What Is Lazy Minting?
Minting is the process of creating something. So, when we speak about NFT minting, we mean creating new NFTs.
But NFT minting is not a free process. When you mint NFTs, you have to pay a blockchain fee. High gas fees are the main issue of the most popular blockchains, especially if the network is congested. At times, this minting fee is so high that it inhibits users from minting NFTs and, thus, doesn’t permit them to benefit from many lucrative opportunities such mints offer.
Lazy NFT Minting as a Way to Solve the Minting Fee Issue
Here, the lazy minting process comes to help. It changes the way the standard minting process works and allows ordinary users and artists to avoid paying high gas fees before the NFT can even be sold.
Most NFTs are never sold, and blockchain fees are constantly growing. These upfront payments in the form of gas fees make the cost of NFT creation too high and, thus, inhibit many talented artists from entering the market.
It was the main reason why lazy minting was adopted in 2020.
Until now, only a limited number of marketplaces (OpenSea and Rarible) offer the option of lazy minting. Artists can lazy-mint NFTs without paying upfront gas fees. Only when somebody buys the NFT the gas fee is charged, and a smarter contract will write operation on a blockchain. All the data about the NFT and, thus, the NFT will be moved to the purchaser’s wallet.
What Is Lazy Minting?
Lazy minting is when an NFT is available off-chain. And only when it is sold is it minted on the chain, and the gas fee is charged.
So, the NFT creators don’t pay anything in advance. The gas fee is charged only when the NFT is sold and goes on-chain, and the payment is made by the NFT purchaser, not by the NFT creator.
Lazy Minting or Ordinary Minting?
When you decide to mint an NFT, you have to choose what you prefer:
- Ordinary minting is where you pay for minting an NFT.
- Lazy minting or free minting
If you opt to pay a minting fee on your own, you proceed as follows:
- You decide which marketplace you are going to use for NFT minting. The most popular NFT marketplaces are OpenSea and Rarible.
- Pay a gas fee for minting NFTs.
- Sell the NFT on one of the selected NFT marketplaces.
If you opt for lazy minting, the process is slightly different:
- Choose a marketplace that offers an option of lazy minting. OpenSea has a smart contract that supports lazy minting, Rarible does it, too.
- Create an NFT signature signed with your private key.
- When someone purchases the NFT, he pays its price and the gas fee. Then, the NFT is successfully lazy-minted (recorded in the decentralized database) and passed to the new owner.
Advantages of Lazy Minting
When you are lazy-minting NFTs, you get some benefits.
You eliminate the upfront gas costs. Your NFT exists off-chain, and only when and if it is sold the buyer pays the gas costs along with the purchase price.
It lowers the entry barrier. Gas prices, especially on the Ethereum blockchain, can prevent beginners from entering the NFT market. The cost of minting is not affordable for many users who otherwise could have created amazing digital artwork pieces. Lazy minting eliminated any need to pay upfront costs. Only when the purchase is made, do buyers pay the NFT cost and the cost of minting?
Increase liquidity. Lazy minting prevents situations when creators are left with plenty of minted NFTs, huge sums paid in gas fees, and unable to sell the minted NFTs. In the case of lazy minting, non-fungible tokens are available off-chain, and only when there are buyers for them, the fees are charged, and the assets are recorded on a blockchain.
Reduces the computational power used for minting NFTs. Only a small part of NFTs is sold, and the majority just stays on a blockchain. In the case of lazy minting, only if an NFT is purchased the minting process happens. Thus, if there is nobody willing to get an NFT, the computational power is not used, and gas fees are not paid.
Disadvantages of Lazy Minting
Even though lazy minting looks like a perfect solution for digital art creators, it has some drawbacks.
Partial loss of control. When choosing to lazy mint NFTs, the artist cannot decide to whom he wants to sell the asset.
Higher risk of fraud. What if someone sells an NFT without an opportunity to mint it? Then, the buyer will basically pay for the asset but won’t be able to use the mint function to get the NFT to his wallet.
Hacking risks. When you sign a smart contract without recording the NFT on a blockchain, you are more vulnerable to hacks. An NFT that is not minted yet is not recorded on a blockchain. therefore, if it is stolen, there is not much you can do to get the token back to your wallet address or the money for which you would have sold it.
Gas fees still have to be paid. While the buyer pays the fee for lazy minting work, the creator pays a fee for the NFT sale. The required money is deducted from the final NFT sale price. It may result in much lower returns than one expects; thus, always check the price to create an NFT and sell it and calculate all the numbers and prices very carefully.
Fees on Popular NFT Marketplaces
Now, when you know there is an opportunity to lazy mint your NFT instead of paying all the gas prices associated with the NFT creation and recording it on a blockchain, you may wonder what the fees are. Are they so high, indeed?
First of all, not all marketplaces support the lazy minting functionality. Three marketplaces where you can use the lazy minting option are:
Along with the function of lazy minting, the platform offers a paid minting service for all NFT sellers. For each NFT sale, the platform charges a 2.5% fee.
OpenSea charges their users two fee types before they are permitted to sell on the platform. The first fee is for setting up an account. It may vary from 70 USD and higher up to 300 USD. The second fee is paid for accessing the marketplace. It may vary from 10 USD to 30 USD.
How to Lazy Mint on OpenSea: a Guide
If you have decided to opt for lazy minting, here is a guide on how you can lazy mint your NFTS on OpenSea.
- Register an OpenSea account and connect your wallet.
- In the upper corner, click on the Create option.
- Upload the content to create your NFT.
- Click on the Create button to create the NFTs.
- Click on the created NFT, you will be moved to its page.
- Click on the Sell option and set the listing duration and price.
- Click on the Complete listing option.
- Sign the message from your wallet.
When your NFT is purchased, a smart contract mints it to your wallet and sends it to the purchaser. All the fees are paid by the person who purchased the token, and all the information will be recorded on a blockchain.
How to Lazy Mint on Rarible: a Guide
To use the lazy mint NFTs function on Rarible, perform the following actions.
- Open the Rarible website, register an account, and connect your wallet.
- Click on Create and provide the required information about your NFT.
- From the suggested options to mint NFTs, pick Free Minting.
- Click on Create item and sign free authorizations with your wallet.
- That’s it, just wait till somebody buys your NFT. Then, the NFT will be minted to your wallet, and respective smart contracts will transfer the lazy minted NFT to the account of a purchaser, and the gas fees will be paid by the buyer, too.
Can Lazy Minting Be Considered Buying an NFT?
When you mint an NFT, you record something completely new, all the information about the NFT on a blockchain. But when you buy an NFT, you get an NFT recorded on a blockchain to your wallet address. Thus, lazy minting differs from buying. In the first case, you have to mint an NFT and thus record it on-chain, and in the latter case, an NFT is available on-chain, and you just purchase it.
Is Lazy Minting Process Worth the Effort?
If you are a creator, have some funds to invest, and believe that your NFT will be purchased, you can mint them. It eliminates many risks associated with keeping your NFT off-chain. But if you want to try the market and aren’t ready to invest in minting, you can record the data required for your NFT, and pick the lazy minting option.
Conclusion: Lazy Minting Is Worth the Effort
Now, you know what is lazy minting and why it was introduced. Every creator can now choose whether he wants to pay or he prefers to wait till somebody wants to buy his NFT and mint it. The more choices you have, the better!
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Disclaimer. This material should not be construed as a basis for making investment decisions or as a recommendation to participate in investment transactions. Trading digital assets may involve significant risks and can result in the loss of invested capital. Therefore, you must ensure that you fully understand the risk involved, consider your level of experience, investment objectives, and seek independent financial advice if necessary.