NFTs have been around since 2014, but they only shot to the limelight in 2021 after artist Beeple sold his NFT “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” for $69.3 million. Artist Pak also sold his art “The Merge” for $91.8 million in the same year. Since then, NFTs have become incredibly popular, with many celebrities starting to create and sell their NFTs. With many desiring to create and sell their NFTs, one of the most confusing questions is how much does it cost to create an NFT.
Since there is a lot of information about how profiting NFTs are, we want to explore the practical side of NFTs, including how they are created and the cost of minting NFTs on different blockchains. At the end of this article, you will be prepared to create your first NFT.
What is an NFT?
NFT stands for “Non-Fungible Token.” An NFT is a digital token stored on the blockchain. NFTs act as digital certificates of ownership for digital assets, which can be real-world objects and arts like paintings, games, photography & videography, virtual real estate, music, and such.
NFTs have metadata code stored on the blockchain for establishing uniqueness and ownership. Each NFT is one-of-a-kind, meaning that it cannot be exchanged for another NFT. NFTs also have different values based on their rarity.
After a digital asset is created, it is uploaded as a file to the blockchain alongside metadata containing the information about the asset to make an NFT. NFTs can be purchased, sold, and collected.
How are NFTs Created?
The process of creating an NFT is known as minting. The NFT minting process involves deciding on where, when, and how to create NFTs as well as the tools and technologies to be used.
The process of minting NFTs is very simple. One starts by creating a unique digital asset. This can be anything, from digital artwork to in-game weapons. This should be followed by selecting an NFT marketplace and connecting your crypto wallet.
The next step should be followed by creating the NFT and listing it for sale on the NFT marketplace. The marketplace will require you to upload the digital file to be turned into an NFT and add its metadata. Once the file is uploaded, you will be done with creating an NFT. The last step will be displaying the NFT on the marketplace for people to purchase it, a process known as listing.
Does it Cost Money to Make an NFT?
Yes, it costs money to create an NFT. The following are the common costs of creating an NFT:
#1: Gas fees
The gas fee is the price one has to pay to execute transactions on the blockchain. The gas fee depends on the demand for the blockchain at the time of initiating the transaction. You will incur gas charges to mint an NFT, list the NFT, accept the bidding, and transfer the ownership of the NFT to another person. Gas fees determine the cost to create NFT.
#2: Account fees
Account fee refers to the cost paid to the NFT marketplace. It is a one-time cost incurred when setting up a marketplace account and connecting your crypto wallet to the platform.
#3: Listing fee
Some NFT marketplaces allow their users to mint NFTs for free but charge a fee to list the NFT for sale on the marketplace. This fee is known as the listing fee.
The above are the three common costs associated with creating NFTs. However, since each blockchain has a different process when it comes to creating NFTs, the costs may differ. The cost of minting NFTs may also differ on the same blockchain depending on data size, demand for the blockchain, transaction speed, time of minting, gas fees, and project quality.
Note that one may incur other costs to create an NFT. For example, you may have to hire a digital artist to design the NFT for you, and this will come with additional costs.
How Much Does it Cost to Create an NFT?
On Average, the cost of minting NFT starts from $0.05 to over $150. The cost to create NFT is determined by various factors such as the cost of blockchain, marketplace account fee, gas fee, listing fee, and such. Ethereum is the most expensive blockchain while Solana is the cheapest blockchain for minting NFTs. Much of the cost of minting NFT goes to the blockchain fee. Sometimes, Ethereum users may incur a fee of up to $500 to create a single NFT, especially when the network traffic is at its peak.
One thing to note is that the time a transaction spends on the blockchain is important as it will directly affect the cost of minting NFT. If you create an NFT at the busiest time, the cost will be high. Thus, it is good to analyze the usage of the blockchain that you choose for minting NFTs.
What is the Cost of minting NFT on Different Platforms?
It is easy to create NFTs on NFT marketplaces. Some of the common, user-friendly NFT marketplaces are OpenSea, Rarible, and Mintable. These platforms provide their users with at least two blockchain options for minting NFTs. The cost of minting NFT will depend on the blockchain that you choose.
Ethereum was the first blockchain for minting NFTs. However, today many blockchains support minting NFTs, including Solana, Texos, Polygon, Cardano, WAX, Zilliqa, Avalanche, and others.
Ethereum is the most expensive blockchain for minting NFTs because it uses the Proof of Work (PoW) consensus algorithm. The PoW algorithm uses a competitive approach for confirming blockchain transactions, causing the gas fees to surge. The cost to create NFT on Ethereum depends on the time the transaction is initiated and the market price of ETH, the native token of the Ethereum blockchain.
Blockchains such as Solana use the Proof of Stake (PoS) and Proof of History (PoH) consensus algorithms. In PoS, transactions are validated by randomly selected users while PoH records the relative time and order of each message in historical records. These protocols enable Solana to offer the most efficient experience and complete up to 65K transactions per second. On average, the cost of minting NFT on Solana is 0.00001 SOL ($0.01).
Ethereum on the other hand only completes 12 to 15 transactions per second.
Can NFTs be created for Free?
Yes, you can create an NFT at no cost. Polygon blockchain allows users to create NFTs for free, a process known as lazy minting. With lazy minting, users create NFTs off-chain (outside the main blockchain) and only pay fees after the NFT is sold. Once the NFT is sold, it will be published to the “on-chain” (main blockchain). A 2.5% NFT service fee will be charged on the selling price of the NFT. This is the best option for those trying to create an NFT for the first time.
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