Guest post by Coleman Maher, Origin and Kevin Goodspeed, AWS
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are a new type of digital asset that seems to be the hot topic of conversation everywhere. NFTs are described as nonsensical by skeptics, digital beanie babies or baseball cards by most, and a revolutionary new idea that will change everything from digital content to the way artists interact with fans by true believers. I’ve worked on NFTs in my role at Origin Protocol and I have already seen first hand how they are game changers in a number of industries. In this blog, I will briefly introduce you to the universe of NFTs and I will also teach you how to mint your own NFTs and sell them on a variety of platforms and marketplaces.
Introduction to NFTs
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are digital assets that are either unique or rare. An item is fungible when it can be easily exchanged for commonly accepted equivalents. For example, a $1 bill can be substituted for another $1 bill or for four quarters or a hundred pennies. NFTs can be unique objects, meaning there will only ever be one of them to ever exist. They can also be rare or scarce, meaning only a limited number of them will ever exist. There is no limit to what an NFT can represent. The NBA has used NFTs to represent video clips of highlights from basketball games with NBA Top Shots.
NFTs can also represent proof of ownership of physical objects like limited edition handbags. They can also offer a trail of ownership, or what is known as “provenance” in the art world. If NFTs can be tied to physical objects, they can also be tied to in-person experiences and act as, for example, access tickets to concerts or private performances. One extremely powerful aspect of NFTs is that future revenues from secondary sale transactions can be diverted to the original creator or “minter” of that NFT programmatically. This means that if an NFT changes hands many times after the initial sale, the original creator will still earn revenue or royalties.
How to Mint NFTs
The vast majority of NFT activity by independent creators is taking place on the Ethereum blockchain. To interact with Ethereum, you will need a Web3-enabled wallet like MetaMask, which has both a mobile application and a browser extension. To perform transactions on Ethereum, you will need ETH in your wallet, the native cryptocurrency of Ethereum to pay for blockchain network or “gas” fees. You can acquire ETH on an exchange like Coinbase.
NFTs on Ethereum are based on open-source standards and you hold them or “custody” them in your own wallet. This means when you mint an NFT you are not tied to any specific platform and can use any tool or platform of your choosing to create your NFT. For example, you can mint an NFT on Mintbase and then display and sell it on OpenSea without the NFT ever leaving your wallet.
OpenSea recently announced a feature that lets creators mint NFTs without paying gas fees. They’ve released a step-by-step guide on how to do this. First you have to create a collection to which you will add NFTs. After creating a collection and naming it, you can create and add NFTs to it using image files, video files, 3D models, music files, or basically any type of digital content file. You will be able to add a name, description, and set the rarity of the NFTs as well.
Mintbase is another platform that allows creators to easily mint NFTs. Mintbase is similar to OpenSea in that you first must create a store to mint NFTs. You can follow their guide for non-crypto users for all the steps required. Mintbase only supports images at the moment so it is best for visual artists. After creating the store you can mint NFTs with a name, description, and quantity and add them to your store. All NFTs are for sale by default, but you can check a box to prevent them from being listed for sale.
Foundation is a platform that has an invite-based system for NFT creators. Anyone can make a profile on Foundation but only selected creators can mint NFTs. They’ve published a complete guide on how to mint NFTs on their platform. Foundation supports minting NFTs with images, video files, audio files, and 3D models. You will be able to choose the name, description, and quantity of this NFT.
How to Sell NFTS
Most NFT platforms also allow you to list and sell NFTs. To sell your NFTs on OpenSea, navigate to the asset page for that NFT and click “sell”. You will be able to choose the type of sale from a set price, an auction, or a bundled sale and set other terms. This guide by OpenSea goes through all the steps. On Mintbase, all NFTs are listed for sale by default. If you opted not to list an NFT for sale, you can navigate to it and check “is for sale” and set a price. Foundation focuses on NFT auctions. To list your NFT for sale in an auction, navigate to it and set a reserve price then click “List Your NFT” to start the auction. Auctions are 24 hours and any bids in the last 15 minutes extend the auction another 15 minutes. This guide by Foundation has all the details.
If you are looking to set up your own private and curated storefront for your NFTs, you can check out this guide on how to launch your own Dshop on AWS written by Origin co-founder and Amazon blockchain lead Kevin Goodspeed. Many creators highly value curation as they do not want their NFTs to be displayed in the same marketplace or virtual gallery as unrelated NFTs by other artists. Displaying unrelated NFTs together may also negatively affect the price discovery of your NFTs. Dshop already supports the listing of NFTs, so all you have to do is set up your own Dshop and list your NFTs for sale on your own private store and domain.
I hope you now have a better understanding of what NFTs are and are equipped with the knowledge to start dabbling in this exciting new world. There is certainly a learning curve to decentralized technologies, so please don’t get discouraged and realize you are dealing with very new and experimental technologies. I can’t wait to see what kind of NFTs you mint and share with the world!