Here's a list of key terms used in the NFT space that may be helpful to review before getting started on OpenSea.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are unique, digital items with blockchain-managed ownership. Examples of NFTs include digital art, collectibles, virtual reality items, crypto domain names, ownership records for physical assets, and more. For further information on NFTs and how we got here, read our CEO’s ever-popular overview.
A blockchain is a digitally distributed ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and information across a network. You can think of it as a decentralized or distributed database. OpenSea supports a number of blockchains.
Ethereum / ETH
Ethereum is a blockchain, and ETH is the currency used to make transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.
Ethereum Virtual Machine / EVM
If a blockchain is EVM-compatible it means it is technically compatible with Ethereum, and tokens can be transferred between them. An example of an EVM-compatible blockchain is Polygon. Just because a blockchain is EVM-compatible does not mean you can directly send tokens from one chain to another. Tokens must be bridged across to the other chain. For instructions on how to switch chains or networks, please read this guide. Handy tip - you can use the same wallet (like MetaMask) on a new network. This means you can use the wallet address on different networks.
Think of gas fees as Ethereum blockchain transaction costs. OpenSea has no say in setting gas fees – they are determined by supply and demand across the network (blockchain).
Gwei describes a very small amount of ETH, the equivalent of 1 billionth of 1 ETH. It helps measure gas fees, or transaction costs, on the Ethereum blockchain, which are generally smaller relative to USD than ETH itself.
A crypto wallet is an application or hardware device that allows individuals to store and retrieve digital items, like cryptocurrency and NFTs.
Also known as your "public key." Your wallet address is unique. It’s the address people will use when sending you cryptocurrency or NFTs. Your NFTs and cryptocurrency do not live in your wallet—they exist on the blockchain, under your wallet address. Your software or hardware wallet only contains the key to that address. On Ethereum, your address starts with a "0x". You can also use an ENS domain.
The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a domain naming system based on the Ethereum blockchain. ENS domains resolve to wallet addresses, meaning you can send NFTs and cryptocurrency to them.
This describes a “tip” that is set automatically to compensate validators for executing transactions on Ethereum.
A string of numbers (often 256 characters long) that represents your signature to authorize transactions on the blockchain.
Your seed phrase is a list of words (usually ranges from 12-24 words) that can be used to recover your crypto should you forget your password or lose access to your wallet. When you first begin trading with your wallet, find your seed phrase and back it up somewhere safe, in multiple locations if possible. You’ll receive a seed phrase to write down when you first create a crypto wallet. This is how you can back up your key without actually holding the numbers. Also known as a "mnemonic phrase" or “secret recovery phrase.” Don’t store your seed phrase on an online cloud storage service and never share it with anyone.
A collection is a body of work, like a store or gallery. If you see someone refer to an OpenSea collection as a store or gallery, don’t get confused – it’s all the same. We use the term collection to keep things simple.
dApp (decentralized app)
A blockchain-integrated website that requires you to connect and approve all transactions with your wallet signature. Examples include OpenSea, Uniswap, Zapper.fi.
Smart contracts are decentralized code that run on blockchains. dApps are powered by smart contracts - buying and selling NFTs using OpenSea relies on the Seaport smart contract protocol.