Non-fungible tokens or NFTs have been around for some years now, but 2021 marked the outgrow of this concept from the crypto enthusiastic round tables to becoming prominent among the general public, especially on social media.
Briefly, NFTs are assets with unique identification codes and metadata encrypted on a blockchain, meaning that there is only one NFT of a kind, and there can’t be equivalent trades.
Being ideal to digitally represent physical assets, such as digital artwork and real estate, NFTs currently center around collectibles, frequently making it to the headlines as celebrities publicly invest in these digital goods.
For example, soccer player Neymar Jr. just entered the NFT game purchasing two illustrations worth 349.68 ETH, around USD 1,145,000.
Due to this explosion in popularity and revenue growth, NFT soon became a favorite to sell artwork as it removes intermediaries and simplifies transactions, increasing the artist’s profit. But to put some artwork in this new market, an artist needs to learn how to mint and NFT first.
Let’s find out what NFT minting is, the steps you need to complete to sell your digital rarible, and how to conquer the NFT market.
What is NFT minting?
In the physical world, “to mint” means to create a government-approved coin, and the coins are produced, registered, recognized as authentic money, and circulated.
In the NFT universe, the minting process must also happen to transform a digital file into a registered and valid NFT. This procedure ensures that will only be one authentic NFT version of a determined file, that no one will be able to alter it when available in the digital marketplace, and that it can be later identified as the original if needed.
Creating or minting an NFT will result in particular outcomes to its creator, but, in general, some of the benefits people seek the most are:
- Buy and sell digital assets more directly since the NFT’s nature eliminates the need for intermediaries and facilitates trading, buying, and selling the assets.
- Preserve and increase value due to the security of the blockchain and scarcity feature of NFTs. It is safer to preserve the assets online, while speculation can increase its value.
- Democratization of the ownership, as several parties can own a stake in the NFT.m
Why are minting costs so volatile?
If you have already attempted to create your own NFT or just looked it up out of curiosity, you might have been surprised by the costs to mint NFT, on a positive note or not.
The difference in minting costs and fees depends on the blockchain that will receive the digital rarible. The main expenses are:
- Gas fees: This fee is for miners to validate a transaction on the network. It is volatile because it uses a unit called gwei, a small fraction of Ether. With Ether price changing frequently, the gas fee follows its ups and downs.
- Account fees: This varies from one marketplace to another, but generally, there are fees for boosting your account and any other transaction.
- Listing fee: This fee is also related to the NFT marketplace. While some spaces might let you mint for free, they can still charge to list the NFT.
Another variable to consider is that each blockchain has its particular process with different fees involved. Most of those fees will increase in cost during a high-demand period.
While you can find minting prices starting at $1, someone has already tried to mint for $600.
What is the best blockchain for minting?
The blockchain you choose to upload your NFT will affect the costs and the process as a whole. So what is the best blockchain for minting?
There isn’t only one answer.
The blockchains that support NFT are Ethereum, Polygon, and Solana. While some people might prefer Ethereum for its popularity, others might choose Polygon or Solana for their unique features.
Minting on Ethereum
Ethereum was the first network to support the registration of digital items. It became so popular that it is the investors’ first choice when looking for new assets, so NFT creators usually choose this blockchain, hoping that their projects will gain more visibility.
When minting on Ethereum, a creator can select between regular or lazy minting processes. Regular minting comes with the usual upfront minting fees, which can be rather expensive.
With lazy minting, there are no upfront fees. The blockchain only registers the NFT after its purchase, making the buyer responsible for minting the tokens instead of the NFT creator.
Minting on Polygon
Alongside Solana, Polygon is one of the newest blockchains to allow the registration of digital assets. It is gaining attention due to its default lazy minting process.
A creator can mint NFTs on Polygon through the OpenSea marketplace and sell them with the ETH cryptocurrency. The platform will charge a 2.5% service fee, deducted from the NFT selling price.
Minting on Solana
Solana requires specific tools, such as a crypto wallet that supports the network and determined marketplaces, such as SolSea or Magic Eden.
This blockchain offers the regular minting process but with reduced costs compared to Ethereum. The creator will only need to pay transaction fees for each on-chain activity, and the total cost will be around 0.00135 SOL for three minting transactions.
Is it possible to create NFT for free?
It is possible to mint your NFTs for free through lazy minting, currently offered by Ethereum and Polygon.
How much does it cost to create an NFT?
The NFT minting costs depend on the chosen blockchain, marketplace, and minting process.
How much does it cost to mint an NFT on Ethereum?
The costs depend on the ETH price that day through the regular minting process, influencing the gas fee. Through the lazy minting process, it is free.