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How to mint your first NFT: A step-by-step guide

How to mint your first NFT: A step-by-step guide

If you’ve been on the internet for the last six months, then there’s no way you have not come across the acronym NFT.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have become so popular that everyone, including your favourite celebrities, owns/wants one. 

Despite the debate on whether it is a get-rich-quick scheme or an actual store of value, the acronym still became so popular that it emerged as the Collins Dictionary Word of 2021

This is a step-by-step guide on what you need to know and consider before you make your own NFT. Making an NFT is not as technical as you believe; anyone can mint an NFT, but first, you need to know the basics.

What is an NFT?

Moonbirds NFT

NFTs are unique digital assets made from uploading already existing assets like art pieces, music, and photos on the blockchain. 

These digital assets represent real-world objects like pictures, art, and music. Each NFT has a unique digital signature and cannot be exchanged for another.

Let’s say you have a $1 bill. If you exchanged that bill with another $1 bill from the bank, it’d still be the same value as your previous $1 bill. This means your $1 bill is a fungible token. It can be easily exchanged with another bill, and the value stays the same.

However, with NFTs, if you exchange the same piece of NFT art or even a meme, the value and identity of each item would be different. That’s why they are called non-fungible tokens. They can’t be traded for another because each NFT is special and cannot be duplicated.

In other words, saving a picture or downloading a meme from the internet doesn’t reduce the value of the NFT or give you ownership; it just gives you a copy of the NFT. 

What can you turn into an NFT?

Physical NFT Gallery in Abuja

Anything can be turned into an NFT: music, art, tweets, blog posts, and even physical objects if you please; there’s no limit to what can become an NFT. 

An Indonesian student sold his self-portraits for more than a million dollars and Christie’s auctioned off a piece from digital artist, Beeple, for $69 million. Even Twitter Founder, Jack Dorsey, sold the first tweet for $2.9 million

Making an NFT

The process of creating an NFT is called minting. It involves the process of uploading your work on the blockchain to when it finally becomes a token and is listed on a marketplace for sale. 

It’s like the process of taking a photo. Let’s say you’re into nature photography and you want to capture a tree blowing in the wind. When you take a picture of the tree with your camera, you have taken a physical moment and made it digital. As long as that picture exists, you have a digital copy of the tree forever. 

Making NFTs is like making a digital copy of that digital copy. The first digital copy can always be lost, but it can always be recovered when the picture gets minted on the blockchain.

NFTs can be minted to different blockchain platforms, including Ethereum, Solana, Binance Smart Chain, and Tezos. However, the first NFT was an Ethereum NFT. 

The first NFT to be minted was created on May 3, 2014, by Kevin McCoy, a digital artist. It was called “Quantum.” 

Quantum is a pixelated octagon filled with different shapes that pulse in quite a hypnotic way. 

On November 28, 2021, the one-of-a-kind Quantum art piece sold for over $1.4 million in a Sotheby auction.

What do you need to start minting NFTs?

Image source: Zipmex

Before you begin minting NFTs, there are things you need to consider and a few tools which you need to have. Luckily, these “tools” are available on the web or in your phone’s app store. 

Before minting your NFT, the first thing you need to consider is which blockchain you want to mint on. Different blockchain NFTs have their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, Ethereum NFTs are in high demand but are expensive to mint.

Some of the blockchains you can mint NFTs on are: 

Ethereum

Binance Smart Chain

Flow by Dapper Labs

Solana

Tron

Tezos

Cosmos

EOS

WAX

Polkadot

However, before you mint an NFT, you must carefully consider the pros and cons of each blockchain. Once you mint an NFT on one blockchain, it can’t be transferred to another.

Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Solana host the largest collections of NFTs. Also, the blockchain you choose affects where you can sell your NFTs. 

For example, to sell on popular NFT platforms like OpenSea, Rarible, and Mintable, you need to have an NFT minted on the Ethereum platform.

The other things you need before you mint are a crypto wallet, a preferred marketplace, and of course, internet connectivity. 

Each NFT marketplace has its own peculiarities, but for the sake of this guide, we would use OpenSea’s process.

Steps to minting an NFT

Pick a blockchain/marketplace

Determining the blockchain you want to mint your NFT on influences your marketplace choice. This is the first step to creating your NFT. 

Download your wallet

See Also

Since we’re using OpenSea, which is a marketplace for Ethereum-based NFTs, we would use MetaMask, an Ethereum-based crypto wallet. Other crypto wallets like Trust Wallet, Binance, and Coinbase can also take a variety of NFTs.

MetaMask is available on web, iOS, and Android. The wallet enables users to store their ETH and other Ethereum-based coins. 

Connect your wallet

On OpenSea, select either the wallet icon or the “Create” button in the top right corner to connect your wallet and set up a profile. Other marketplaces will use a similar prompt to connect your wallet and create a profile.

Depending on the wallet you pick, and the device you’re working from (desktop or mobile), you will be asked to connect your wallet using a QR code scanner on your smartphone or download your wallet onto your computer

Once complete, your crypto wallet is connected and your profile has been created on the NFT marketplace. Try to complete your profile with the necessary details, add links to your website or social media pages, and specify which cryptocurrencies you will accept as payment when your NFTs get purchased.

Mint your first token

On your NFT marketplace app or website, click on the “Create” or “Add” button. From there, you will be asked to upload the digital file you want to mint and give it a name. NFTs can be uploaded in a wide variety of formats including JPG, PNG, MP3, AAC, etc.

After uploading and naming your fields, you’d then be asked to fill in other optional fields like a description for your work, an external link to more info (like your website), and which blockchain to base the NFT on (Ethereum or an Ethereum-based blockchain if you’re on OpenSea). 

You can also set up the percentage you’ll get paid as royalties if your NFT gets resold. Once you click “Complete,” you have minted your first NFT.

Fund your wallet

Before an NFT is sold, the blockchain network needs to approve and record the listing. This transaction comes with a fee, which is known as a “gas fee.”  

To complete your first sale, you need to purchase some Ethereum on a crypto exchange and deposit it into your wallet. You can then transfer the crypto from your wallet to your NFT marketplace account. 

OpenSea allows you to purchase crypto directly from your marketplace profile via a credit or debit card.

List your NFT for sale

Once you’ve listed your NFT and paid the gas fees, you’re ready to sell. Click on the “Sell” button and choose what kind of sale you want: a fixed price or an auction. 

OpenSea charges 2.5% of the NFT selling price as a service fee (the price for handling the listing).

The marketplace will also calculate the gas fees based on the amount of activity on the cryptocurrency network at the time of listing and request payment of the fees from your connected crypto wallet.

At the completion of this stage, your NFT appears as a listing on the marketplace and you can monitor the sales from your user dashboard.

Everywhere you turn these days, there’s someone showcasing or trying to sell their NFT, and there’s news of people selling mundane art for millions of dollars. 

However, it’ll be good to know that these are just early days for non-fungible technology and there are still a lot of use cases that can be derived from the interesting technology. 

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