How Do You Create an NFT?

NFT (Non-Fungible Token) Futuristic Background.
da-kuk / Getty Images

When you create a non-fungible token (NFT), you establish ownership of a digital asset or online collectible — and if the world loves it, the right NFT can earn you a bundle of money.

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Vignesh Sundaresan — aka MetaKovan — bought “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” by Beeple for $69.3 million, according to Nasdaq. “The Merge” by Pak has about 28,000 partial owners who collectively paid $91.8 million for that little sliver of digital data.

Will one of your own creations ever earn you enough money to instantly catapult you into the ruling class? It’s possible, but highly improbable.

You might, however, have a realistic goal of minting an NFT that earns you a few bucks or more — or you might just want to start a collection, have something to trade or just learn how to publish your digital works to the blockchain.

No matter your reasons or goals, keep reading to learn the basics about minting your very own NFT.

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Know What You’re Getting Into

If you’re already at the pre-minting stage, chances are good that you already know your NFT ABC’s. Even so, the first step to creating an NFT is to take a deep dive into what it takes, what it costs and what you can expect along the way.

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Did you know, for example, that gas fees — mandatory blockchain transaction charges that fluctuate based on network traffic — were fairly affordable before 2020 but now represent one of the biggest barriers to entry, according to NFT Now?

That’s just the beginning. There’s a lot to consider. Learn as much as you can about creating NFTs before you get to minting the next million-dollar masterpiece.

Decide What To Enshrine for Eternity

You can turn just about any digital file into an NFT, provided that you own it and no one else can lay claim to its intellectual property rights. That includes:

  • Pictures
  • Drawings, paintings and other artwork
  • Music
  • Video clips
  • Tweets and other online content and statements
  • Memes
  • Video game Easter eggs
  • GIFs
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But, according to The Verge, “your first NFT should probably be an image, video or audio clip of some sort.”

That’s because you’ll be limited to the formats that your marketplace’s minting tools support, and those are the most common.

Choose a Blockchain

The potential and popularity of NFTs are rooted in the fact that they “cannot be faked, replaced, replicated or hacked in any way,” according to Sensorium.

To achieve that level of security and transparency, NFTs rely on the same open-ledger blockchain technology as cryptocurrency. The artwork or whatever is contained in the file itself is almost never written into the blockchain, according to The Verge. The only thing stored in the blockchain is a link that points back to whatever the NFT represents and a token that provides proof of ownership.

“Ethereum and Solana are the most famous for NFTs,” said Stefan Ristic of BitcoinMiningSoftware.com. Ristic also named Cardano as a top blockchain choice for NFT creators.

Choose a Marketplace

Marketplaces are online platforms where users store, display, buy, sell, trade and, of course, mint NFTs. 

Different platforms and marketplaces use different blockchains. Solsea, for example, relies on the Solana blockchain.

The vast majority of marketplaces, however, are based on Ethereum because the vast majority of NFTs are minted on the Ethereum blockchain. Some marketplaces cover several blockchains.

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Among the most popular marketplaces are Nifty Gateway, OpenSea and Rarible.

Set Up a Digital Wallet

You’ll need to set up a digital wallet if you haven’t already because you have to use cryptocurrency to pay for the creation of your NFT. You’ll also use your wallet to buy, sell and store any future NFTs.

The most popular among the many available digital wallet options include:

  • MetaMask
  • Coinbase Wallet
  • Alpha Wallet

The next step is to add cryptocurrency to your wallet — just make sure it’s the preferred crypto of your marketplace of choice. Ethereum-based marketplaces, for example, are sure to accept Ether.

Upload Your File and Get To Minting

Tech-savvy veterans can mint their own NFTs directly on the blockchain, but laypeople should stick with the easy minting tools that their marketplace provides. You’ll start by uploading and creating a file that contains the object of your NFT that is compatible with your marketplace. Once you connect your crypto-containing digital wallet, you’ll be able to publish your NFT. Publishing — or minting — happens when your NFT receives its unique metadata and is recorded on the blockchain.

Just follow your marketplace’s step-by-step minting instructions.

What’s Next for Your NFT?

Now that your NFT is minted and published, what will you do with it? CoinMarketCap suggests that you consider adding a smart contract to your NFT, which could give it extra value by creating terms and conditions.

All that’s left to do now is list your NFT for sale and rake in your millions. According to the Motley Fool, you can either sell your NFT at a fixed price or list it at auction. If you decide to solicit bids, you can opt for a timed auction, which expires after a predetermined period, or an unlimited auction, which you can end at any time.

Keep in mind that while it’s possible to become the next NFT gazillionaire, many NFTs never sell — or never sell for enough to put their creators back in the black after the fees incurred from minting them in the first place.

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About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was formerly one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the largest newspaper syndicate in the country, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business section editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as a copy editor for TheStreet.com, a financial publication in the heart of Wall Street's investment community in New York City.

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