Published on November 17, 2022
What Does Minting An NFT Mean — and How Does It Work?
Minting an NFT is the process of converting digital files into digital assets stored on the blockchain.
7 min read
If you've spent some time in the world of NFTs, you've likely heard the phrase "minting." But what exactly is minting, you may ask?
To put it simply, minting is the process of creating a new non-fungible token (NFT) that is stored on a blockchain. There are a number of ways to mint an NFT, but one of the most popular methods is to use a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. When you mint an NFT, you are creating a new asset that will be unique and have its own distinct value. I
In this article, we'll take a closer look at how to mint NFTs and why it matters for creators looking to buy, sell, and own digital assets in web3.
What Does Minting an NFT Mean?
NFTs are digital assets that are stored on a blockchain. The term "NFT" is short for "non-fungible token." Fungible means that two things are interchangeable — for example, two dollars are worth the same as each other. Non-fungible means that two things are not interchangeable — for example, a car is not interchangeable with a house. Because NFTs are non-fungible, each NFT is unique and cannot be replaced by another NFT. This non-fungibility makes NFTs especially well-suited for representing ownership of digital assets.
NFTs often represent ownership of digital content, such as photos, videos, artwork, or music. However, NFTs sometimes even represent ownership of physical objects, such as club access, concert tickets, and home ownership. NFTs can also be used to represent other unique forms of digital property, such as domain names and online gaming items.
When someone mints an NFT, they are converting digital files into crypto assets stored on a blockchain — where its authenticity and ownership are established.
In other words, minting is the process of turning the ownership of a regular asset into a non-fungible token. As a creator, minting your digital works allows you to begin monetizing your passion and automatically collect creator royalties for every resale along the way. As a collector, you can take part in mints as well. It is common for NFT projects to offer early access to their collections with a mint. With early access, you can be the first owner of an NFT by minting a project's NFT yourself...
Minting an NFT often requires paying a gas fee, just like any other blockchain transaction. However, many NFT marketplaces offer gas-free minting options that delay any fees until a purchase of the NFT is made. Once an NFT is minted, it can be bought or sold like any other asset.
What Are the Benefits Of Minting an NFT?
When minting an NFT, there are several key benefits that flow to both creators and collectors:
What Is the Process of Minting an NFT?
The process of minting an NFT begins with creating the digital asset. This can be anything from a piece of art to a photograph to an audio file. Once the asset is created, it is hashed — or converted into a code. This hash becomes the NFT's ID, which is then stored on a blockchain. When the NFT is bought or sold, the transaction is recorded on the blockchain using the NFT's ID. This gives NFTs their unique quality, as well as their immutability and traceability.
Minting an NFT may seem like a complex process, but it's really just a way of ensuring that your digital asset is one-of-a-kind and has all the benefits of a blockchain-based asset. Here are the simple steps you need to follow to mint an NFT:
Create Your Asset
Any digital or real-life asset can be tokenized through NFTs. Most commonly, it is digital art, a photograph, or an audio file. You can mint a collection of NFTs all at once, but if this is your first time minting, it is easier to begin with a single NFT.
Choose an NFT Marketplace
There are dozens of NFT marketplaces from where you can choose to mint your NFT. When thinking about which NFT marketplace is right for you, you'll want to consider a few things: on which blockchain do I want my NFT, and where can people easily buy my NFT. For beginners, the most popular blockchains for NFTs are Ethereum and Solana, and the most popular NFT marketplace is OpenSea.
Setup Your Crypto Wallet & Add Funds
In order to mint an NFT, you'll need a hot crypto wallet that can connect to the NFT platform. MetaMask is one of the most popular hot wallets available. Set up a MetaMask wallet, install the browser extension, and be sure to add some crypto to your wallet. A bit of crypto is needed to cover the gas fees required for minting an NFT.
Connect Your Wallet to the NFT Marketplace
Go to the NFT marketplace's website, and on most homepages, you'll see a button to 'create' or 'connect wallet.' Either will prompt you to connect your hot wallet to the website with a few simple clicks. Be sure you are only connecting to reputable websites with user trust in order to keep your digital assets safe.
Upload Your Artwork
Time for the fun part. After selecting 'create,' upload the file you'd like to make an NFT out of. Most NFT platforms accept various file types, such as JPG, PNG, GIF, WAV, MP3, and MP4. You'll then be prompted to add information about the NFT, such as the name, description, and metadata.
After adding your NFT's information, follow the steps to complete the transaction and provide a wallet signature. Voila, you have just minted an NFT.
I Minted My NFT...So What's Next?
Congrats, you've minted your first NFT! Once the confetti has settled, you'll be left thinking...what do I do now? Welp, I'm sure you'll want to sell your NFT, so here are a few pro tips for getting some eyeballs on your new creation:
Can You Mint NFTs For Free?
When minting an NFT, you'll notice that you'll have to pay a gas fee on many NFT marketplaces. However, there is also a free method of minting NFTs, the most popular of which is something called lazy minting. Lazy minting allows creators to mint NFTs without an upfront cost by delaying the gas fee until the first purchase is made. In other words, instead of the creator paying a gas fee upfront, the gas fee is paid by the buyer during the purchase of the NFT. Because a gas fee isn't paid until purchase, your NFT technically isn't transferred on-chain until then. Lazy minting has become a popular feature that exists on many NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, Rarible, and Nifty Gateway.