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Web3 & NFTs: Learn The Basics

Learn about the basic of NFTs and grow your knowledge in the space.

What is Web3?

Blockchain is still a confusing and loaded term for most people, so it might be a good idea to refer to it as ‘Web 3.’ In simple terms, web3 is rebuilding the internet on blockchains.

Again, you can help explain this in terms of your music. Right now, if you want to upload a track to Spotify, you need Spotify’s permission to upload. Then your music is stored on Spotify’s servers where you have little access to the data. Spotify has complete control over it, monetizes your work and pays you a tiny fee.

This is the ‘web 2’ model where big tech companies have all the power.

With web3, we’re moving to a world where you have more control over your art. Thanks to blockchains, you can retain control over your music and transact with your fans directly, instead of going through a middle-man like big tech companies.

What’s blockchain and how does it work?

A blockchain is basically just a database. It’s a record of ‘who owns what.’ But instead of all the information being stored in one place (like Spotify’s data centre), it is stored on thousands of computers around the world, all at the same time.

Blockchains like Ethereum are completely open to anyone and can’t be controlled by a single person or organization. We think it’s a fairer and more open way to interact with each other.

What are cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Instead of relying on banks, you can send cryptocurrencies directly to anyone in the world, usually within minutes.

What is an NFT?

An NFT is a digital token that proves you own something, such as a song, a gif or a picture of a monkey! You can think of it like a digital collectible.

What else can you do with an NFT?

Some NFTs can be used to unlock real-life experiences. For example, you can reward NFT holders with exclusive access to your gigs. You can send them exclusive content or first-listens of new tracks. You can invite them to a private Discord server or even share royalties with your NFT holders.

Are NFTs bad for the environment?

We believe NFTs are a powerful new way for musicians to connect with their fans, earn a fair income and retain ownership over their work.

However, we are fully aware of the environmental debate around NFTs. All SoundMint NFTs are issued on the Ethereum network which will soon go through an upgrade to a ‘Proof of Stake’ model. This will reduce the environmental impact of Ethereum transactions by 99.95%.

When that takes place, the environmental impact of NFTs will be little or no different to streaming a song on Spotify or uploading to YouTube.

What’s a generative music NFT?

Generative music is a unique way to create music. The artist provides layers or ‘stems’ from their music (drums, bass, synth, vocals etc.) and feeds it into a computer algorithm.

Our SoundMint algorithm turns the stems into hundreds or thousands of unique and surprising tracks.

Think of it like remixing a song in a thousand different ways. If you’re curious about generative music, you can read a full article about it here.

What does NFT stand for?

NFT stands for non-fungible token. Sounds confusing? ‘Non-fungible’ just means something unique or one-of-a-kind.

What is ‘fungible?’ - A dollar is fungible because I can swap a dollar with you and we agree it’s the same.

What is ‘non-fungible?’ - Music is ‘non-fungible’ because every song is unique and has different features. Most things in the world are non-fungible: a house, pokemon cards, sneakers, vinyl.

What does ‘minting’ an NFT mean?

Minting is when the token is first created and recorded on the blockchain. It’s like ‘minting’ a new coin into circulation. When you ‘mint’ a SoundMint NFT, you are the first person to own it, ever.

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