What is NFT?
NFT (non-fungible token) - is a unique token, that can not be replaced by a similar token as far as they vary by meta-data. This token is based on smart-contract, which prove the rights of its holder. The token can be transferred to another person only by the owner's authorization.
NFT may be in the form of
- and even tweets
The question of how to own NFT is very important. Are my rights as the owner of NFT protected? Can a popular NFT be sold several times?
Yes, it is possible to sell one and the same NFT on different marketplaces. But if it is done by a popular author his reputation will be damaged forever. Is it a worse additional sum of money? This question has no answer but usually, nobody acts like this. So the token is unique. If one wants to create own NFT-based blockchain, it will be unique too, but multiple tokens can be created. So we can say that to some extent creators are more protected than the buyers and collectors. There are some talks about the centralized registry of NFTs but this actually contradicts the idea of blockchain as a decentralized system. As the NFT market and NFT as a work of art are very young these questions are a matter of future development.
Where are NFT used?
NFT tokens are widely used in P2E, M2E, L2E games. With the help of NFT one can perform various activities and get a reward. The best and the most well-known example is Axies - creatures that can be used in a game. Axies are also made in the form of NFTs and there is a special marketplace for Axies lovers.
The virtual land and virtual universes are places where it is possible to get a piece of land with the help of NFT tokens (see Sandbox and Otherdead). Some projects offer staking facilities - you can stake your NFT and get a reward for this. Tickets to various events can be issued in the form of NFT.
And finally, nowadays NFT is a digital art which comes through a period of popularity, which brings substantial profits to the owners of precious NFT. The famous "The Merge" was sold for nearly one hundred million bucks, and this inspires people who want to raise money. Besides a lot of NFTs are bought for speculative purposes. People place orders to be the first to buy NFTs and then resell them for a higher price. Sometimes there are even "wars" for prospective NFTs.
What is NFT collection?
The question " How do you make an NFT and raise a good sum of money" is really hard to solve. There one can consider an NFT collection -actually most NFTs are produced in a form of a collection. The most NFT collection consists of 5000 and more tokens. If it is popular, the sums that you may raise may be very high.
Another thing is the 10k profile-pic (PFP) collection. They are created by generators that combine various "traits" and make NFT tokens. For instance, you want to create a cowboy. You draw a picture, and the generator adds some additional traits - for instance, a gun. So the pictures become unique - in a number of 10 000. There are free generators, but the number of created works is usually limited by 100. The most popular project is Bueno, and it is a very good tool for artists who want to multiply their works and create a collection.
How to create NFTs as works of art: what to consider?
There is really no problem in solving the questions like "Can I make an NFT?" or "How to make an NFT token?". It takes time and attention, but it is relatively easy. You should not be a skilful IT specialist to create your own NFT-based blockchain. But NFT is unique and should contain anything particular that might attract people's attention. Most part of NFTs is sold for a small sum of money and go without anybody's attention. So NFT is just another type of art - with every feature of art.
The first thing you should think about is your unique idea - and the way it is performed.
At this stage, you should think about intellectual property rights. For instance, you want to make a GIF with the participation of Chip and Dale. These particular characters may be in somebody's possession - and this person may claim damages or the lost profit. This may lead you into trouble. In this case, all your thoughts will be on how to mitigate the claim instead of how to make a non-fungible token of your new ideas.
I've got a nice GIF: how to make an NFT token?
Imagine your work of art is ready. How do you make an NFT of it? There are several steps to be made, and we come close to NFT minting. Actually minting means registering the work of art in the blockchain system. So the question "how do I start making NFTs" should better sound "how can I mint NFTs".
When the piece of art is ready there are several steps left.
Chose a blockchain: what is important?
There is common knowledge about blockchain as a distributed system, but there are different types of blockchain technologies.
One should consider the following issues while studying how to make an NFT token:
- the easiness of minting.
Digital artists very often chose Ethereum to perform their creativity. Ethereum is a general-use blockchain, it offers ERC20, ERC721, ERC1155 standards of NFT. These standards meant nothing to users but may be important for an art creator as far as they affect the price. One should understand that there is a "price of gas" - the expenses on transactions within the blockchain. So the price is affected by:
- the current gas situation
- the computational powers required
- the number of transactions carried out
- the size of the smart contract.
The problem with Ethereum is that the interaction is getting more and more slow and expensive. This is a second-wave blockchain, and there are more "progressive" ones for now.
This is a kind of art filter for performers. Though the price is not high for one NFT it might be high if you issue a collection.
But Ethereum is not the only possibility. One may consider the following options while deciding how to setup NFT:
Tezos blockchain is an ecosystem with its own token TEZ, which allows users to create NFT. The prices are very low in comparison to Ethereum - about 2-3 USD, and this attracts the users.
This is also a blockchain that can be considered while deciding where to start with NFTs. Polkadot allows constructing the marketplaces to buy and sell NFT. It supports 1000 transactions per second - a good result. Besides, Polkadot functions on many parallel blockchains (parachains) which can be easily connected.
This is a constantly growing internet of blockchains that can interact, its Token Atom is in the top-50 of the cryptocurrency. This is the third generation of blockchains, which is likely to solve the problems of Ethereum. Each app has its own blockchain, and they can easily interact. It is more like Polkadot, but with some technical differences.
Binance Smart Chain
Binance Smart Chain was specially designed for smart contracts and it operates on a new mechanism Proof of Stake Authority. Binance offers the most popular marketplace for NFTs, the main purpose of which is to mint NFT, which are specially designed for sale.
Solana is considered a relatively cheap variant of how to register an NFT.
Chose a crypto wallet: what to consider?
Once the piece of art is created and the blockchain is chosen, it is time to take practical steps for minting. As far as minting is not free one should create a crypto wallet and install there some crypto coins depending on which ecosystem is chosen. There is a variety of services where to have your crypto wallet:
This service is specially designed for NFT makers. You can have separate addresses for different NFTs so you can keep your crypto as safe as possible. It provides easy access to web3 sites - most of the marketplaces. For those who require swapping currencies to purchase an NFT, Metamask can offer a swap feature. There is a possibility to limit gas fees though it may lead to the non-performance of the operations.
This is a competitor to metamask. It has some strong points as far as it supports 70 blockchains. It provides desktop and mobile wallets and also offers multiple addresses.
Coinbase is a crypto exchange, but it also offers wallets for NFT producers. Coinbase substituted the long number of the wallets with users' names. That is not a big advantage but people are not very happy about long numbers of wallets and prefer nicknames.
This wallet is owned by Binance and suits those who decided to use Binance Smart Changes to mint NFT.
Marketplace: where to sell?
So you chose and created your wallet. Now you should think about where to place your NFT. Different marketplaces might demand various steps concerning authorization and attaching your crypto wallet, but it is not complicated. There are marketplaces especially designed to buy and sell NFTs. The most popular are:
One of the biggest marketplaces where all possible variants of NFT are bought and sold. The thing is that the purchases and sales are made in Rarible token - RARI. Rarible charges fees - 2,5% from the buyer and the same from the seller. It provides a Lazy Minting option - the person who mints pay no gas fees, they are paid by one who buys your NFT.
The question of how I create an NFT and sell it on Rarible has several answers. When the question concerns price you can use several options:
- Fixed price: the price is stable
- Time auction: the one who offers the best price during a set period of time receives NFT
- Open auction: no price is shown, the buyer offers it himself.
OpenSea is the leading market where to buy and sell NFT tokens. It also accepts Rarible NFTs to be sold - so this raises the chances of an unknown artist selling his works. The marketplace gives the possibility to pay by various tokens. They announce that users no longer pay gas fees, so this is a gas-fee marketplace. Does it mean that if you want to create your own NFT it will be totally free of charge? No. To create your own account you have to pay a gas fee for it. The first-time listing on an auction will also lead to the payment of gas fees. Still, OpenSea is a good variant for beginners.
Mintable is a platform similar to OpenSea and offers Etherium-based NFT of all kinds: music, picture, GIFs and so on.
Binance is the leading crypto exchange, and it has developed 3 lines of products:
- Events: popular artists mint their NFT on this platform
- Marketplace: a platform for ordinary creators
- Mistery box: a kind of Binance advertising project, which gets the possibility to win NFTs for free.
Binance also did a subscription mechanism for those who are interested in whitelisting. One should only have an NFT Binance page and pay the Participation ticket price. One can buy a limited number of tickets. Binance also has a library where anybody can learn how to create an NFT token.
Your own website
It is possible to place an NFT and receive payment through Shopify.
So you create your work of art, register a wallet, attach a wallet to the marketplace - and mint your NFT!
What are a presale and white list NFT?
Technically whitelisting is a preapproval of a crypto wallet. It looks like a pre-sale list that guarantees that owners of particular crypto wallets can acquire NFT - one or several - of an upcoming project. This is a kind of an opportunity to get NFT for a lower price or sometimes even for free and either to resell it for a higher price or to use it somewhere.
So it does not really matter how you make NFTs and where you sell them - the thing is how many supporters you have. NFT is an art: talents and admirers are seeking each other.