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Not even if you’ve been living under a rock will you not have heard of NFTs. Led by artists and celebrities, everybody is hyped up to put their creations on the blockchain and sell it for a decent amount of money. The possibilities are expanding every day for you to get your hands on artwork, memes, music, trading cards, and even memorable sports moments.
In this Learn Crypto article, you’ll learn:
NFT stands for non-fungible token, a digital asset that can be defined as a non-interchangeable token stored on a blockchain. A non-fungible token is a unique unit; being stored on a blockchain simply means that it is held on an encrypted and distributed ledger database of which multiple versions are stored across many divergent computers. The technology enables proving authenticity and ownership over virtual goods so non-fungible tokens and blockchain are indeed a match made in heaven. All non-fungible tokens have a few basic features in common – they are intangible objects without a physical counterpart that encompass a specific ID number and name used to identify them on the blockchain.
Let’s start off by saying that you shouldn’t expect to suddenly become wealthy from NFTs.
However, for many talented people or lucky speculators, making NFTs have really paid off. You have probably heard of the famous digital artist Beeple who sold an NFT under the name ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’ for a bit more than $69 million. For others, memorabilia happened to be their winning lottery ticket. Few examples are better than that of Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, who minted his first-ever Tweet and traded it for a huge amount of money.
NFTs not only introduced a whole new market for virtual goods, and empowered artists, but also opened up new revenue streams. And where there is a significant demand for a particular NFT, purchasing prices really do see the sky as the limit.
So if you’re interested in getting into NFTs, but feel that purchasing one right now isn’t right for your wallet, you might want to consider making your own NFT art. You’ll also want to know where to upload and sell it, and how to make an NFT wallet to store your precious creations.
NFT minting is a term used by the crypto community to express the creation of a non-fungible token on the blockchain. Minting an NFT simply means that a novel token becomes a non-fungible token once you execute the action to mint on a blockchain. Technically, it is the process of turning a digital file into a crypto collectible. As mentioned above, once a token has been created on the blockchain, it cannot be amended, deleted, or modified. Most minting is done on the Ethereum blockchain, but there are many other blockchains that support non-fungible tokens as well.
The process known as minting is similar to the process of creating metal coins, namely fiat money, and putting them into circulation. Transforming a particular file into a virtual good on the blockchain means that you can now trade with it, namely sell your digital assets on an NFT marketplace.
The process of minting non-fungible tokens differs quite a bit from that of other crypto. The procedure of minting NFTs is different from creating crypto coins due to the fact that it requires different equipment. Minting NFTs is done by using one of many divergent types of equipment which adds information about the token to the network, for example, the Ethereum network.
Most non-fungible tokens are built on the Ethereum blockchain that supports them to store extra information, making them work differently from, let’s say, ETH coins. Further, it requires access to a computer or device with a connection to the internet in order to install special software that is able to generate a genuine token ID number.
There are two possible ways to mint an NFT such as NFT website minting and smart contract minting. The first is directly from a minting page and the other is to use smart contracts. Even though minting non-fungible tokens from a minting page may be the easiest way to do it, there are some benefits to using smart contracts directly.
NFT website minting is considered the safest and most common way to mint from a project’s website, but there might be particular issues such as lagging or crashing if the website gets overloaded. Nevertheless, this option is more beginner friendly. On the other hand, experienced users may prefer the method of minting from a smart contract since it bypasses issues associated with website minting.
In this article, we’ll go through the former process to do away with the advanced technicalities of smart contract interaction.
Here is a quick list of default steps of most major NFT minting sites.
The connecting process is simple. If you use the Google Chrome browser, you can install, for example, the ‘Metamask’ extension. This is the default wallet of many NFT platforms. Of course, most sites now allow you to choose a different Web3 wallet.
As soon as you connect your wallet, your profile should be automatically created by the site and from then on, you can create a display name for yourself.
Check the ‘create an NFT’ page in the site of your choice, and then just upload your image, music, or video file to create an NFT of it. Keep in mind that a non-fungible token is not the digital file itself, just a representation of such a file.
After uploading the digital file or content, you can assign a title and description and just click the “mint NFT” button or “is for sale” button, depending on the NFT site of your choice.
Taking into account that all transactions made on the Ethereum network have their costs paid with the ETH digital currency, a transaction fee or a gas fee needs to be approved at this stage to complete the minting process. Gas fees are fees paid for using the Ethereum blockchain, and not fees that are directly charged or created by the NFT site.
Once you have uploaded the file and paid the fees, the minting process starts automatically as a smart contract executes a code that will be implemented in your digital work on the blockchain. Once all transactions are confirmed, your NFT will be minted and displayed in your profile!
Remember the first step in the preceding section on minting NFTs? Where you need to connect your wallet to the minting site?
In order to buy and sell NFTs, you’ll need an NFT wallet that not only stores your NFTs but also allows you to share your NFTs – why else create NFTs if not to show them off, right?
To clear up a common misconception in the beginning, don’t imagine a cryptocurrency wallet as a traditional wallet that’s more akin to a debit card or a bank in general. An NFT wallet can be defined as a digital space. Even though there are many types of NFT wallets, let’s take a look at two sorts of broadly classified NFT wallets, namely software and hardware wallets.
Software wallets can be defined as, for example, desktop apps, browser extensions, and mobile apps with a connection to the NFT environment. Each wallet includes a private and a public key. The public key refers to the address that you can share to receive or purchase virtual goods, namely the address you use to connect the wallet with digital marketplaces. The private key, as the name suggests, should remain private since it enables you to obtain access to the blockchain and virtual assets. The private key functions similarly to a debit card PIN number.
When talking about software NFT wallets, there are particular features you should seek for. For example, digital wallets with a user-friendly interface are a good choice for beginners as they are easy to understand and convenient above all. Another important trait is security. Taking into account that the crypto world, partially due to the ongoing hype, is full of scammers and other types of wrongdoers, wallets with a high degree of security prevent perpetrators from accessing your virtual goods. Hence, security is one of the most significant perks of digital wallets. Furthermore, convenient use is linked to multiple device support and cross-chain compatibility as well.
Hardware wallets, often referred to as cold wallets, are physical wallets in the form of USB sticks. Hence, hardware wallets are indeed tangible objects. Their main trait is security since the information is stored using tangible storage that isn’t connected to remote servers. In other words, hardware wallets are so secure that they store the private key, secure it with a PIN, and even the owner doesn’t know his or her private key.
The downside of such wallets is that they are expensive. This is true for the oldest brands of hardware wallets, for instance, the Ledger Nano X and the Ledger Nano S.
There may be other noteworthy distinctions, specifically among software digital wallets. We may point out, in the end, the distinction between non-custodial and custodial wallets as well since they are related directly to the storage of NFTs.
Holding a custodial wallet means that you give away control and access to your virtual goods to a third party. The simple question of why would you do such a thing in the decentralized blockchain environment arises. The answer is again pretty simple. Custodial wallets are similar to traditional banking services. You trust a third party to control your wallet and give you access whenever you want, and in return, the third party provides you with an additional layer of security. But beware! The third party may have the power to set particular limitations or even freeze your account under predetermined circumstances. On the other hand, NFT wallets that are non-custodial don’t include a third party and give their holders total control over assets.
The first step in minting NFTs is choosing a digital wallet. Below you may find a short list of the best NFT wallets to use in 2022.
This is one of the most popular digital wallets out there. MetaMask enables you to access multiple NFT marketplaces as it allows you to create an Ethereum wallet. It can be used either as a browser extension or mobile app to interact with the Ethereum blockchain and other networks that are compatible with Ethereum such as Polygon and Optimism.
MetaMask’s advantages outweigh the possible disadvantages. The wallet is customer-friendly as transactions are synced between mobile and web extensions and it is easy to set up. One of its most interesting features refers to the ability to swap currencies to purchase NFTs. The drawbacks are linked to the existence of many scams, namely fake MetaMask apps.
The Coinbase digital wallet gained popularity for its role in exchanging cryptocurrency among both proficient and novice users. MetaMask’s currently biggest rival on the market is known for giving the holder full control over digital assets as the user doesn’t have to hold tokens for exchange, yet it is easy to connect the wallet to the exchange account and transfer assets directly to the wallet.
The digital wallet can be used either as a mobile app or a browser extension. Similar to MetaMask, Coinbase wallet’s advantages outweigh its disadvantages. Namely, the wallet encompasses a simple and user-friendly interface, supports digital assets in the Ethereum blockchain, and has the ability to display token balances across all supported networks as well.
However, the main drawback refers to the fact that the wallet in question only holds Ethereum-based non-fungible tokens.
The Binance-owned digital wallet gained popularity rapidly as well, and created a jaw-dropping user base with over 5 million users, becoming one of the most popular digital wallets in the crypto market. Its most interesting feature refers to storing and token managing options, but the Trust Wallet cannot be used for transactions. Hence, it is not a great option for anyone looking to buy or sell digital assets.
The wallet in question encompasses a number of positive features such as good storage options, a smooth and easy-to-use interface, and the fact that it supports multiple blockchains. On the other hand, it is only available on mobile devices and cannot be used for transactions so the disadvantages are clear as well.
The mobile crypto app is considered to be a safe and user-friendly digital wallet that can connect to many types of DEFI applications and online marketplaces. Advantages are linked to the fact that it supports a plethora of blockchains, includes a crypto interest savings account, and has strong safety mechanisms such as biometric protection and three-factor recovery.
Disadvantages are linked to the fact that it is a mobile-only app that lacks a list of supported assets.
Once you have decided to mint NFTs, the next step is to connect your digital wallet to a marketplace of choice. NFT marketplaces can be defined as online platforms where you can buy, sell and exchange NFTs. Some of these platforms enable users to create NFTs on the platform itself as well. It is important to keep in mind that there are multiple platforms available with divergent perks related to available tokens, payment options, fees, and supported blockchain networks.
If you are a novice user in the crypto environment, it may be hard to choose a suitable NFT marketplace for minting. These days, most regular NFT marketplaces also have minting options. Here’s a brief rundown of the more popular ones.
Being currently the most popular NFT marketplace, OpenSea is an easy-to-use and convenient platform for users who want to mint NFTs. It charges 2.5% for every transaction and provides creators with 10% royalty payments.
Known as a popular platform that still follows a decentralized mindset and supports many blockchains, Rarible encompasses minting advantages as well. The platform offers lazy minting features so tokens can be minted for free, and the buyer pays gas fees when purchasing an NFT.
Nifty Gateway is known for its strict focus on artwork and hosting expensive sales, yet it is one of few marketplaces that doesn’t charge gas fees for minting NFTs.
Magic Eden appeals to gamers as it hosts a range of NFT games that players can instantly list for sale. The leading independent Solana marketplace may be similar to Ethereum-based platforms, with the exception that it leverages the low costs of its blockchain to provide customers with a 0% listing fee and a 2% transaction fee.
One of the largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms, Binance NFT charges only 1% of the total amount with a single transaction. The first ten NFTs can be minted for free, and after that, the platform charges 0.005 Binance tokens (BNB), currently worth under $1, to mint. In addition, the platform has its own blockchain which has been creeping up the popularity charts as the choice network for NFT projects.
The NFT ecosystem is growing at a rapid pace and the massive amount of popularity it gained in its early stages has highlighted many interesting features to the table for creative artists. Naturally, the entire process of creating, marketing, selling, and buying such digital assets may well prove to be a lot more complex than what is apparent, especially if you are a novice user in the crypto world.
However, there are simplified ways to create or mint your own NFTs and perhaps that’s the best way to start your NFT journey: by diving right into it.
With experience, the intrepid NFT minter will be able to understand the competition out there, choosing from options that provide high usability, low fees, and the absence of barriers to entry, along with other listed features.
The recipe for NFT success, though, couldn’t be simpler. Make something that people want to buy.
Next step: Beyond Collectibles and Gaming: How Will NFTs Look Like in the Future?Go to next step
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