The concept of selling digital files and assets may not exactly be a novelty, but it’s safe to say that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have radically changed the way it’s done.
For artists and creators, NFTs bring a much-needed breath of fresh air – allowing them to monetize their work without having to give away big chunks of profits to third parties. From digital art and music to poems and even code, we’re now seeing an impressive renaissance of creativity, with creators being the ones in the driver’s seat.
But all of this can’t happen without minting, the process of turning a creator’s work into NFTs. Here are the most important things you need to know about it. 🎨🎵✍️
Minting basically refers to taking a digital file (or entire file “collections”) and turning it into an asset that is stored on the blockchain. The word itself originates from the process of creating fiat currency: When a coin is minted, it can’t be changed – in parallel, nothing on the blockchain can be deleted, edited, or changed.
Today, minting is as simple as creating your digital file, uploading it on a platform, determining the conditions of the underlying smart contract (where they can specify all the NFT’s utilities to attract buyers), and finalizing the listing. Some would compare the process to uploading a video on YouTube or listing an item for sale on Amazon.
For creators, this means being completely in charge of the process. This unprecedented situation includes the benefit of setting the royalties they’ll receive from the secondary sales of the NFTs (something unthinkable in the world of physical art!). Today, the standard royalty payout from secondary sales tends to hover around 5-10%.
When uploading a file on an NFT marketplace, artists have to provide different pieces of information, including the asset’s name, descriptions, relevant links, and, perhaps most importantly, the blockchain on which the NFT will be based.
Today, there are already varying competing chains, with the most common ones for NFTs being Ethereum, Flow, Tezos, Polygon, Solana, Cardano, Immutable, and more. And it goes without saying that each of them functions differently and has its pros and cons. Some key factors to look at include speed, security, environmental friendliness, and even fees.
For example, while Ethereum might be the most popular and straightforward chain to use, the gas fees a creator has to pay when minting the NFT can be astronomical – encouraging many to choose alternatives instead.
Today, there is a plethora of NFT marketplaces out there, and each offers different tools, types of sale (fixed price vs. a timed auction), and levels of ownership. Service fees vary across platforms, with the standard being around 2.5% of the NFT selling price. To find out what best works for them, creators should always do their research rather than jump on the first platform to mint their work.
It’s also worth noting that not all platforms support all chains – even in the case of the most established ones in the space. For example, Solana might not be viable on OpenSea (update: now viable, things change fast in this space!), while an artist can never mint a Polygon NFT on Rarible.
In the NFT world, your wallet is the closest you can get to the proof of digital identity. For a creator to be able to upload their work on a platform, they will need to connect a crypto wallet first. This can happen through a QR code scanner, downloading the wallet onto a computer, and more, depending on the marketplace.
Then, this wallet is also where the payment is sent should the minted NFTs get sold.
There are other things to be aware of; for example, if a creator is building on Ethereum, they will need to have some ETH in their wallet – as the gas fees will be charged upon finalizing the transaction.
Many creators forget that minting doesn’t mean selling, unfortunately. Stating the NFT utilities is only the first step – to really attract audiences, a creator needs to invest in building communities. Despite being so young, the NFT space is already highly competitive – and creators can’t simply expect buyers to stumble upon their project when browsing.
Minting is a technicality, but selling NFTs takes active effort.
NFTs are all about the empowerment of creators, but this comes with new responsibilities too. For example, they should find new ways to engage with their target audience – be it through Twitter or Discord. Ultimately, in the NFT world, the community is the number one marketing focus, which means that consistency will help creators build trust.
Minting NFTs is an exciting process, but creators can only make the most out of it when properly informed. To stay on top of the latest blockchain trends, make sure to read our blog. 💪