Choosing the right blockchain to mint NFTs is the first step into this profitable endeavor. Get to know the most popular networks for NFT minting and how to choose between them.
Even if your online presence is minimal, you might have read about NFTs in some news over the last few months. It is everywhere: major memes becoming NFTs, celebrities surfing on the hype to create their own digital collections, and investors expending millions on virtual properties.
Thankfully, this new industry isn’t exclusive to the big guys. In theory, anyone can create and profit from NFT. With some marketing and luck with the viral phenomenon, a digital property could become very popular and valuable.
In this article, you’ll learn more about what NFTs are and how they work, how to create an NFT and sell it, and how to choose between Solana, Polygon, and Ethereum blockchains to mind NFTs. Let’s dive in!
What Are NFTs?
Non-fungible tokens or simply NFTs are digital properties registered on a blockchain network by a set of unique cryptographic codes that can represent virtual and real-world assets. NFTs can be bought and sold online on specialized marketplaces, and the transactions are usually done with crypto coins.
NFTs exist on blockchains, which are distributed databases that store information digitally. It works as a public ledger, meaning that anyone can access any transaction data. This same technology powers cryptocurrencies and the Decentralized Finance system.
To be “non-fungible” means that such tokens can’t become a currency or medium for commercial operations, as the tokens are singular and one can’t meet the value of the other. For example, one Bored Ape pic isn’t equal to a Criptokitties’ cat.
Unlike fungible tokens that are equal in value, such as cryptocurrencies and fiat money, NFTs are usually one of a kind. They can’t be traded, generating a sense of digital scarcity.
For that matter, NFTs come with dedicated ownership rights, as they can only have one owner at a time. Both the creator and the owner can register information inside the NFT’s metadata, making it easy to verify and transfer the ownership.
NFTs can be understood as a further step of cryptocurrency technology. They have been revealed to be a highly efficient method to convert a physical asset into digital and are specially used in the art and real estate industries. Some of its most notable benefits are:
- No need for intermediaries. NFTs’ transactions are validated through smart contracts, allowing transactions to be done directly in marketplaces without the intervention of financial institutions.
- Everlasting passive income. Some NFT minting systems allow the creator to include a royalty clause into the code to continue receiving commissions whenever their NFT creation changes owners.
- Democratization of investing. NFTs allow the fractionalizing of physical assets, such as real estate and artwork. By doing so, multiple owners are responsible for fractions of property, making expensive assets now available for a wider audience.
- Creation of new markets. Most physical assets can be represented by NFTs, as different digital assets’ categories emerge all the time. The latest example is Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey selling the first tweet ever as an NFT.
Top NFT examples
- Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days”. Beeple is a famous American digital artist, and his work with Everydays has paved the way for NFT artwork. It was sold for $69 million.
- Grimes’ “WarNymph” collection. The Canadian musician Grimes profited around $5.8 million by selling her digital artwork collection in collaboration with her brother.
- Nike’s NFT sneakers. Nike bought RTFKT, a company that makes NFT shoes, and the group has a record of selling over $3.1 million in NFT sneakers.
- Taco Bell’s NFTs for charity. The fast-food chain debuted their first NFT collection, a series of GIFs and images based on their menu, and the profits were donated to the Taco Bell Foundation.
- Nyan Cat GIF. The famous 2010s meme became an NFT and was auctioned for about $852,300 in ETH.
How Are NFTs Created?
The process of creating an NFT is called minting, which is essentially the conversion of a digital asset into a blockchain asset. This process makes the digital property unchangeable, more secure, and harder to modify. The new NFT can then be traded and digitally tracked.
How to mint an NFT
1. Create your unique digital asset.
The first step in the NFT minting journey is to create the asset.
Although the artwork is trending right now, there is a wide range of assets to explore. In-game items, skins, music, and trading cards can also catch the attention of potential buyers.
2. Choose a blockchain and buy tokens.
Now that you have a digital asset waiting to become an NFT, you need to choose the blockchain to upload it.
You should research and think through your blockchain’s choice, as it will influence the wallet services and marketplace you will later get to access.
After selecting the blockchain and following its instructions for uploading the asset, you will need to purchase some tokens on a crypto exchange to pay for the subsequent transactions.
3. Store your funds into a non-custodial wallet.
To interact and connect with the crypto network, you’ll need a crypto wallet.
While custodial wallets allocated to you by a crypto exchange are more practical, they won’t offer you full control over your private keys. For complete control and no intermediaries, while NFT minting, you should prefer a non-custodial wallet.
4. Add the asset to an NFT marketplace.
Keep in mind that some marketplaces will charge fees for boosting your account, listing an NFT, and any other transaction. Make sure to check what the fees are and how much they cost.
5. Add Your Assets to the NFT collection.
Each marketplace will have its particular instructions for creating an NFT. Some general guidelines are:
- Selecting the assets and adding a description;
- Executing the minting process;
- Adding the NFT to your collection.
After this, you will be able to list, advertise and sell your new NFT.
How to Choose the Best Blockchain to Mint NFTs?
Choosing a suitable blockchain to mint your NFTs is the first step to success, as it will determine the technology your clientele will interact with. Here is what you should consider when selecting a network to mint your NFTs:
- Cost efficiency. It is vital to consider the transaction and token development costs of the blockchain’s fee structure for NFTs. For example, you don’t want to pay exorbitant fees just to trade an in-game item.
- Secure smart contracts. Smart contracts are responsible for the overall security of a blockchain. Then, they must have a reliable, clean, and error-free code and be rigidly tested to ensure stability and efficiency.
- General security. Blockchains are still highly intended targets for attackers. Chains that use the Proof-of-Work consensus method are prone to attacks as invaders can win authority over computational power. In that scenario, networks that use Proof-of-Stake are more advisable.
- Fork-proof. The NFT value lies in its scarcity and uniqueness. When a network allows forking, an NFT can be duplicated, putting the asset’s property at stake. It would be best if you aimed for fork-proof blockchains.
- Transaction speed. While maintaining reasonable costs and robust security, speed is another determinant of successful NFT transactions. Completing tasks fast means that potential attackers will have less time to act due to the networks’ immutability.
Next, we’ll compare the most popular blockchain for NFT minting: Solana vs. Polygon vs. Ethereum. Let’s find out more about each network’s pros and cons so you can make a wise blockchain choice to mint your NFTs. Check it out!
Learn more: How much does it cost to mint an NFT?
NFTs on Solana network
Solana is a decentralized blockchain popular among developers as it presents fast speeds and enables the production of scalable products and apps.
It sets itself apart using the Proof-of-History consensus mechanism, based on a timestamping approach. Each transaction is assigned a timestamp that allows the rest of the network to verify it as a legitimate transaction in fractions of a second.
When minting NFTs on Solana, the asset will become a standard Solana Program Library Token, making it very easy to be deployed and transfer without writing smart contracts from scratch and with less computational resources. For novice NFT creators, it is a very developer-friendly and cheap blockchain alternative.
However, some users may find it challenging to combine the NFTs in one collection. While the usual procedure is to ask the creator for a casting list, the most effective way to create a collection on Solana is far more technical, involving using one token to represent an entire collection.
- Consensus: Proof-of-History (PoH)
- Transaction speed: 65,000 per second
- Average Mint Cost: $1.5
- Average Gas Fee: $0.00025
NFTs on Polygon network
Polygon is an Ethereum sidechain that offers several solutions for the development and scalability of decentralized applications. With lower gas prices, it aims to make Ethereum technology accessible for all.
It uses the lazy minting method by standard, meaning that the creator won’t pay any upfront fees, adding them to the final price and leaving the mint costs to the buyer. For its consensus method, Polygon uses Proof-of-Stake, which uses an algorism to determine who can create the next block on the chained bases on how many tokens are staked or locked. Because of that, Polygon NFTs are becoming quite popular among novice creators.
To mint on Polygon, users need to use the OpenSea marketplace. The Polygon NFT mint cost is usually less than $0.01 per transaction. OpenSea is one of the largest decentralized NFT marketplaces and offers a user-friendly interface that makes it very easy to use. Even so, it is still important to double-check the offers and transactions to avoid scams.
The most popular Polygon NFT standards are ERC-721 and ERC-11, similar to Ethereum. A Polygon comparison with Ethereum reveals that the former is better due to lower costs, though Ethereum is still often chosen by NFT buyers due to its popularity. So, even if the network allows around six months of free auctioning time, the creator might need to invest in a robust marketing strategy to sell the NFT faster.
- Consensus: Proof-of-Stake (PoS)
- Transaction speed: 10,000 per second
- Average Mint Cost: $0
- Average Gas Fee: $ 0.002
NFTs on Ethereum network
Ethereum is by far the most known blockchain, and it was the first to sustain the registration of digital properties. It is also responsible for hosting a significant portion of the NFT, cryptocurrencies, and Decentralized Finance technologies. Because of that, NFT buyers tend to reach out to Ethereum-based assets before looking anywhere else.
Ethereum uses the traditional Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism, which requires users’ computational power to solve puzzles. It is the same method as Bitcoin’s, but it demands too much energy and is the target of several attacks. For the Ethereum 2.0 update, it is expected that the network will change its consensus method to Proof-of-Stake.
To mint on Ethereum, a creator can choose between the regular and the lazy minting processes, leaving it to the developer to decide when to deal with the costs. Due to Ethereum’s popularity, it is possible to mint NFT through several marketplaces and with many different wallets since most crypto wallets support ETH.
Nonetheless, minting on Ethereum can become quite expensive as the value of the fees depends on ETH’s daily quotation. This blockchain also shows low scalability and critical network traffic, which leads to slower speeds and higher gas fees.
- Consensus: Proof-of-Work (PoW)
- Transaction speed: 30 per second
- Average Mint Cost: starting at $70 (depends on ETH value)
- Average Gas Fee: $30 (depends on ETH value)
Polygon vs. Solana
Polygon (MATIC) and Solana (SOL) are two of the most popular Layer 1 and Layer 2 crypto networks, boasting thousands of daily users. Both platforms are well-regarded as they offer the lowest transaction fees compared to other networks like Ethereum or Avalanche. However, Solana has a slightly worse user experience than Polygon because they are not an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible network. It is difficult to bridge tokens to Solana from other popular networks.
Solana and Polygon have similar tokenomics to most Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchains. In terms of costs (or Solana vs. Polygon gas fees), Solana offers lower costs. However, to secure the network, Solana and Polygon need to pay out inflationary rewards to incentivize stakers to validate the network. Solana currently has an 8% inflation rate, and Polygon has a 10% inflation rate, meaning Polygon (MATIC) mints more tokens yearly.
Differences between Polygon and Ethereum
Polygon and Ethereum are two of the most popular cryptos out there. While Ethereum ranks #2, Polygon ranks slightly lower. However, both feature in the list of the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap. They both have their own unique functionalities and serve special purposes in the crypto world.
Ethereum is a platform that allows developers to unlock the true potential of decentralized money and build decentralized applications, and code smart contracts. On the contrary, Polygon is an interoperability protocol and a framework that works on the Ethereum blockchain.
Polygon and Ethereum differ mainly in functionality, market cap, transaction speeds, gas fees, scalability, and consensus algorithms. A Polygon comparison with Ethereum reveals that the former is better due to lower costs, though Ethereum is still often chosen by NFT buyers due to its popularity.
NFTs on GamesPad
For first-time NFT creators and buyers, all the help is valuable. Because of that, it is vital to choose the right platforms and marketplaces to do NFT-related transactions to avoid any friction and scams. It would be best to look for a holistic ecosystem that combines gaming, NFT, and metaverse-related opportunities in one space, and GamesPad is a comprehensive platform for that.
Backed by crypto industry specialists from BullPerks, GamesPad is a decentralized platform that brings together a multichain launchpad, gaming incubator, decentralized venture capital, NFT marketplace, and much more. With the community at its core, GamesPad’s team always comes up with new solutions to make the users’ experience seamless.
You can trade and buy NFTs on the GamesPad marketplace, which offers the community the most iconic and unique digital assets. You can check the marketplace and learn more about it here.
The era of NFTs is just beginning. Thousands if not millions of NFTs are minted daily, and this industry is growing at lightspeed. Still, we have yet to see sophisticated technologies that will be the creation process easier, cheaper, and more efficient and hopefully make NFTs more accessible to a broader public.
Until then, choosing the right tools and networks to mint an NFT can be the key to successful posterior trading, as the popularity of the blockchain and its in-built costs play a significant, influential part in the buyers’ decision. After an NFT blockchain comparison, which blockchain network will you choose to mint your next NFT: Solona, Polygon, or Ethereum?
Would you like to start investing in the most impactful crypto gaming, NFT and metaverse projects with GamesPad? Learn how in this comprehensive tutorial!