I’ve been interested in smart contract’s lately and I was wondering what separates them from just normal scripts that track transactions or something. Can they control NFTs and wallets? Like what ledger does? Can they stop transactions from going through in certain conditions? If anyone has any resources or tips that could be helpful it would be most appreciated. Thanks
You can begin thinking about a smart contract like a program that is stored and runs some functions whenever certain constraints are met. By "normal scripts," I assume you are talking about being able to query transaction data, which is also very useful, but different from contract functionality. Smart contracts may be used to perform automated functions without needing to have a centralized trust.
Yes, all the things you mentioned about controlling NFTs, wallets, and transactions may be done through a smart contract. For example, access to a fund can be controlled by a smart contract such that only holders of a specific NFT mint can withdraw USDC.
I would recommend first taking a look at an escrow program (https://paulx.dev/blog/2021/01/14/programming-on-solana-an-introduction/) and some other videos and articles from there.
Also, take a look at the Solana website: https://solana.com/learn/blockchain-basics