Blockchain

LEARN THE BASICS

BLOCKCHAIN

Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. An asset can be tangible (a house, car, cash, land) or intangible (intellectual property, patents, copyrights, branding). Virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded on a blockchain network, reducing risk and cutting costs for all involved.

Blockchain for business uses a shared and immutable ledger that can only be accessed by members with permission. Network members control what information each organization or member may see, and what actions each can take. Blockchain is sometimes called a “trustless” network — not because business partners don’t trust each other, but because they don’t have to.

This trust is built on blockchain’s enhanced security, greater transparency, and instant traceability. Beyond matters of trust, blockchain delivers even more business benefits, including the cost savings from increased speed, efficiency, and automation. By greatly reducing paperwork and errors, blockchain significantly reduces overhead and transaction costs, and reduces or eliminates the need for third parties or middlemen to verify transactions.

Crypto wallets keep your private keys – the passwords that give you access to your cryptocurrencies – safe and accessible, allowing you to send and receive cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and $DEFIT.

A decentralized exchange (or DEX) is a peer-to-peer marketplace where transactions occur directly between crypto traders. DEXs fulfill one of crypto’s core possibilities: fostering financial transactions that aren’t officiated by banks, brokers, or any other intermediary. Many popular DEXs, like Uniswap and Sushiwap, run on the Ethereum blockchain.

Uniswap is the largest decentralized exchange (or DEX) operating on the Ethereum blockchain. It allows users anywhere in the world to trade crypto without an intermediary. UNI, the governance token that allows users to vote on key protocol changes, is the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market cap on Coinbase as of April 2021 — with a total value of more than $18 billion.

Markets experiencing sustained and/or substantial growth are called bull markets. Markets experiencing sustained and/or substantial declines are called bear markets. Each presents its own set of opportunities and pitfalls

USD Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin that runs on the Ethereum blockchain and can be exchanged at a one-to-one ratio with the U.S. dollar. Its goal is to make transactions faster and cheaper than traditional payments while reducing the volatility typically associated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Volatility is a measure of how much the price of an asset has moved up or down over time. Generally, the more volatile an asset is, the riskier it’s considered to be as an investment — and the more potential it has to offer either higher returns or higher losses over shorter periods of time than comparatively less volatile assets.

Technically, “token” is just another word for “cryptocurrency” or “cryptoasset.” But increasingly it has taken on a couple of more specific meanings depending on context. The first is to describe all cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin and Ethereum (even though they are technically also tokens). The second is to describe certain digital assets that run on top of another cryptocurrencies’ blockchain, as many decentralized finance (or DeFi) tokens do. Tokens have a huge range of potential functions, from helping make decentralized exchanges possible to selling rare items in video games. But they can all be traded or held like any other cryptocurrency.

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