint, but understanding what minting means, will allow you to feel confident you’re buying genuine products.

NFT – Shorthand for Non-fungible token. What this means is that it cannot be replaced by an identical item. So basically all NFTs are unique. Now, that doesn’t mean that there’s only one piece of artwork etc., but there is only one with that unique blockchain data. Note that a token can be applied to anything, an image, a 3D model, music, anything in the digital realm basically. (Read our ‘What’s an NFT?’ blog for more info).

Noob – Nickname for someone new to the crypto space. If that’s you, welcome, we’re excited to you’re part of this great community!

Rarities – As the term implies this is all about how rare an NFT is. For some NFTs there are thousands available to buy, hence they’re viewed as a low rarity. If, however, there is just one of an NFT minted on the blockchain, then it’s super rare, and therefore more valuable. There’s no common lexicon for different rarities, at Terra Virtua we have a rating system for how rare our assets are, but each platform will have different categories and criteria, so always check before you buy to make sure you’re paying a fair price for a specified rarity. 

Staking – When you ‘stake’ a cryptocurrency, you are adding your crypto to a collaborative wallet, to allow proof-of-staking activities to take place. There’s more on the technical side here, but at a top level, it means temporarily locking your cryptocurrency into that wallet, so you can’t access or spend it. However, it’s a popular use of cryptocurrencies, as typically you’ll gain rewards for being part of the staking community, so it can be quite beneficial depending on the currency. It’s also growing in popularity as proof-of-staking is a more efficient way to authenticate blockchain transactions. You will soon be able to stake your TVK with Terra Virtua via our Prestige Programme, which will give you access to all kinds of cool rewards. Keep an eye on social media for more info on this. 

Tokenomics – Simply the term for the economics of cryptocurrencies. It comes from combining ‘token’ and ‘economics’, clever eh? It’s an interesting area to look into, and well worth exploring if you’d like to learn more about how cryptocurrencies behave, for example what makes prices rise and fall, and why certain tokens are more valuable than others. 

Wallet – You already know what a wallet is in the real world, and it’s basically the same in crypto land. It’s a place to hold your cryptocurrencies. Simple. And when you add a wallet to a store or exchange, you can buy NFTs, and trade cryptocurrencies. Again, there are a lot of wallets out there, so do some research before you settle on the one that’s right for you. 

OK, we realise that’s quite a big ol’ list, and while it’s a lot to get your head around to start with, we promise it’s not as intimidating as it seems. 

The best way to learn is to jump in, so why not head over to our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Discord, or Telegram channels and get in on the discussion. We have an absolutely awesome community of Terra Virtuans on hand to help if you have questions about terms, how NFTs work, and the cryptoworld in general. Most importantly, have fun learning about this exciting new world!

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