Honey, I minted an NFT!
Chapter 4: The Distributed Ledger System
Recap: Amy introduced Beeple’s NFT to Zack.
It was 8 a.m. on a Sunday and Amy was still pretty drowsy. She is not a morning person.
“Hi, Jess! Meet Zack, my husband.” Amy greeted Jessica over the monitor when Jessica came online. They set up a conference call. Amy, Zack and Jessica.
“Hi, Jessica! Nice meeting you. Sorry to bother you so late. I hope it is not past your bedtime,” said Zack. “Thank you for answering our request to jump into this call.” Jessica is 15 hours ahead of Zack’s time zone.
“Hi, Zack! It’s ok. So nice to finally meet you. Amy has been talking so much about you, I feel like you are my pen pal too. I am a night owl. This is still pretty early for me. So no worry.” said Jessica.
“I told you,” said Amy, “It is perfect timing for her, but bad timing for me. I am doing this for you.” Amy was making a face at Zack. Zack responded with a face too.
“You guys are so cute. But are you getting me into this call just to make me jealous looking at you both?” Jessica said jokingly.
Amy chuckled and said, “Of course not. I told him about the NFT I minted on Friday and he asked me tons of questions that I couldn’t answer, and have been bothering me the whole day when we were out for a picnic at Golden Gate Park. So, I figured I better call you for help. SOS!” Amy waved her hands profusely as if she had been stranded on an island and finally saw a ship approaching her. Never a dull moment with Amy.
Jessica laughed, “You’re so funny, Amy. Alright, Zack, what questions you have, bring them on. Jessica is at your service. Although I am not exactly an expert myself.”
“I’m sure you know way more than us. Alright, here comes the first question, what is an NFT actually? I got the impression that it is digital art, but Amy said it is some sort of certificate. Is it a certificate, digital art or both?” Said Zack.
“Yes and no! NFT, stands for non-fungible token. So, It can be a digital certificate for literally anything. Amy is correct that NFT is a certificate, but not only for digital art. It can be used for any form of art. It can also represent a car, a Pokemon card, property or any collectible. As long as it is something unique and one of a kind, it can be represented as an NFT so that it can be recorded and tracked on the blockchain.”
“Blockchain,” Zack chuckled. “I know what a block is and I also know what a chain is, but a blockchain, I have no clue at all. I am such a noob.”
“Don’t beat yourself up. You are not alone. The fact that you heard of blockchain, you have already put yourself in the top 20% of the world population. Try asking ten friends around you, I bet not more than two of them have heard of blockchain,” said Jessica. “Amy told me that you are working in an audit firm, so accounting and finance are something that you know like the back of your hand, right?”
“I have to, that’s what pays the bills, and puts food on the table,” replied Zack with a smile.
“So, usually, the accounting books are only available for people from the accounting department, auditors, and board of directors. That information is not available to anybody else. Most people only see the summary reports, like the balance sheet and the P&L. Well, as an auditor, you should know there could be some manipulations here. Contrary to the traditional accounting practice, blockchain lets everyone check on every single transaction made, and all the transactions are audited right away even before they are added to the book.” Jessica explained.
“So, blockchain is a ledger system made public to all?” Zack was seeking confirmation.
“Indeed, that’s why blockchain is also called a distributed ledger technology. It is basically ledgers, linked together just like the monthly ledger in the accounting system. While the connection between this month’s ledger and the next month’s ledger is the closing balance and opening balance, the ledgers in blockchain, which by the way are referred to as ‘blocks’, are linked up using ‘hashes’ that are generated using some secret codes together with the information collected in respective block. Just like the closing balance has everything to do with the transactions recorded in the respective month’s ledger.” Jessica explained.
“Right, the hash! I did some homework before meeting you so that I will not sound like an idiot. And I was trying to figure out what the heck a ‘hash’ was by reading up some articles Mr Google recommended to me. And I swear to you, they all sound gibberish to me. Now that you have explained it to me, I finally got it. Thank you so much! You literally saved me from going insane!” Zack exclaimed.
“Hey, Jessica, I am really curious and want to know more about the NFTs. And why are people willing to pay so much for a certificate? But I got to run. I have an appointment in 30 minutes’ time. I wish I could spend more time asking more questions. I will leave you and Amy to continue the catch-up. We will talk soon. And from the bottom of my heart,” Zack put his right hand on his left chest, “thank you very much. Talking to you for 10 minutes is way better than me reading half the day.”
“Don’t mention it,” Jessica said, “It is a perfect excuse for me to finally meet you.” She chuckled.
“Right! Amy talked about you so much but never introduce us to each other.” Zack grinned at Amy who has been sitting next to him, with her head on the dining table where they sit the laptop.
“So it is my fault?” Amy stared right into Zack’s eyes.
“Of course, it is your fault. It is always easier to blame someone else.” Zack replied jokingly. “Alright, ciao. I will see you later today.” Zack gave Amy a peck and then turned to the monitor and said, “See you again soon, Jessica. Oh, and Merry Christmas!”
Zack, already gotten dressed before the call, grabbed his cell phone and wallet and walked out of the door. He is particular about being on time.
“Hey, Jess, I think I need to go back to bed. We’ll catch up another time, alright?” said Amy, with her eyes closed.
“Sure. I am finishing up here soon and getting ready for bed myself too. I will talk to you soon. Bye!” Jessica waved her hand.
“Bye!” Amy waived. Shut her laptop, walked a few steps to the sofa and knocked it off.
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