Cryptocurrencies have revolutionized the fintech space and how transactions are carried out between individuals. Ethereum, Bitcoin, Dogecoin and others have gained widespread acceptance in the US, India, Nigeria and other major economies of the world.
Crypto and the blockchain systems are not quite done yet where innovation is concerned. Non-fungible token (NFT) is the next step in the crypto space and have created another avenue for creators of digital assets like artwork, songs and others to trade their work and get recognition for their efforts.
What are Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are recorded works of art on the blockchain.
Anything can be an NFT, really, as long as the digital version can be uploaded to the blockchain. The excitement has been about NFTs being a means of selling digital art but the tokens can also be music, video clips and apparently virtual kittens., we’ll get to the kittens later.
A token is non-fungible if there is only one of its kind. An original painting of Leonardo Da Vinci is non-fungible because there is only 1 original. Bitcoin, Ether and 5 sets of the same cloth are fungible because there is no one original. 1 bitcoin can be exchanged for another, same with Ether and any of the clothes in the set mentioned earlier.
Since the tokens are all virtual, they can be sold to anyone on the blockchain from anywhere in the world.
How do you mint NFTs?
Now to the more interesting part, how do you mint an NFT?
NFTs can be minted on many blockchains, but the Ethereum blockchain is the most popular at the moment. Other blockchains that are being used by NFT artists include Cardano, Polkadot, Bitcoin Cash, Binance Smart Chain, EOS, Tron, Flow, WAX, Tezos and Cosmos.
The ethereum blockchain is where the majority of the NFT action is happening, so in this post, I will also be referencing this blockchain. The first step is to have a crypto wallet that you can store ether in. Since you are working with the ethereum blockchain, whatever payments will be required will be made using ether.
Next, you will need a non-custodial wallet to store your minted tokens in. A wallet is non-custodial if it is not in the custody of another company. For this class of wallet, you can create one with MetaMask or Trustwallet.
Since a non-custodial wallet is not anchored by any company, your secret key is your responsibility. Losing it will mean the loss of your assets for all time except you regain it.
Once your wallet is in place, the next step is to mint your tokens. There a number of platforms that can be used for this, including Rarible, Opensea and Mintable.
Here is how to use Opensea
From opensea, select the “create” option and connect your MetaMask wallet. Opensea does not support Trustwallet and only accepts Authereum, BitSki, Fortmatic and a few others. The minting platform will direct you on how to connect your wallet and “sign” to complete the process of linking your wallet to Opensea.
Tokens are created in collections on Opensea, therefore you need to create a new one on the My collections page. You can then add several non-fungible tokens to your collection. To add a token, open the collection and edit it selecting the “Add new item” option.
Type in the name, external links and right proerties for the token you are creating.
Finally, upload the high-quality file of the digital work that you are rendering as an NFT. Once this step is completed, you have successfully created your very own NFT and can proceed to list it for sale.
To sell your NFT, you can set a price, put it up for auction or bundle it with other NFTs to sell in one move. The price can be set in ETH (ether), DAI or USDC. DAI and USDC are stable coins whose value are always equivalent to that of a dollar, i.e, 1 DAI = 1 USDC = $1.
Here is how to use Mintable
Like Opensea, Mintable is another web-based minting app that lets you create your own NFT. From mintable, create an account and choose the ‘start selling’ option.
You can either create a new item or add NFTs if you already have them in your wallet. For each new NFT to be created, details such as listing title, listing subtitle, and a description for the content.
NFTs can be created from GIFs, images, audio files, video files, documents, domain names, virtual worlds and lands etc. Once created, tokens can be listed on any of the NFT marketplaces including Opensea, Mintable, collectables.io, Cryptopunks and Sorare.
Steps at a glance
- Get your design or digital work ready
- Set up an ether wallet with ether in it, of course
- Set up your non-custodial wallet
- Create an account with Mintable, Opensea or another minting platform for NFTs
- Upload your digital asset and set pricing and other details
- Seriously, that’s all.
The concept of NFT is that it is a unique work belonging to someone. When it is sold to someone else, more copies of it can be minted and sold. This means that the token will not be non-fungible, since duplicates of it exists, however, the original copy of it can only belong to one person on the blockchain.
After the NFT is sold, the new owner is recorded on the blockchain along with the details of all transactions relating to that NFT.
Fees and charges…
Some NFT minting platforms will charge you “gas” fee per token that you create. Opensea charges the gas fee only on the first NFT that is created allows you to let the buyers of your NFT pay the fee for the subsequent token. The fee can range from $2 to $32 and more.
NFTs are gaining momentum, and big tech is in the middle of it, of course. Crypto.com just announced the launch of its NFT platform that is dedicated to delivering unique content from popular artists, musicians, athletes, and sports. Works of people like Lionel Richie, Aston Martin, Snoop Dogg and others will be available on the platform.
Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, auctioned his first tweet as an NFT on a website Valuables by Cent to the highest bidder for $2.9 million. It was bought by Malaysian businessman, Sina Estavi, and the proceeds will be given to charity, according to Dorsey.
Remember the kittens? Yeah, well, a game called cryptokitties allows users to buy and sell virtual kittens as NFTs. In 2018, someone on the blockchain bought one of the kittens for $170,000.
In Nigeria, the wave is catching on too. Digital artist, James Osinachi, creates designs and auctions hem on websites where people bid in ether. His designs currently sell at close to 20ETH per one, with his highest sale yet being 20ETH for the artwork, Resignation.