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Starting with NFTs: How does the Ethereum blockchain work and what is Etherscan?

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Many people don't know what NFTs are. NFT stands for "Non-Fungible Token", which is a unique digital asset (can be a photo, video or audio), that is based on the blockchain. Why on the blockchain? Because on the blockchain the ownership of this digital asset is always traceable and transparent for everybody.


When I explain NFTs to my son I would more or less say: "It's like a special kind of digital sticker that you can own. Imagine you have a unique sticker on your computer that no one else has, and you can prove it's yours. People buy and sell these special stickers, and sometimes they can be worth a lot of money. That's what an NFT is!"


The blockchain acts like a big, public notebook that keeps track of who owns what. When someone buys or sells an NFT, the blockchain records it, so everyone knows who the current owner is. This way, the owner of the NFT can prove that it's really theirs, and no one else can claim it.


Most of the really valuable NFTs currently reside on the Ethereum blockchain, but there are many other blockchains like Tezos, Solana, Base or Zora. However, let's focus on the most famous one among artists and web3 enthusiasts: Ethereum. If you want to take a closer look at the Ethereum blockchain you can go to https://etherscan.io/ - this is the extensive and transparent database, where all on-chain-transactions are being recorded.


Screenshot of my digital wallet wermke.eth from etherscan.io


You can type in any digital wallet that you want. If you want to see what Pranksy is collecting, one of the biggest NFT investors, search for pranksy.eth. If your interested in the portfolio of German soccer player Mario Götze, check out mariogotze.eth. If you want to see my wallet (screenshot above) go to wermke.eth.



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