If you're watching this video you
most likely heard about this thing called an NFT. After Beeple, a famous
digital artist sold one of his images for a whopping 69 million us dollars,
the hype is all over the place. I had no idea what an NFT is, nor did I know how
to create one. So I set out to a little challenge. I find out as much as I can about NFTs,
Smart-Contracts, Ethereum, and Decentralized Apps.
And program my own NFT crypto collectible
in only three days and release it to OpenSea. This is day one! I know that a lot of NFTs run
on the Ethereum Blockchain. But I have no Idea, what running
on the blockchain actually means. So first things first: I have to find out,
what Ethereum actually is and how it works. Ethereum is the second-largest
cryptocurrency by market capitalization after Bitcoin and it is a blockchain-based
software platform. You can send and receive Ethereum globally without any
third-party actually doing the transfer. But there is more to Ethereum than there is to
other blockchains like the Bitcoin Blockchain: Etherum is able to run programs,
so-called smart contracts. These little programs are not run on one
specific server, but inside of the blockchain. So while Ethereum is built upon the same
technology Bitcoin is built on, a Blockchain, the idea behind Ethereum is to decentralize
other kinds of applications and services, from social media networks to
more complex financial agreements.
So we have this big network of computers at our
disposal that we can use to run programs on. But how can I create a program for it? And how can
people access it? In the long run, Ethereum Apps should be everywhere. At least that's the vison.
So instead of talking to one server, apps from the App Store would talk to the Ethereum Blockchain.
But how far into this future are we already? Researching further I learned
about decentralized apps or dApps. dApps use the blockchain as
the storage for their main data. I found dApps for exchanging
different cryptocurrencies and taking out loans.
There are also
whole games or virtual worlds built, which use the Ethereum Blockchain
as their main knowledge base. But your browser can't just
connect to the Ethereum blockchain. To connect to the Ethereum Blockchain
you need something called a wallet. Your Etherum wallet is your access
portal to the Etherum network. It stores your account on the Ethereum blockchain in the
form of a private key. Everyone who has access to that private key has access to your wallet which
means access to all your data and your ether. There are a lot of different wallets out there, but in order to interact with dApps
one wallet is used a lot: MetaMask. MetaMask is a wallet that you can
integrate into your web browser via a plugin or download onto your
phone and use the browser integrated inside the MetaMask app to enable
websites to interact with the blockchain.
This is used by dApps running
inside of your browser to send transactions into the blockchain
or read data from the blockchain. To interact with Ethereum with your own
any other wallet integrated into your browser. So a decentralized app is an app using some kind
of wallet to connect to the Etherum network. In which it has stored some smart
contracts to run transactions, store data, and read data from the blockchain. But there is a problem. Writing data into the
blockchain is not for free. There is something called a gas fee and for all memory-intensive
calculations and for storing data inside the blockchain the initiator of the transaction
needs to pay the fee for the gas that is used. Gas fees raise with the amount of transactions
being processed inside of the network. So you can see here how the gas fees have
risen over the last couple of years.
And because there is a lot going on right now inside
the network gas is really expensive these days. But that's a problem for future Daniel I guess. Next, I need to find out how I can develop
smart contracts. I have no idea how the development environment or a development
cycle looks like for the blockchain. So what I found out is that smart contracts
run on the EVM, the Ethereum Virtual Machine, and are developed in a programming
language called Solidity. Solidity is an object-oriented programming
language for writing smart contracts. Time to learn a new programming
language. How hard can it be? There are different development environments
development environment to build smart contracts. And since I want to develop a web app that
everything would be a good idea. Another puzzle piece is Ganache. Ganache is a
simulated Ethereum blockchain on your computer. Ganache helps to test your smart contracts locally without the need to deploy it to the
Ethereum main net or one of it's test nets.
So the first thing I need to do is to
install "truffle.js": npm install truffle The next thing is to initialize a
new truffle project: truffle init. So I started Visual Studio Code here and let's have a look at the initial
content of an empty truffle project. The first folder you see is the contracts
folder, you see a migrations.sol file which is the first solidity file we see here.
that, we have a migrations folder where we have different migration scripts. As far as
I understand it, the migrations contract and the migration scripts work together in order
to get our smart contracts onto the blockchain. And we have a test folder which we can use
to write unit tests for our smart contracts, which will come in handy later I guess.
then another file that's specific to this truffle project is the truffle-config.js. As
far as I understand it, it's used to connect the project with the local blockchain and maybe
later with other blockchains we want to deploy to. So the next thing we need is to install ganache, our local blockchain to test our smart
contracts. The easiest way to do this is to use homebrew at least if you are
on MacOS: brew install –cask ganache So the first time you start ganache it looks
like this. To be honest I played around with it a little bit before actually recording
this part of the video. I learned that creating a workspace and actually connecting it to
your smart contract project, your truffle project, is a smart way to do because this way you will
keep the accounts on the blockchain static and you don't need to reconnect your MetaMask
to Ganache every time you start Ganache.
So we go "new workspace Ethereum", we give it a
name, "add project", navigate to your truffle.js folder, select the truffle-config.js,
and click "open", "save workspace". Here you go, this is your private Ethereum
blockchain on your machine. You see there are 10 different accounts on your blockchain, each
of these accounts got a balance of 100 Ethereum. So next let's connect Ganache to MetaMask. So I
have the MetaMask Google Chrome plugin installed on my computer. As you can see here I'm connected
to the Ethereum main net. So the first thing we need to do is connect our MetaMask wallet to our
local blockchain. In order to do that we click here, select settings, go down to networks and
click on "add network". We enter a network name, we enter the new rpc url "http://localhost:7545", the chain id is 1337, currency
symbol is ETH, "save". Now my MetaMask wallet is connected to my Ganache
blockchain. So the next thing we want to do is to connect our MetaMask wallet to one of
In the Ganache local blockchain. To do that, we click on the key icon, we copy the
private key, click on the avatar, import account, and paste the private key here, click import,
voila we have an account with 100 ETH. In order to show that this actually works
let's send one Ethereum to the second account on our local blockchain. So we need to copy
the public address, "send", paste 1 ETH, "next", "confirm". And here we go, we
see that the balance of the first account is reduced to 99 ETH and the balance
of the second account is now 101 ETH.
That was day one. I learned a lot about
the whole ETH ecosystem and I set up my development environment. Tomorrow, I will
implement my first ever smart contract. If you want to follow my journey
please, consider subscribing. Thanks to all my patrons for helping running this
channel and I see you in one of my other videos. As always have a lot of fun coders!.