How much does it cost to create an NFT?

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In a few short years, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have become a billion-dollar market influencing a myriad of industries. From fashion, music, art, film, sports, entertainment and more — NFTs are transforming the way creators and brands connect with fans and the experiences they can provide.

If you’re a creator yourself, you might be wondering if you should create an NFT and what the average cost is to do so. If so, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll discuss NFT minting, the costs of creating NFTs, blockchain options, marketplaces to create an NFT, and some tips to save money. The good news is that creating an NFT is easier and cheaper than ever before. Let’s get started.

What is NFT minting?

The minting process refers to the act of creating a non-fungible token on the blockchain. The term comes from “minting” coins — though in this case what is being minted is a digital asset. When you mint an NFT, you are publishing or registering a digital asset on the blockchain. The blockchain is a decentralized ledger that verifies the authenticity of your NFT and tracks proof of ownership.

When you mint an NFT, there is a blockchain transaction fee. Minting fees or “gas fees” are used to pay miners who keep the blockchain running and publish your NFT, and gas prices can vary drastically depending on the blockchain. Fortunately, there are inexpensive blockchain options and even methods of minting NFTs for free — which we’ll discuss later.

To mint or create an NFT, you must download a digital crypto wallet and purchase some of the native cryptocurrency of the blockchain you wish to mint your NFT. For example, if you are minting on the Ethereum network, ETH is used for gas fees associated with the NFT creation process.

Minting an NFT can be simple and not that different from uploading a photo on a social media platform. However, when you create an NFT, it will exist on a blockchain network and be displayed on an NFT marketplace platform or secondary market. And you will have verifiable proof-of-ownership of your work through the immutable blockchain ledger.

The Costs Associated with NFTs

Several factors determine the costs of the creation of NFTs. First, there are the upfront costs associated with creating the art or work you wish to turn into an NFT. If you are creating 10,000 3D avatars for virtual worlds, it will be more time-consuming and expensive then creating an NFT music track or a 1:1 piece of digital art.

NFTs can be created from photos, digital files, audio files, and other formats depending on where you mint your NFT. To get an idea of the different types of NFTs that can be minted as digital tokens, you can read Rarity Sniper NFT news and follow your favorite artists in Web3 on social media.

Once your work is ready to upload and mint as an NFT, there are three main costs to consider:

  • Gas fees. These are the transaction fees associated with using the blockchain.
  • Account fees. This fee depends on which NFT marketplace you use for your NFT.
  • Listing fees. Some platforms charge a fee for listing your NFT and other marketplaces take a percentage of the sale from your NFT.

Other factors that could influence costs include your NFT’s data size and the transaction speed at the time you mint, which can affect blockchain fees. Also, the volatile price of cryptocurrency is something to consider when minting an NFT.

All said, the average minting price range for an individual NFT is estimated between $1 to $1,000, and large NFT collections usually cost significantly more. For the sake of this article, we’ll focus on minting individual NFTs.

Minting on NFT Marketplaces

One of the easiest ways to create an NFT is to use popular platforms and NFT marketplaces. NFT marketplaces can make minting NFTs cheap and easy. You won’t need coding experience to create your first NFT.

Listed below are some of the top NFT marketplaces to mint NFTs:

  • OpenSea. This is the original NFT marketplace, and it remains the most-used NFT marketplace to date. The cost to initialize your account to sell an NFT ranges from $70 to $300 and a second transaction fee to give OpenSea access to the NFTs you care ranges from $10 to $30.
  • Rarible. Another popular marketplace for minting NFTs, the platform charges a 2.5% service fee and sellers can pay the total cost by issuing 5% of the final price.
  • Mintable. This NFT marketplace offers gasless minting options on Ethereum or Ripple but takes 5% of sales. For normal NFTs, Mintable takes a 2.5% marketplace fee.

Before you choose an NFT marketplace, make sure the marketplace is appropriate for the artwork you are releasing. Some marketplaces are geared towards specific markets like music, gaming, or digital art. There are also curated marketplaces like SuperRare and Nifty Gateway where you can submit your artwork much like submitting to a traditional art gallery.

What blockchain to use?

Ethereum is the blockchain that led to the birth of NFTs and, today, it remains the most popular blockchain for non-fungible tokens and digital collectibles. If you want to get your NFT in front of the most eyes, then minting on the Ethereum blockchain could be a good idea.

However, in the past, Ethereum has been an expensive blockchain for minting NFTs. And because blockchain technology is constantly evolving, several alternative blockchains and layer 2 scaling solutions have become popular for NFTs as well.

Here are some of the top blockchains for minting your NFT and the estimated minting prices:

  • Ethereum. $50-$150.
  • Polygon. Free + marketplace fees.
  • Solana. Around $.01.
  • Tezos. $.20-$8.
  • WAX. $.05-$5.
  • Avalanche. $.50-$1.50.
  • Cardano. $10- $1.15.

Note: these estimates can fluctuate with the price of cryptocurrency.

Even with its high costs, Ethereum remains the No. 1 blockchain for non-fungible tokens at the time of writing. And as Ethereum transitions fully to a proof-of-stake blockchain, its gas fees are expected to decrease significantly. This could make it the best blockchain if you want to sell your NFT.

But as you can see, alternative blockchains and layer 2 scaling solutions are much cheaper. Polygon is a popular layer 2 scaling solution built on Ethereum that has become popular because of its fast speeds, bare-bones transaction costs, and commitment to energy efficiency and reducing its carbon footprint.

Choosing a blockchain is one of the most important steps for creating an NFT, and one that can have a big effect on costs. Make sure you take the time to research different blockchains before minting your first NFT.

Can you mint an NFT for free?

The short answer is yes.

Lazy minting is a great option to the reduce the upfront costs of minting an NFT. When you choose the lazy minting option on an NFT marketplace, you don’t have to pay blockchain transaction fees. Instead, the fees are paid at the time of minting by whoever purchases the NFT.

When you choose lazy minting to create an NFT, the NFT is stored off-chain until a buyer purchases it. A purchase triggers the minting of your NFT, and the price of the NFT covers the minting fee.

Most major marketplaces, including OpenSea, Rarible, and Mintable, have some form of lazy minting. The only downside is that your NFT won’t exist on the blockchain until you sell it. However, for beginners, lazy minting is a great option to get started with NFTs.

Tips for Reducing Costs

If you’re new to NFTs or don’t have a lot of crypto to throw around, whatever you can do to reduce the costs of creating an NFT can be beneficial. After all, though NFTs can be easy to create, they are more difficult to sell.

Here are a few tips for reducing the costs of creating an NFT:

  • Use scaling solutions. Layer 2 scaling solutions like Polygon uphold the integrity of the Ethereum blockchain while significantly reducing costs and energy consumption.
  • Use the cheapest blockchains. Research different blockchains and find one that you believe in and that’s affordable. You can mint NFTs on several alternative blockchains for pennies on the dollar.
  • Create the NFT yourself. No matter what type of NFT you’re creating, the more of it you can build yourself the more money you’ll be able to save. Start simple with something you can handle on your own.
  • Use NFT marketplaces that offer gasless or lazy minting. These days more and more marketplaces offer ways to mint an NFT for free. If you’re getting started and don’t want to invest too much money, this could be the way to go.
  • Mint at a time when the blockchain isn’t busy. Blockchains like Ethereum have more expensive gas fees when the network is busy. For this reason, its often recommended you mint late at night.

There are several ways you can save money when creating an NFT. Take time to investigate different blockchains and marketplaces, and keep the above tips in mind, and it should be easy to mint an NFT on the cheap.

Final Thoughts on NFT Costs

As Web3 and NFT technologies continue to evolve, NFTs are becoming more accessible to everyone, including creators. Several reputable Web3 platforms can help you get started, and with lazy minting features, you can avoid paying blockchain transaction fees until you sell your first NFT.

All this means that the financial risk for creators has diminished, and that’s good news for anyone who wants to mint an NFT. However, given the low risks and ease in which NFTs can now be minted, the competition for selling NFTs is likely increasing.

But selling NFTs — well — that’s a whole different story.

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