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Skeptics refer to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as meaningless digital baseball caps or baseball cards. On the other hand, it is a revolutionary new idea that will transform everything from digital content to how artists interact with true believers. Contemporary artists, gallery owners, and auction houses are exploring how NFTs can expand relationships with artists in a new format that provides artistic experiences beyond the canvas. NFTs can be used to commoditize digital creations, such as digital art, video game elements, and music files. NFTs can make collectibles like trading cards more interactive and engaging.

Ethereum has the largest NFT ecosystem; this article demonstrates how to create NFTs on Ethereum. 

Ethereum and NFT relationship

NFTs are usually Ethereum-based tokens and authenticate ownership of any assets associated with the token. Since most NFTs are Ethereum-based tokens, many markets for these collectibles accept Ethereum tokens as payment.

ERC-271 token @ Ethereum

Ethereum is the most popular NFT blockchain today because NFTs are usually built using the ERC-721 standard token.

ERC-721 is the primary standard that allows anyone to create unique, non-fungible tokens for digital collectibles. ERC-721 is the standard for creating NFTs, and these tokens are unique representations of digital content published on the Ethereum blockchain.

Broad steps on using Ethereum as a platform to create NFTs :

1. Cryptocurrency Exchange Account

To create an NFT or any cryptocurrency activity, one needs an account on a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase or Kraken. In other words, you need a cryptocurrency exchange account to buy Ethereum to pay a one-time NFT development fee.

2. Digital wallet is ready

An exchange account will be referred to as a digital wallet. Now that you have a wallet, we need to look at how to mint (create) your first NFT. To start creating (and hopefully selling) your NFT, you may need to buy some cryptocurrencies, such as Ether, depending on what your NFT provider accepts. 

If you already own some cryptocurrency elsewhere, you need to link it to your digital wallet so you can use it to create and sell NFTs. It also means you are not tied to any particular platform when you use NFTs to scam and can use any tool or platform to create your NFTs.

3. Marketplace

Next, one needs to decide the marketplace where NFT will be traded. Every NFT marketplace has specific guidelines that creators must follow to create non-fungible tokens. 

Each blockchain comes with a different NFT token, standard for determining compatible wallets. NFTs on Ethereum is based on open source standards, and you can store or “hold” them in your wallet.

4. Ownership / NFT listing charges

Let’s assume you have created your NFT (such as digital art, video game elements, and music files). These NFTs can only have one official owner and are protected by the Ethereum blockchain – no one can change the ownership record or copy/paste a new existing NFT. 

At Marketplaces like OpenSea, listing your first NFT blockchain for sale, will require you to initialize your account, which can be an expensive transaction (prices ranging from USD 300 to 400). Also, the maintenance fee needed to create an NFT and buy an NFT is around $20, considering the current spot price of Ethereum. 

5. Gas Fees

Some NFT platforms charge a fee called “gas fee” to Ethereum-based platforms. Almost everything you do on the blockchain, from minting an NFT to giving it to others and making a purchase, costs gas.

Alternative to Ethereum

When you use blockchains like Flow or Polygon, people can’t use Ethereum to buy your NFTs (at least not without going through additional fee-related steps). For example, some NFTs are curated while others are self-service based. Common NFT assets include images, music, audio, video, and collectibles.

One of the first NFT-focused blockchains, Flow is another alternative to Ethereum. We will be using Alchemy to code our NFT, which will allow us to bypass the process of running an Ethereum node on our local machine. After the transfer, your NFT history will appear in your wallet, where you will be the original creator.

Before we conclude, let us look at the advantages of Ethereum.

  • Publicly available and verifiable – Complete transaction history and metadata related to token.
  • Proving ownership history is very simple.
  • Manipulating transactions or stealing the ownership is impossible once a transaction is confirmed. 
  • Peer-to-peer trading is feasible and hence comparatively cheaper than other platforms. 
  • There is no downtime with Ethereum. Always available to trade.
  • Better compatibility within Ethereum products and hence increases portability across products. You can buy NFT for one product and sell it for another.
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