Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are the latest crypto and blockchain trend to attract interest beyond the typical crypto enthusiasts.
The skyrocketing prices of these art pieces and digital collectibles have piqued the curiosity of investors, digital collectors, and content providers all over the world. With the frenzy arguably yet to reach its apex, it's natural if you're itching to jump on board and create your own NFT to take advantage of the hype train.
In this guide, we’ll focus on giving you the skills and tools you need to learn how to mint an NFT. Fortunately, creating an NFT isn't as difficult as you may think. Anyone with the correct tools and basic computing abilities can become an NFT creator. We’ll give you all the information you need to know how to mint an NFT.
What are NFTs and how do they work?
The demand for digital art and collectibles has steadily grown since the beginning of 2020 and the rise of the global pandemic.
But 2021 has truly been the year of the NFT. OpenSea, the leading NFT Marketplace, averaged about 35k traders (users who bought at least one NFT) in Jan 2021. As of December, that number has ballooned to over 750k. As people all over the world have looked to expand their digital collections it’s no surprise that NFTs have thrived. Built on top of the most popular blockchains, including Ethereum and Polygon, NFTs guarantee ownership and ensure scarcity.
An NFT’s scarcity is determined by unique identifiers and attributes that are tracked and stored on the blockchain and publicly available to view and query. In other words, despite their similarities, two NFTs cannot be the same. The fantasy football game Sorare offers a great example of how scarcity works in an NFT environment. Every season, cards are released for real-world players across the world which Sorare users buy and trade continuously to assemble the best team possible. Each card is assigned a unique number in a series guaranteeing scarcity and letting any Sorare user know which level card they hold. For example, there are only 100 rare cards of any given player each season. If you own a rare card of Lionel Messi, you know that there are only 99 other Messi cards that can be owned that season.
We can also trace the creation date of any NFT, the original creator, the current owner, and other unique identifiers thanks to the immutability and transparency of the blockchain. All of these facts are recorded in a public ledger and cannot be changed.
These characteristics are used as the proof-of-ownership of your digital assets that help you easily establish that an NFT is yours and no one can tamper with it. You may easily establish that you are the originator, determine the scarcity, collect royalties every time it is traded, and sell across various NFT marketplaces or peer-to-peer platforms as an NFT minter.
What is NFT Minting
Minting NFT is the process of converting a digital file into a cryptocurrency collectible or digital asset on the blockchain. While this is most common today on Ethereum, other blockchain technologies and Layer 2 scaling solutions like Polygon and new Layer 1 networks like Solana are also growing their NFT user bases and communities.
It is impossible to edit, modify, or remove the NFT once it is recorded in the distributed ledger, which you can think of as a decentralized database. The process of uploading these digital items to a specific blockchain is known as ‘minting’.
Non-fungible tokens are ‘minted’ once they are recorded on the blockchain, similar to how metal coins are minted when they are put into circulation. This process converts a simple file into a crypto asset that can be exchanged or purchased with cryptocurrencies on a digital marketplace without the need for a middleman.
During the minting process, the creator of the NFT can arrange royalties from secondary sales. In that case, the creator will receive a fee every time the NFT is sold to another individual or traded on the secondary market.
For example, the music NFT marketplace Catalog allows artists to set a “Creator Share” percentage when they mint their songs and albums. This percentage then goes back to the artist each time their NFT is sold.
Why minting NFTs has become so popular
Several factors combined to propel the popularity of NFTs.
- Widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum: The symbiotic relationship between crypto adoption and NFTs is clear. As more crypto retail investors see NFTs as another digital asset, collectibles, and art created and stored on the blockchain are natural investment opportunities. The relationship works both ways as many NFT creators did not invest in crypto prior to launching their digital collections.
- Popular Culture Use Cases: In many ways, NFTs have created the non-technical, popular culture bull-case for crypto — this is something that the earliest adopters of Bitcoin and Ethereum dreamt of. NFTs have opened the door for people new to the space to understand the dynamic and messaging of crypto without having to invest time and energy to learn. For example, Dapper Labs, the makers of CryptoKitties, released NBA Topshot, a fantastic product that showcases the ability of NFTs as a vehicle for digital collectibles. Topshot, which is partnered with the NBA, is the place to go to buy and collect rare NBA moments.
- Play-To-Earn Gaming: During the pandemic, scores of people all over the world suddenly found themselves out of work, at home a lot, or both. In this context, online gaming platforms boomed while bored people searched to fill their suddenly wide-open calendars. NFT-based gaming platforms emerged as powerful players in this space because they offered a solution to both problems. Games like Axie Infinity, Gods Unchained, and Illuvium are fun and open up new ways for people to earn money. As you play these games, you can earn money by selling NFT items and collectibles. The more you play, the more you earn.
- Unfair compensation and revenue sharing for artists and creators: A casual examination of the music industry reveals an extraordinarily complicated web of stakeholders involved in content monetization. There is space for invention when there is complexity. NFTs give artists a new opportunity to commercialize their work by allowing them to bypass money-grabbing middlemen and build direct connections with their followers and admirers.
Factors to consider before beginning to mint an NFT
Although minting an NFT isn’t difficult, there are a few important points to consider before getting started.
- The Blockchain: The first thing you’ll want to consider as you think about how to turn your digital work into an NFT is which blockchain you want to build on. There are several blockchains that support NFTs. Here are a few of the most popular options:
- Binance Smart Chain
- Broader NFT Ecosystem: The awareness of NFT capabilities in your chosen blockchain is the next key thing to consider while looking for the cheapest approach to mint NFT. It's critical to make sure that the platform you choose can handle NFT transfers. Ideally, it should support selling across several blockchains. With each blockchain, developers should take a close look at the benefits and drawbacks of the NFT ecosystem.
- Platform with Low Costs: Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain are now the most widely used blockchain platforms for minting NFTs. These two platforms' vast scale allows them to support the largest NFT markets while also providing buyers with lots of other opportunities. However, high gas costs on Ethereum can make minting very expensive.
- The NFT Marketplace: Finally, the most important consideration before NFT minting is where you want to sell your NFT. In the case of the Ethereum blockchain, there are a large number of platforms for NFT creators to choose from. Rarible and OpenSea are just a few of the famous examples. Juggerworld, Treasureland, and BakerySwap are among the Binance Smart Chain marketplaces.
How do you mint an NFT
Ok. Now that you have all of the necessary background information to learn how to mint an NFT. Let's take a closer look at how NFTs are created and traded on blockchain platforms.
Step 1: Begin by creating a new asset
Creating an asset that will serve as your NFT is always the first step in the process.
Give it your all and create a unique and intriguing piece of artwork, photography, design, or icon. The digital era offers a wide range of possibilities and media, including 3D illustrations, abstract, political, aural, whimsical, and hyperrealistic themes and media.
A recent trend in NFTs saw several projects being created with different layers and randomly generating different combinations. Some of the most prominent are Cool Cats, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and Doodles.
This Twitter user compiled a fantastic guide on how to create these types of NFT projects yourself.
The interesting thing about NFT art is that practically any style of artwork may find purchasers. The CryptoPunk 7804 or Beeple's First 5000 Everyday are promising instances of how a different mindset is required to mint NFT. This is where you should stress the importance of creativity in the minting of NFTs.
Step 2: Buy ETH
The second phase in NFT minting leads to Ethereum and its native cryptocurrency ETH (aka Ether).
The majority of NFT development initiatives are now based on Ethereum. As a result, it's appropriate to think of Ethereum as a blockchain platform for this discussion. When you mint art as NFT, you are establishing blockchain documentation for your collectible or artwork. The wallet address could be explicitly identified as the work's creator in the documentation, indicating ownership. This record cannot be altered or deleted once the NFT has been minted.
Now that you have your ETH, you need to understand that minting an NFT is not free. To add your art to the Ethereum blockchain as an NFT, you'll need money to buy ETH. You may want to explore ways to sell your NFT once it has been placed on the Ethereum network. A non-custodial wallet would be required in this situation.
Gas fees vary a lot depending on how much demand there is for making blockchain transactions. The cost of gas for minting NFTs has recently been around $70. As a result, before minting NFTs, you'll need some ETH to pay for gas. You can purchase ETH from an exchange like Coinbase or Kraken.
If you already set up a crypto wallet, you can buy ETH directly in Zerion with your credit card.
Step 3: Create a non-custodial crypto wallet
A non-custodial wallet is a type of cryptocurrency wallet that gives you complete control over your crypto assets.
The wallet is like a digital bank account that can be used to store and conduct cryptocurrency transactions. It's also important to keep in mind that non-custodial wallets are not the same as wallets that are owned and managed by a centralized crypto exchange.
When you create your wallet, you’ll be given a seed phrase that will be important for securing and accessing your wallet. The seed phrase is a randomly-generated 12-word combination of words that is used to backup wallets and gain access to them across numerous platforms or devices. It’s vital that you store your seed phrase safely and securely after you create your wallet. Otherwise, you risk losing access to your crypto funds forever! NOTE: NEVER SHARE YOUR SEED PHRASE WITH ANYONE!
Currently, there are a variety of non-custodial wallets available to help you lower your NFT minting costs. Rainbow and Coinbase Wallet are two excellent non-custodial wallets for mobile. Laptop users, on the other hand, may want to use Metamask. Let's use Metamask as an example to learn how to create a non-custodial wallet for your NFT art.
Step 4: Set up the non-Custodial wallet
The following are the critical stages to setting up Metamask for optimized NFT minting costs.
- Install the chrome extension by going to www.metamask.io.
- On the right side of the page, click the "Create a Wallet" button.
- Then create a password by following the directions in the next series of prompts. It's critical to keep in mind that this is not your seed phrase.
- Developers must now copy their seed phrase and save it somewhere safe and easily accessible. The seed phrase is extremely important in NFT creation because losing it can result in you losing access to your assets.
- To complete the setting procedure, click the "Next" button in the final step.
Step 5: Transfer Ether to the non-custodial wallet
You can move on to the next step of NFT minting once your non-custodial wallet is up and running. To move ETH to your crypto wallet, you'll need your wallet address. The wallet address is essentially an account number that you may use to transfer and receive cryptocurrency between wallets. It will look like a long series of letters beginning with 0x. You can copy your wallet address from the top portion of the Metamask page. Simply follow the two easy steps outlined below.
- Send ETH you acquired on your crypto exchange to the wallet's address.
- When the ETH arrives, you'll be able to check the new balance in your Metamask wallet.
Step 6: NFT Marketplace Selection
Choosing the best way to mint NFT is all about finding the right platform.
An NFT marketplace is an important aspect of the NFT minting process, and choosing the right one for your project depends on a number of criteria. OpenSea and Rarible are two of the most prominent NFT marketplaces today, both are easy to use.
On both platforms, there is the 'lazy minting' option when creators don't pay minting costs when they create new NFTs. When you eventually sell your NFTs, your customers will cover the gas costs. After minting your NFT, it is stored in your wallet and can be sold on any platform you want. As a result, you can mint something on one platform and then sell it on another.
Step 7: Create the NFT
The final step in minting NFT is straightforward, and several platforms have made this process very simple and you can do it in only a few clicks.
- To get started, go to www.opensea.io and select the "Create" button. A prompt will appear, requesting that you login into your Metamask wallet.
- It's critical to read the "Message" section of the signature request to ensure you've chosen the correct action.
- On the OpenSea NFT marketplace, you’ll need to mint your NFTs as part of a collection. On the "My Collections" tab, click "Create," then give your collection a name, a description, and a logo. You have the option of including numerous NFTs in their collection.
- You can expand your NFT collection with new products. Click "Add New Item" and then follow the directions to complete the process. Before choosing "Create," upload a high-resolution image of your work and give it a name, as well as external links, a description, and properties.
There you have it! You’ve now minted and listed your first NFTs!
Although creating NFTs is simple, it’s important that you are careful at the beginning to make sure you don’t make any mistakes. Getting started in this NFT creator space is both fun and exciting. You can feel the energy often and you’ve now taken your first steps to become a key contributor.
What does it mean to mint an NFT?
You must first "mint" the digital version of your artwork before you can list it on an NFT Marketplace. Minting is the act of tokenizing an artwork.
The creator of the NFT can arrange royalties from subsequent sales during the minting process, which will be a fee that they receive if the work is sold to another address or traded on the secondary market.
How much does it cost to mint an NFT?
Because NFTs are minted on many blockchains, their prices vary from one to the next, and even within the same blockchain, the cost of one NFT may differ from that of another.
As a creator, you can mint an NFT for free using 'lazy minting' or you can do the regular minting and pay the gas fee.
As a collector, you will always need to pay gas fees. Also, some creators and platforms might add a minting fee.
Why are NFTs so expensive?
NFTs are valuable because they guarantee ownership and scarcity.
This distinguishes these assets as one-of-a-kind or extremely rare. For example, Picasso's works are rare. While anyone can copy his paintings, the originals are irreplaceable and one-of-a-kind.
How do I buy NFT mints?
You'll normally use an NFT marketplace like OpenSea or Rarible to purchase and sell NFTs.