Photography by Anton Maksimov

New Tech, New Terms: What You Need To Know

We all know that technology changes quickly, and it seems that as soon as we start keeping up with the latest trends, there’s a dozen new terms to learn. STORY SPARK understands the struggle, and as a small company with a heavy interest in tech, we definitely need to stay up to date. To keep you in the loop with us, we explore some of the newer buzzwords in the tech world you may need to know.

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Metaverse
You’ve probably heard that Facebook has changed its company name to Meta. But did you know that they’ve also created a new virtual world? It’s called the Metaverse, and in the simplest terms, it’s a virtual environment that uses augmented reality and virtual reality to mimic the real world, allowing users to interact with one another digitally, but in a way that still feels real. For example, Fortnite can be considered a metaverse due to its uses as an “online playground.” Think about connecting with someone face-to-face, without ever having to meet in person. It’s social media 2.0, and only time will tell how it will affect how we occupy the real world, and how 2-D social media will keep up.

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Blockchain
Usually, when people want to transfer money, they need to rely on a third party to handle the transaction. Think Zelle, Paypal, Venmo, etc. Blockchain is a technology that challenges that status quo by providing a decentralized, open database of every transaction of anything of value (money, goods, property, etc.). This allows anyone to verify the record of any transaction. Think of it this way — Blockchain is the technology that allows cryptocurrency to be traded without the need for a bank.

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Cryptocurrency
This is probably a term you’ve heard floating around for a few years now. Simply put, cryptocurrency is digital money. You can use it mostly for trade, but some physical places, such as restaurants, are starting to accept it for transactions in place of physical money.

Bitcoin
The most popular/successful form of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency. There’s no central bank, and can be sent directly from person to person without the need for an in-between entity. It’s also one of the best indicators of the larger crypto market, as it’s the largest cryptocurrency, and the rest of the market seems to follow trends set by Bitcoin.

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NFTs
You might be thinking, “I don’t know what NFTs are, and at this point I’m too afraid to ask.” Well, they’re actually not that complicated once you break it down. NFT stands for Non Fungible Token, and it’s basically a digital asset that you purchase the rights to, in order to own the only copy. Think of it like virtually purchasing the Mona Lisa, or a rare collector’s item. Ownership of NFTs is recorded on the blockchain (remember — the virtual database for all transactions), which prevents others from copying the NFT and reaping the benefits. This way, only the purchaser has the right to the NFT, and the reward that comes with it.

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Web3
You’ve heard of the internet — now get ready for Web3. There’s no official definition for Web3, but just think of it as the new iteration of the internet. It’s not an actual thing, but the concept of what the internet will become in order to accommodate new technology. Initially, we had Web1, from 1991-2004, which was mostly a viewing-only experience (no logging in, interacting with posts, etc.), and when you went to the internet, you went to consume information. Next we had Web2, from 2004-now, the version of the internet we’re all familiar with today. Web3 will be the new form the internet takes on in order to compensate for the rise in cryptocurrency, using blockchain technology to decentralize the internet and create a bit more privacy. It’s all about making you the owner of your content, so you can have full control of all your data.

Okay, take a deep breath. We know that was a lot. Luckily, once you break the terms down into their simplest form, they’re not as complicated to understand as you may have once thought. There are also tons of articles and visually stimulating videos out there to help you understand further. We’re just trying to give you the basic understanding, so you can venture off into the tech world confident and knowledgeable. Now, go purchase some NFTs using your Bitcoin cryptocurrency and share it in the Metaverse!

STORY SPARK Staff

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