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Glossary

Cultural Keepers

Cultural keepers are those who embody their ancestral cultures, such as artisans, performance artists, and oral tradition tellers.

Blockchain

The Blockchain is a digital data record documenting changes of ownership of digital items among different users. This record has the specific characteristic of being shared and unchangeable. The data is grouped into "blocks" connected in chronological order and distributed in a decentralized archive. A specific feature is that the record cannot be modified, only expanded. Once created, blocks can no longer be altered or eliminated but they can be added to each time a transaction takes place. This technology was first introduced in 2008 as a technological structure underpinning the Bitcoin cryptocurrency by an anonymous inventor (or group of inventors) going by the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. The most commonly used blockchains include Ethereum, still one of the most widespread in the art world. The exponential growth of interest in this new technology has triggered strong criticism as to its sustainability, given its high energy consumption. New, greener chains have recently seen the light of day, including Polygon and Algorand whose energy footprint is over 90% less than that of Ethereum and of Bitcoin.

Smart Contract

Smart Contracts are blockchain protocols that facilitate, verify or ensure compliance with the execution of a contract. Smart contracts contain contractual clauses that follow the "if/then" function: i.e. if a given condition predetermined by the parties to the contract occurs, then an agreed action will take place. To ensure that the contract is not altered it is recorded on blockchain technology, thus guaranteeing its integrity and security.

Cryptocurrency

A cryptocurrency is a decentralised digital currency that uses cryptographic techniques to guarantee the security of transactions between users. Unlike traditional currencies, there are no central banks to mediate transactions and the rules with which those transactions take place are written in open-source software that can be publicly verified. Apart from the celebrated Bitcoin and Ethereum, there are currently over 10,000 active cryptocurrencies. In response to their highly volatile market performance, there has recently been a rise in the popularity of what is known as stablecoins, such as USD Coin cryptocurrencies whose value is pegged to the market trend of traditional currencies or Fiats.

Non Fungible Token (NFT)

A Non Fungible Tokens (NFT) is a digital certificate testifying to the characteristics, originality and single ownership of a physical or digital asset, registered in unalterable cryptographic records based on blockchain technology. An item certified with an NFT is original and non-interchangeable: it is not a duplicate or a reproduction. Thus NFTs are tools for tracing the ownership of digital files. Whoever buys one is not buying the copyright to the item but a certificate allowing him or her to prove its ownership. The first artwork ever recorded on a blockchain was Quantum, created in 2014 by the artist Kevin McCoy who chose to record his work as an NFT in order to make the file unique, traceable and exchangeable.

Minting

The act of publishing an NFT certificate on a blockchain is known as minting. Once minted, an NFT acquires specific characteristics such as uniqueness (in the sense of a single edition) or as being part of an edition based on the type of standard chosen for its creation.

Wallet

To create, buy, store, or sell NFTs and cryptocurrencies you need a digital wallet. The wallet must be compatible with the blockchain on which the NFT has been created. The ERC-721 token on the blockchain of Ethereum is the standard one, widely used by the creators of digital artworks in single editions.

Web3

Web3 is the next evolution of the web (from Web1, Web2), based on decentralization, thus being built, operated, and owned by its users. At its core, Web3 uses blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs to give power back to the users in the form of ownership. A 2020 post on Twitter said it best: Web1 was read-only, Web2 is read-write, and Web3 will be read-write-own.

Metaverse

The metaverse is an interactive virtual space shared over the Internet and accessible to users via an avatar. Avatars can move freely in this three-dimensional space, interacting with each other and engaging in activities like in the real world. Physical space and the metaverse can link up through the use of a simple mobile phone or computer, or through more immersive experiences using such devices as virtual reality visors. The word metaverse was first used in a sci-fi novel entitled Snow Crash (1992), in which author Neal Stephenson envisaged the birth of a virtual immersive world populated by avatars. The Second Life (2003) and Minecraft 20091 platforms may be considered the first examples of the metaverse.
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Last modified 1mo ago