Crypto 101

A lot of folks don’t understand the concept of cryptocurrencies, and that’s okay – John is still on the learning curve of the crypto-craze. There is a gazillion to choose from, but which one might fit your own needs? At the time of this writing, there are more than 1600 cryptocurrencies available, and more will surely emerge as “crypto” becomes more widely accepted.

To do anything with cryptocurrency, you must first obtain what’s called a “crypto wallet” – a concept similar to digital payment services such as PayPal or ApplePay – a secure place to “store” your chosen cryptocurrency. For the purposes of this discussion, Due North Gallery utilizes a digital wallet known as MetaMask (link) in the sale of our unique NFT art. When a buyer purchases a work of art from our curated collection, the crypto funds are deposited and stored in a secure “wallet” accessible only to the artist. By secure, I mean it takes a set of twelve unique passwords to access the cryptocurrency stored there. Without that, even I could not crack the security of the blockchain technology to access my own crypto.

For a more in-depth look at the basics of cryptocurrency, I would suggest the reader start with “Cryptocurrency Investing for Dummies” (link). It gives a very good overview of the moving parts that found quite helpful in the initial stages of his research. Remember – knowledge is power.

After much research, Due North Gallery opted to use Etherium as the cryptocurrency of choice for NFT transactions on the Rarible website that houses our artworks. Launched in 2015, Ethereum builds on Bitcoin’s innovation, with some big differences. While Bitcoin is only a payment network, Ethereum is more like a marketplace of financial services, games, social networks, and other apps that respect your privacy and cannot censor you. There is no central authority like a bank or government that intervenes in a transaction between the sender and recipient. These central banks have the power to surveil, censor, or revert transactions and they can share the sensitive data they collect about you with third parties. They also often dictate which financial services you have access to.

But things are different with crypto. Transactions directly connect sender and recipient without having to deal with any central authority. Nobody else will have access to your funds and nobody can tell you what services you can use. This is possible because of the blockchain technology upon which cryptocurrencies operate. If you’d like to delve into the deep weeds for more information, I suggest you look into Ethereum.

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