I guess you may have heard of ZebPay. It is a reputed cryptocurrency exchange and has been at the forefront of some interesting initiatives in Cyberspace, in recent years. But have you heard of India’s first NFT – $Zebra, launched by ZebPay in 2021?
In a recent email, ZebPay unveiled that it is launching India’s first Non-Fungible Token (NFT). Now that is huge! Really it is.
But let’s start at the beginning, if we wish to understand where this is coming from.
Table of Contents
What Are Crypto-Currencies?
Google explains it thus:
A cryptocurrency (or “crypto”) is a digital currency that can be used to buy goods and services but uses an online ledger with strong cryptography to secure online transactions. Much of the interest in these unregulated currencies is to trade for profit, with speculators at times driving prices skyward.
There are thousands of cryptocurrencies available for anyone who wishes to buy them or trade them. However, the most popular ones remain Bitcoin, Ethereum, LiteCoin, Ripple, etc.
What Is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, is a decentralized form of digital cash that eliminates the need for traditional intermediaries like banks and governments to make financial transactions.
Bitcoin was invented by a person called Satoshi Nakamoto, who is, to date, unknown in real life. Isn’t that interesting? According to Wikipedia, Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the presumed pseudonymous person or persons who developed bitcoin, authored the bitcoin white paper, and created and deployed bitcoin’s original reference implementation. As part of the implementation, Nakamoto also devised the first blockchain database. In the process, Nakamoto was the first to solve the double-spending problem for digital currency using a peer-to-peer network. Nakamoto was active in the development of bitcoin up until December 2010. Many people have claimed, or have been claimed, to be Nakamoto. But the truth is still out there, waiting to be confirmed. Imagine, the inventor of the single greatest technology of modern times chooses to remain anonymous! Cool!
How does Bitcoin work?
Each bitcoin (trading symbol “BTC,”. “XBT” is also used) is a computer file stored in a digital wallet on a computer or smartphone. To understand how the cryptocurrency works, it helps to understand these terms and a little context:
- Blockchain: Bitcoin is powered by open-source code known as blockchain, which creates a shared public ledger. Each transaction is a “block” that is “chained” to the code, creating a permanent record of each transaction. Blockchain technology is at the heart of more than 6,000 cryptocurrencies that have followed in Bitcoin’s wake.
- Private and public keys: A bitcoin wallet contains a public key and a private key, which work together to allow the owner to initiate and digitally sign transactions, providing proof of authorization.
- Bitcoin miners: Miners — or members of the peer-to-peer platform — then independently confirm the transaction using high-speed computers, typically within 10 to 20 minutes. Miners are paid in bitcoin for their efforts.
People have been buying bitcoin and other cryptos as a means to trade them and make money. In fact, the astronomical rise in the price of Bitcoin from $3,000 in 2018 to nearly $50,000 in 2021, has shocked the entire world and sparked a great interest in cryptocurrencies.
But volatility is huge and there is more a risk of losing your investment rather than doubling it. So tread carefully.
There are many other safer ways to make money online, and you can check out my website to see what suits your taste.
What is Blockchain Technology?
Based on a peer-to-peer (P2P) topology, blockchain is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) that allows data to be stored globally on thousands of servers – while letting anyone on the network see everyone else’s entries in near real-time. That makes it difficult for one user to gain control of, or game, the network.
Confusing? In the simple terms, Blockchain can be described as a data structure that holds transactional records, while ensuring security, transparency, and decentralization. You can also think of it as a chain of records stored in the forms of blocks which are controlled by no single authority. Thus it’s redundancy, ownerlessness, and inherent security.
What Are NFTs?
A non-fungible token (NFT) is a special type of cryptographic token which represents something unique; non-fungible tokens are thus not mutually interchangeable. This is in contrast to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and many network or utility tokens, that are fungible in nature.
“Non-fungible” more or less means that something is unique and can’t be replaced with something else. For example, a bitcoin is fungible — trade one for another bitcoin, and you’ll have exactly the same thing. Exchange a US dollar and you will get another of the same value. A one-of-a-kind trading card, however, is non-fungible. If you traded it for a different card, you’d have something completely different. Say you gave up a Squirtle, and got a 1909 T206 Honus Wagner. Now that’s non-fungible.
How do NFTs work?
Most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is a cryptocurrency, like bitcoin or dogecoin, but its blockchain also supports these NFTs, which store extra information that makes them work differently from, say, an ETH coin. It is worth noting that other blockchains can implement their own versions of NFTs, and some already have.
Interestingly, NFTs are being considered modern digital art and are already being sold at staggering amounts. It all started with CryptoKitties. In December 2017, the dopey-looking cartoon cats, created by Canadian company Dapper Labs, debuted as tradable collectibles, like Pokémon cards for the bitcoin era. Each image was associated with a unique string of digits—a cryptocurrency “non-fungible token,” or NFT, that could be traded on the Ethereum blockchain platform as a title deed granting the holder ownership of a particular kitty.
You dont even want to know where this is going! People are paying tens of thousands of dollars for ownership of stuff that is available on the internet like art and pics and videos, and that can be downloaded a million times if you want. So what’s the obsession about ownership? Well, the Mona Lisa is a single unique piece, and one could be proud of owning it (if a human ever could!). But owning something that can be exactly replicated a million times or more? Just to be able to say that you own it, while no one else does? That’s what it’s coming to nowadays. That’s NFTs. Whew! Read more at your own risk.
In one sentence, it’s the playground of the rich. Or those wanting to get rich quick.
So it happens that ZebPay, the crypto exchange, not wanting to be left out of this NFT craze, has launched its own NFT. It’s called $Zebra. Whenever tokens are launched, they are accompanied by a paper that explains it’s purpose. The $ZEBRA paper outlined by ZebPay is given out below.
The $ZEBRA Paper
As more people adopt Bitcoin in India, they become more aware of
cryptocurrency as a whole. For us at ZebPay, now is the ideal time to add
to our investors’ experience with the introduction of a new kind of digital
We want to give back to the users who trust us with their crypto. You
make ZebPay what it is.
We’d like to introduce $ZEBRA, a collectible token for the ZebPay
ecosystem. When you hold a $ZEBRA token, you unlock special rewards
such as discounts on fiat-crypto and crypto-crypto trading.
It’s not just India’s first NFT, but also a token that benefits you as you
Unlike Bitcoin, where each individual coin is uniform, replaceable and holds the same value – ZEBRA tokens will differ from one another. The
specific benefits each token will provide will depend on the unique
characteristics of the token itself.
We’re starting with discounts on trading and free membership, with
plenty more benefits in the pipeline.
All you need to do is add your token to your ZebPay wallet. Once it’s
there, all the benefits take effect automatically.
So how do you get your hands on a $ZEBRA token?
If you have placed at least one successful trade on ZebPay since March
2020, you have nearly a 1% chance of receiving a token via airdrop.
Once the airdrop is complete, feel free to trade your NFTs on ZebPay –
the same way you buy and sell crypto.
It’s that simple.
ZebPay & $Zebra
It’s the beginning of an interesting concept, especially in India. With the Indian Government having announced a while ago that it is considering banning all sorts of cryptocurrencies in the future, and coming up with one single Government digital currency, the interest in the future of Cryptos is understandable.
Let’s see what shape this takes in the coming days.
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