Welcome to our Advanced Guide! We're on a mission to educate the masses on the transformative potential of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

What is a blockchain explorer?

Blockchain explorers are websites that allow everyone to see all the details of every transaction that took place on the blockchain. Think of them like public registers for every crypto transaction. Each blockchain usually has its own blockchain explorer -- like this one for Elrond.

Through a blockchain explorer, you can potentially track all the activity of any wallet and obtain the official proof that a transaction was made.

It is also useful to use a blockchain explorer to check the status of a transaction. When the status of the transaction goes from "Pending" to "Success" you know your transaction has been securely processed.

What is a Smart Contract?

A smart contract is a piece of software running on blockchain. It is a persistent script which will always produce the expected output for the given input. The difference from a traditional piece of software running on a computer or internet server is that it can’t be controlled by that computer or server, or its owner. It is also running on all blockchain computers at once, making it highly resilient.

Smart Contracts can be used for anything from making simple payments to executing complex economical processes and have the potential to effectively replace their centralized counterparts, the traditional pieces of software.

What is a stablecoin?

They are tokens whose value is pegged to the value of another asset, usually a fiat currency. A popular example is USDT, which stands for US Dollar Tether, meaning its value is tethered to the US dollar. 1 USDT will always be equal in value to 1 USD. The main difference is that USDT are tokens on a blockchain, whereas the USD is either paper money or a balance in a bank account.

Stablecoins are mainly used as a gateway between regular currencies - also referred to as fiat money - and cryptocurrencies. They are issued on blockchains, and can be used in transactions and smart contracts, with the most usage coming from trading.

What is Trading?

It basically means exchanging one coin for another, for example exchanging Bitcoin for USDT or Ethereum for eGold. While essentially the same thing as buying and selling, “trading” often refers to the repetitive buy and sell activities that pursue the increase in a trader’s holdings by speculating frequent price changes.

Due to the very high volatility of cryptocurrencies, trading is considered a high risk activity that carries severe financial risk. Trading activities happen on exchanges.

What is an Exchange?

Cryptocurrency exchanges are platforms that allow traders to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. They are similar to traditional stocks, commodities or FOREX platforms, offering traders access to similar interfaces, tools and instruments. Most crypto exchanges offer additional specific cryptocurrency services, such as custody, staking or regular ones such as borrowing, lending or fixed term deposits.

Exchanges can either be “centralized” (CEX, such as Binance or Coinbase) where services are offered by specialized firms using traditional infrastructure, or “decentralized” (DEX, such as Uniswap) where services are running through blockchain smart contracts.

What is DeFi?

DeFi is short for “decentralized finance” and represents equivalents to financial instruments such as trading, borrowing or lending, with the distinction that they are running exclusively on the blockchain through one or multiple interconnected smart contracts.

DeFi products are seen as potential replacements for traditional finance, thanks to their abilities of offering the same features, but operating 24/7, at lower cost and without requiring human intervention.

Further reading:

Crypto resources: What to read, watch, and stream in crypto

Podcasts

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