If you are a creative person and like to express your imagination in the digital world, then minting NFTs may be for you. Here are the perfect tools to help you get started.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been primarily known as the latest investment fad; however, they can also be innovative and profitable tools for artists of all backgrounds.
While selling digital files is nothing new, NFTs allow artists to create their digital artwork and sell it as the original creators with no negotiator agents through decentralized NFT marketplaces.
NFTs can be a jpeg file, an audio/video file, a domain name, or another type of digital file that is minted on the blockchain.
Anyone can download and save an NFT with no legal restrictions for the time being, just like anyone can get a copy of a well-known physical painting. However, they can’t claim ownership of a particular NFT that always belongs to the creator or the current NFT owner.
Minting is the fancy word for turning your work into an NFT and publishing it on the blockchain. It can be a profitable way for artists to monetize their creations.
They can even set a fee, or comission, for future sales of the artwork and earn passive income over time — something like royalty usually in the range of 10-30% — which does not exist in traditional art trading.
Minting an NFT does not necessarily require coding or technical skills. Due to the technology’s rapid, widespread adoption, blockchain-based NFT marketplaces, like OpenSea, have ensured that straightforward processes are in place to allow users to create and trade NFTs easily.
Blockchain technology could be intimidating and discourage the less tech-savvy individual. However, this article will highlight the best tools for beginners to get started on NFT minting and their difference.
Let’s start with the blockchains that will hold your NFT. You will also need to acquire a blockchain’s native cryptocurrency once you decide which service is ideal for you. You can buy (or sell) cryptocurrency in any crypto exchange available in your country.
It is possible to mint NFTs directly in a blockchain, but it requires some technical skills or patience to learn the basic process. So the process is recommended more for tech-skilled people. There are several steps to follow and a little technical know-how to use APIs, create smart contracts, and understand a bit of coding.
The most common and secure blockchain network to mint NFTs on is Ethereum. Currently, minting NFTs in proof-of-work (PoW) Ethereum is significantly inefficient from an energy standpoint. However, the team behind the blockchain is working on switching it to proof-of-stake (PoS), which is more energy-efficient. This should encourage all skeptical users to take advantage of the platform’s security to mint their NFTs.
Enjin allows NFT minting using Enjin coin (ENJ), an ERC-20 token issued on the Ethereum blockchain. It provides some reliability because all on-chain ENJ transactions are validated and secured by the Ethereum network.
Flow, Tezos and EOS, which are PoS and therefore favored by environmentally friendly users, are also NFT-friendly blockchains. Their minting processes are relatively more straightforward than minting on a blockchain like Ethereum. However, they still have more burdensome processes than NFT marketplaces built to allow users to have simplified methods.
Recently, NFTs built on Solana have gained some traction, thanks to its interoperability that allows users to send NFTs between Ethereum and Solana.
The real breakthrough for newbies that want to create an NFT easily comes from blockchain-powered marketplaces.
Regardless of the platform you choose, the following steps are common to most. Usually, the main difference between platforms is the required trading fee when buying or selling an NFT.
OpenSea is a popular Ethereum-based marketplace with millions of NFTs available. It was launched in 2017 by programmers Alex Atallah and Devin Finzer, who saw the potential in applications like Cryptokitties.
It’s possible to mint all kinds of digital assets in OpenSea, from game items to domain names and collectible arts. It supports 241 payment options, including stablecoins and wBTC.
OpenSea also supports cross-chain interaction through Polygon, allowing users to move their ETH onto its network for gas-free trading through a process called bridging.
Nifty Gateway, an Ethereum-based marketplace, was launched in the US in 2018, and it’s owned by the Winklevoss brothers’ cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.
The platform is mainly used by well-known NFT creators, including Beeple and Michael Kagan. It was designed to allow artists to create limited edition and high-quality digital assets only available at the Nifty Gateway platform.
The platform targets an audience not interested in free-for-all arts but exclusive artworks. The team behind Nifty Gateway carefully selects the collectibles allowed to be published on their platform. This rigor encouraged even traditional artists like Trevor Jones and Kenny Scharf to use the platform.
Being such a “premier digital art marketplace” implies that the platform looks at the more expensive end of the market. This is reflected in the 15% high fee they charge for NFTs trading transactions, comparable with regular art galleries’ fee for the sale of any paintings.
Rarible is another popular NFT marketplace used for creating, buying and selling NFTs without coding skills. Like OpenSea, it’s powered by the Ethereum blockchain and has over $24 million in trading volume. While OpenSea includes NFTs from other marketplaces, Rarible has unique NFTs from its platform only.
Rarible is extremely easy to use for NFT minting and is available on iOS and Android mobile devices. Accepted digital files are PNG, GIF, WEBP, MP4, or MP3 other than JPEGs.
Foundation has been around since 2020 and is also a U.S. Ethereum-based marketplace.
The platform’s mission is to make NFTs art auctions accessible and appealing to everyone, allowing for a simple user interface and easy-to-use functionality.
Foundation also takes pride in using NFTs for social good, to promote charitable causes, and has featured live bidding for artworks of various personalities, including Edward Snowden.
SuperRare is another U.S. Ethereum-based marketplace that has been around since 2018. As the name suggests, the platform mainly displays super-rare NFT collections.
SuperRare defines crypto art as NFTs that have their entire history – creation (minting), tokenization, artist, and subsequent purchase and sale – encoded on the blockchain.
The scarcity of NFT and the idea of purchasing truly unique digital objects has recently been challenged by artists who have begun creating different versions of the same object. SuperRare aims to reverse this trend by focusing on exclusive crypto art.