What is NFT minting
Quite simply “minting” comes from the meaning of the word “mint” when a coin is struck and made, turning metal into something that can be spent, transferred and counted; the value it represents is thus created. Even though NFTs exist in the virtual world, when do they start being in existence? It is when they are minted or created. From then on they can be bought, sold, transferred and used; but before minting they did not “exist”, and minting is the process to create a virtual property.
We have all seen a surge in interest in Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) in the last few years, thanks to the investment opportunities that these unique digital tokens offer. Based on blockchain technology, these tokens can represent either digital or physical objects such as artwork and in-game items.
Providing opportunities for artists to generate an income from their work, NFTs can represent almost every type of asset but the most common are digital art. To illustrate the sheer potential of this industry, the digital artist Beeple sold an NFT for more than $60 million in 2021.
I’m sure we have your attention now! So let’s dive deeper into what NFTs are, how they work and the fundamental process required to create them known as minting. There is more to the process than many realize but there is a growing selection of marketplaces supporting NFT minting, making it more accessible to the wider public.
So what are NFTs and how do they work?
An NFT is a unique token that is created and then stored on a particular blockchain. It is created from a file you upload and this asset becomes proof of ownership of a particular object. Thanks to the decentralized nature of blockchain technology, this proof of ownership can easily be verified and cannot be duplicated.
NFTs can represent almost any object or asset you can think of, ranging from images and music to items in games, properties, domains and more.
A quick summary of how an NFT works
At the heart of every NFT is the use of smart contracts on blockchains, with the most popular blockchain for creating NFTs being Ethereum.
There is a range of token standards for each blockchain and it can be confusing to understand the difference. For example, some of the standards on Ethereum include ERC-721 and ERC-1155. It is important to note that you can create NFTs on other platforms as well, so it’s always good to look around.
When you create an NFT, this token holds metadata about the asset (for example a digital file) that you are creating an NFT of. The metadata can include any of the following:
- – A description of the asset
- – Ownership information and price
- – Agreements around royalties, new owner details etc
- – And so much more!
Fundamentally NFTs act as proof of ownership of a particular digital or real-world asset. Check out this article about how NFTs are now being used with real-estate!
What does minting an NFT mean?
You will have likely seen the term minting in articles that relate to cryptocurrency and blockchains. This term can be understood as the process involved in creating cryptocurrency or in this case, an NFT.
As highlighted above, an NFT holds the metadata for a particular asset on a blockchain and minting refers to the steps required to turn a file into an NFT that is unique and stored on a decentralized system.
How long does it take and does it cost money?
This is a challenging question to answer as it very much depends on the file that you wish to turn into an NFT. In much the same way you may list a product on an e-commerce store or upload music you’ve created onto a streaming platform, you need to upload the file and complete the relevant information that you wish to have stored within the NFT, such as ownership details.
Thankfully, the process is relatively simple to do and most NFT marketplaces have effective instructions that everyone is able to follow.
Once you have decided on what NFT you wish to create, it is important to understand how much it costs to create it. The transaction fees for this process are often known as a “gas fee” and could be anywhere from $50 to many hundreds, depending on the NFT marketplace, blockchain and current status of the market.
Always do your due diligence prior to getting started so that you can pick the most suitable marketplace, as well as the most cost-effective option. For those wanting to find a free way to mint an NFT, you will be out of luck but there are some platforms that are more affordable than others so shopping around makes sense.
What are the most popular NFT marketplaces?
If you’re interested in creating your very own NFT, then make a note of the following NFT marketplaces and compare them to see which is most suitable for you. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses but fundamentally you can’t go too far wrong with any of the popular ones listed below.
- OpenSea NFT: At the time of writing, one of the largest NFT marketplaces, if not the largest and a great place to start for anyone looking to create NFTs of all kinds. It has a tool specifically designed to help you create an NFT and the default wallet is MetaMask, one of the most popular crypto wallets out there.
- Foundation: A platform that has been developed to support digital artists. When NFTs are sold and resold on this platform, users can earn a % based on the resell value.
- BakerySwap: Built on the Binance Smart Chain blockchain, very popular with NFTs for online games as well as digital art. Yet another that has made the entire process easy to follow.
- Rarible: Another NFT marketplace that is popular for a range of markets including art, music, games, domains and more. Mint and then sell NFTs easily enough, with plenty of guidance to support you.
It is important to note that this is a small summary of some of the most popular markets out there and it may be another that is more suitable for your individual requirements. Do some research based on the NFT you wish to create and compare possible marketplaces.
A step-by-step guide to NFT minting
Each NFT marketplace has its own process and requirements for minting an NFT, but almost all will follow the same steps, with some minor alterations. To help improve your understanding of this process and build confidence, we have summarized the main steps below.
Decide on the NFT marketplace
As highlighted above, there are different marketplaces out there to choose from depending on your individual requirements. It may be that you wish to create your NFT on a specific blockchain such as Ethereum or you wish to find a marketplace that specializes in online gaming items or digital art.
Take the time to do your research and compare the different options available to you and then you will feel confident that you can move on to the exciting steps of creating your first NFT.
Connect your wallet
It is highly likely that you will be minting your NFT on a marketplace that uses the Ethereum blockchain. In this case, the easiest option is to use MetaMask, a web browser extension that also acts as a crypto wallet. It is accepted by almost every NFT marketplace and is often the default wallet for the most popular sites.
No matter the wallet you use once registered on the marketplace you need to connect the wallet. This will activate your profile and allow you to add key information about you and your NFT projects such as social details, images and user details.
Upload your file
The main part of the process, uploading the file you wish to create an NFT representation of. It may be phrased slightly differently in each marketplace but they all have a page dedicated to creating your NFT.
Thanks to the interest and continued development in this industry, this process has been refined over the last few years and now it is incredibly easy to follow. You will have to upload an image file, music file or video file as a first step.
Start to mint your NFT and approve transaction fees
Once the file is uploaded, you will be asked to add the key information you wish to add to the smart contract. This will include a combination of the following information:
- – Title and description of your item
- – Any agreements or ownership rules you wish to add
- – All other key information such as the history of the item, price etc
As soon as you have added all of the information you need, it is time to mint your NFT. When you move on to this stage, you will need to approve the transaction fees. It is so important to pause at this stage and make sure you have checked everything properly.
Make sure that you understand how the fees are calculated on that particular platform, whether you can afford to pay them and you have the funds in your wallet to do so.
Once you are happy with everything, the NFT process will start and you can sit back and wait for your exciting new NFT to be minted!
So what is the next step?
Put simply, the next step is to get creating your next NFT! Minting an NFT and blockchain technology, in general, can put many people off if they are new to this world but in reality, doing some research and taking your time can make it a fairly straightforward and rewarding process.
Don’t forget to explore all of the articles on the Cloudname blog page, as we often create articles to help understand aspects of cryptocurrency, blockchain technology and domain trading.
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