Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have become one of the most popular commodities in cryptocurrency over the past few years, with billions in trading volume and multiple celebrities bringing digital artwork to the forefront of mainstream media.
NFT tokens can be created directly on NFT platforms, allowing you to mine (the process of creating or producing something) and upload your artwork to the blockchain. This guide details the steps necessary to create your first NFT, including how to upload your artwork, choose the right blockchain, and where to put it up for sale.
What Is an NFT and How Do You Create One?
Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are cryptographic assets on a blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from one another.
Unlike cryptocurrencies, NFTs cannot be exchanged for each other because each NFT is unique. Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, is fungible and can be exchanged for an equivalent. This means that the value of each bitcoin is the same, so they can be exchanged for each other.
NFTs are usually represented by digital works of art, such as photographs, animated videos or music. They can be bought and sold on NFT marketplaces and usually require cryptocurrency for payment.
You can create an NFT on an NFT market or a cryptocurrency exchange that supports NFT mining. To create an NFT from scratch, follow these six steps.
Step 1: Figure Out What You Want to Create
NFTs are usually associated with a piece of digital art. It can be an image, an audio recording (such as a song), or even a short video clip (such as an animated GIF). The goal is to create a unique piece of digital art that can be sold, much like a painting in an art gallery.
NFTs are valuable to creators because they are unique, that is, they cannot be owned by others. It is especially important to make sure that you own the rights to the digital media used, as creating NFTs from media that you do not own may have legal consequences.
Step 2: Choose a Blockchain
There are several blockchains in which your NFTs can be stored. This blockchain will store a permanent record of your NMT, so it is important to choose one that meets your requirements.
The most popular NFT blockchain is Ethereum, which stores thousands of NFT collections. Ethereum NFTs are created using the ERC-721 standard, which stores NFT metadata on the Ethereum blockchain. This standard was developed by the same teams that developed the ERC-20 smart contract, and defines the minimum interface – ownership details, security details and metadata needed to exchange and distribute game tokens.
This blockchain now operates using a consensus proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism, making it much more environmentally friendly than before. Most NFT trading venues support the creation of Ethereum NFT, although translation of NFT on the Ethereum blockchain may come with a high gas fee.
The closest competitor to the Ethereum blockchain is Solana. Designed as a faster and cheaper alternative to Ethereum, Solana offers transaction fees of less than $0.01 and a growing list of supported NFT applications. In addition, Solana uses Proof-of-History (PoH) and PoS consensus mechanisms and boasts much faster transaction speeds than Ethereum.
Flow is another PoS blockchain for NFTs and decentralized gaming applications, on which the popular NBA Top Shot collection of NFTs has been created. Many other sports franchises have created their trading floors on the Flow blockchain, making it a popular place to create sports-oriented NFTs.
There are several other blockchains that support NFTs, each with its own community and decentralized applications (dApps) for NFT creators and owners.
Step 3: Set Up an NFT Wallet
Once you select a blockchain, you will need a digital wallet that supports that blockchain to store your NFTs. To create a wallet, you need to download the cryptocurrency wallet app, specify a username and password, and store private keys and a recovery phrase offline for backup.
There are several popular wallet apps that support multiple blockchains wallets:
- MetaMask: MetaMask is a popular cryptocurrency wallet that supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies as well as Ethereum and Solana blockchain. It can be used as a mobile app or added as a browser extension.
- Coinbase Wallet: Coinbase offers a digital wallet that supports ERC-721 NFT tokens as well as Solana NFT collections. It can be downloaded as a mobile app or added as a browser extension.
- Ledger Nano X: If you want to store NFTs in a secure hardware wallet, Ledger Nano X supports Ethereum and Solana NFTs.
Step 4: Choose an NFT Platform
An ever-growing list of NFT platforms allows you to create an NFT, but the best ones offer a full range of NFT hosting and selling services. Here are a few of the most popular NFT platforms:
- OpenSea: The most popular platform for NFT today is OpenSea. With more than $20 billion in trading volume since its launch in 2017 and more than 2 million NFT collections, OpenSea is the leading Ethereum-based NFT platform. OpenSea launched support for Solana NFT in July 2022.
- Solanart: As a Solana-based NFT platform, Solanart hosts some of Solana NFT’s most popular collections, with a user-friendly interface and a simple mining application process.
- Crypto exchanges: Several crypto exchanges support the creation of NFTs, such as the Binance exchange. You can create your NFT directly on the platform, choose which blockchain you prefer, and mine or create NFT directly.
Step 5: Create the NFT
Once you have chosen a platform, creating an NFT is pretty straightforward. Here is an example for creating an NFT on OpenSea:
- Connect your wallet: In the OpenSea menu, select the wallet icon and choose which digital wallet you’d like to connect. This will require you to sign a verification on your wallet app.
- Select the “Create” option: This brings up a menu for the NFT creation process, including an upload section, NFT features, properties, and blockchain.
- Upload your media file: This is the picture or other media that you will be selling. You can upload directly or link to an externally hosted media file.
- Fill in the details: You will need to name your NFT and fill in a description. You can optionally add unique properties and additional perks like unlockable content, such as an invite to a private Discord channel or discount codes to merchandise. You can also create a limit on how many can be minted (typically just one, unless you are making a full collection).
- Select your blockchain: This will be the blockchain on which your NFT resides, and it cannot be changed once minted.
- Create the NFT: Once you have filled in the details of your NFT, simply select “Create.”
After hitting “Create,” your file will upload, and the NFT will be created. But the NFT is not listed for sale just yet, and the metadata is technically changeable until you list your item for sale.
Step 6: List the NFT for Sale
Putting your NFT up for sale is easy, and most NFT platforms allow you to do it for free. Once your NFT has been created and is in your wallet, you can simply click “sell” on the platform of your choice and choose the price at which you want to put it up for sale and how long the sale will last.
Once the details of the sale have been fullfilled, you can create a listing. This will require you to sign a few transactions in your digital wallet, which may include paying transaction fees on the blockchain of your choice. Solana transactions are tiny, usually less than $0.01, while an NFT listing on the Ethereum blockchain can cost much more, depending on the network fees at the time of listing.
How Much Does It Cost to Sell an NFT?
Once an NFT is listed, it should have a unique URL that can be shared with others. Sellers pay a nominal commission to the NFT marketplace when a purchase is made, for example, Binance charges a 1% platform fee as well as other fees, while OpenSea charges a flat 2.5% of the sale price.
However, when you create an NFT, you can add a royalty fee that pays you a percentage of the transaction when your NFT is later sold. Creators can earn up to 10% from each transaction.
Can I Create a Non-fungible Token (NFT) for Free?
Yes. Most platforms that issue non-functional tokens (NFTs) allow the creation and placement of NFTs for free. However, selling NFTs usually comes with a transaction fee. In addition, some NFT blockchains charge a fee for mining NFTs on their blockchain, charging users a network fee. Ethereum charges a gas fee, which is a base fee per unit of work plus a tip, with the fee varying depending on blockchain and network activity. However, the Polygon blockchain does not charge for single mining, but does charge a nominal fee for batch mining.
How Do I Create an NFT Image?
NFT images are simply digital images uploaded to the NFT platform. Most platforms support several image formats, including JPEG, PNG, and even animated GIF images. These images can be created in several ways, but the NFT platform must support the download format to create the original NFT image.
Are NFTs Protected by Copyright?
Yes, as long as they are not subject to fair use laws. Copyright is granted as soon as an image, sound byte, video, document, or other original work is created. The creator is the owner of the copyright. Buying NFT does not transfer ownership of the copyright; that still remains with the creator. However, as of July 2022, there is an ongoing debate in Congress about how copyright protection and the NFT should be interpreted.