They’re a hot topic.
The NFT craze has exploded into popular culture, and with it comes conversations around blockchains. The conversations about what they are, how they work, and what their potential holds for our future.
The “how they work” part is only dimly understood by a non-technical person like myself. And that’s okay, as I don’t really need to know how every aspect of the piping works. I don’t need to know how to code in Solidity or write a smart contract. I just need it to work.
But the story of blockchains is still a very young one. As such, it seems my understanding does have to extend deeper into the plumbing than say the World Wide Web. I have no idea for instance what the “http” protocol is, and I don’t need to know. I type a website URL in, and it takes me there. It just works.
In blockchain land however, things don’t work as well just yet. They’re clunky, slow, and still have a long way to go.
One of the key points of clunkiness for many of us is this thing called “gas”.
You go to Opensea to buy an NFT. You find something you love that is within your budget, click buy, and boom! You get hit with this transaction fee called gas that’s just obnoxiously expensive.
In a lot of ways, the Ethereum blockchain does work. There are lots of applications being built on it today that are fun to use and have many people using them (which adds to the fun). Where it gets real clunky is at the point of transaction. They simply cost too much and take too long.