The Ultimate Guide To NFTs: Minting NFTs

Minting is the process of encapsulating a digital asset into a blockchain as a public ledger, i.e., as an NFT. It is a straightforward process that everyone can learn about, and eventually, put into practice.

This is an extract of the upcoming ‘Metaverse NFTs Uprising Ultimate Guide to NFTs’ By Dinis Guarda.

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are virtual representations of real-world assets. Early examples of NFTs are more than just the media soundbites around NFT trading, art speculation, or NBA sports collectives. There is something deeper, transformative, and radical going on. NFTs open the floodgates to new possibilities of creating, storing, selling, buying, and collecting value. So how do these tokens work in practice? First, if you want to create an NFT, you will have to “mint” it first. This piece explains the process of minting in an accessible, easy to understand way. Let’s demystify it.

NFTs: the basics

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger (blockchain). Although NFTs use the same blockchain technology as cryptocurrencies, what distinguishes them is their lack of interchangeability (fungibility).  Each NFT has a unique blockchain address. This characteristic enables NFTs to act as a digital twin for any unique digital or physical asset to provide public proof of ownership.

The Ultimate Guide To NFTs: Minting NFTs
The Ultimate Guide To NFTs: Minting NFTs

What is Minting?

Minting is the process of encapsulating a digital asset into a blockchain as a public ledger, i.e., as an NFT. NFTs ensure authentic representation for your digital work whilst at the same time also ensuring that it can be flexibly traded or purchased in the market.

When you “mint” a file, you turn it into a part of the blockchain. Minted NFTs are unique and cannot be replaced, edited, tampered with, or substituted with any other tokens (even by the owner!).

Minting guarantees the originality of NFTs and ensures that the items can be traded or purchased in the NFT market without issue. This process also enables users to track the ownership and resale in the future.

Once an NFT is minted, the tokenised information is stored on its blockchain until the blockchain ceases to exist.

How to Mint an NFT

The Ultimate Guide To NFTs Minting NFTs
The Ultimate Guide To NFTs Minting NFTs

There are multiple ways to mint an NFT; some are more complicated than others.  The easiest way to mint an NFT (‘lazy minting’) is using the minting feature provided by NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible.

In general, one would only use a more complex method of minting using features not supported within the marketplace or if developing a bespoke blockchain implementation, which would require specialist technical knowledge.

On most platforms, minting isn’t free. Executing a contract on the Ethereum blockchain platform (and others) incurs a ‘gas fee’ and a service fee, so make sure your e-wallet is in funds.

Most minting functions work in the same way.

In general, you will simply need to select the “Create” option, which will ask you to upload a file (your creation) and provide additional information, including the file name and write a brief description of the work and possibly a description also of terms of use.

Once the details are complete and finalised, you will likely be redirected to a preview page to show how your new NFT will appear on the website.

The price

NFT pieces are listed for sale in crypto denominations.  Since crypto fluctuates wildly in value compared to fiat currency, it is advisable to check the current exchange rate before setting a price. Like other marketplaces and auction houses, most NFT marketplaces will also charge a commission fee when your NFT sells, which is deducted automatically from the final sale value.

However, these are significantly less than real-world equivalents would charge. Opensea charges a commission of 2.5% on any work sold, which is a fraction of what an art gallery would charge, allowing the creator to keep a more significant share of the money made from selling their work.

Remember that minting is not instantaneous – it can take anywhere from several minutes up to five days or more, depending on the level of use of the blockchain you are using.  You will be notified once your NFT is fully minted and visible on your webpage within the marketplace.

The Ultimate Guide To NFTs: Minting NFTs
The Ultimate Guide To NFTs: Minting NFTs

In conclusion, minting and using NFTs is relatively straightforward and requires relatively little expertise.  Most marketplaces provide functionality enabling non-technical users to create, sell and buy NFTs easily and quickly. So mint away!