To create an NFT, you need to first mint it on a blockchain like Ethereum, for instance. This is an easy process which basically everyone can follow.
What do you need? Well, nothing special. If you are already familiar with the cryptocurrency world, you need a cryptocurrency wallet, some crypto assets and of course some energy.
The process of minting could cost anywhere between a dollar and a thousand dollars and the fees you pay can be categorized as gas fees and service fees:
- Gas fees depend on the blockchain you choose to mint on and are payments made to compensate for the energy used to process and validate transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. When demand is high, gas fees are high as well.
- Service fees are determined by the NFT marketplace you choose. These include account fees as well as listing fees.
Example: Minting an NFT on Foundation
Minting on Foundation is quite straightforward. After you create your account, you need to connect your ETH wallet to it. Then, upload your artwork, add a title and a description and you are ready to mint your first NFT.
After you mint it, you need to sign it, meaning you can no longer change or update it. Remember, if you need to alter it, you need to burn it (i.e. remove it from the ETH blockchain), which means that you would incur additional fees. By signing your NFT, you link it to your ETH address and verify the authenticity of the work.
The minting process on the Ethereum blockchain is associated with gas fees, i.e the cost the users pay to use the blockchain. When these fees are covered, the minding can be initiated. A confirmation will be sent to you once the process is complete and the NFT is available on your profile.
What is the cost of minting?
The Ethereum blockchain is the most popular network for minting NFTs and costs on it start from about USD 50-70. However, some hidden fees may apply. For example, there are initial sale fees (up to 15%) as well as secondary sale fees (up to 10%). Also, the gas fees vary depending on how congested the Ethereum blockchain is. Basically, the busier it is, the higher the gas fees are, though the amount of gas necessary for the successful completion of a transaction is constant. Thus, the minting process can exceed USD 100 and in some rare cases even USD 1,000.
There is, of course, an option to avoid the upfront fees associated with minting. This is what some call lazy minting. In this case, your NFT is not registered on the blockchain until someone purchases it. This means that the buyer is responsible for the minting and the price he or she pays covers the initial fee. Many platforms like OpenSea and Rarible, for instance, offer this option, thus allowing creators to increase their exposure.
Besides on the Ethereum blockchain, you can mint NFTs on Solana and on Polygon.
Actually, one of the most popular NFT marketplaces, OpenSea, offers minting on the Polygon network and guess what – it is completely free. There are no initial fees because minting on Polygon through OpenSea is by default lazy minting. The platform, however, charges a service fee of 2.5%, which is deducted from the selling price once the first transaction is successful. Note that the price will be in ETH, although you are using the Polygon blockchain.
Polygon, which currently has a market cap of about USD 13 billion, has just raised USD 450 million in a new venture financing round. It plans to use the funding to grow its portfolio of Ethereum scaling solutions as well as to build a larger developer ecosystem.
Solana is yet another affordable alternative for minting NFTs. A prerequisite, however, is using a wallet like Phantom that supports the Solana blockchain. The minting process involves a total of three transactions – two approval transactions and one that sets the NFT price.
Based on users’ data, the total minting fee varies. One user reported, for example, that at a price of USD 95 per 1 SOL, the transaction cost was USD 0.12. However, others claimed they paid more than USD 2.00. Actually, the transactions on Solana are extremely cheap but users pay for storing data.
Some of the NFT marketplaces that offer minting on the Solana blockchain are Magic Eden, Solanart, Solsea, DigitalEyes, and Metaplex.
Creating an NFT may not always cost a fortune. Actually, it can even be free on platforms that offer lazy minting. Are you ready to create your first NFT collection?