NFT Minting Prices: How Much Does It Cost to Mint an NFT
The NFT industry got mainstream attention for the first time when Mike Winkleman, aka Beeple, sold an NFT for $69 million on March 11, 2021. The sale made him the third richest living artist on the planet. Since then, NFTs have been hotcakes, and the craze doesn’t seem to end anytime soon.
The ease of creating NFTs and the opportunity to get worldwide exposure have got almost every artist thinking about jumping on the bandwagon. However, most beginners overlook the cost of minting (or creating) a new NFT and lose money due to miscalculations. That’s why it is necessary to understand the grounds you are stepping on before making any major decisions.
READ ALSO: How to price your NFT art collection
What is Minting?
Every NFT has to be individually minted on blockchain before you can put it up for sale. Minting basically means converting the digital data into cryptographic code. This is done by writing a smart contract on the blockchain you create the NFT on.
The process from a user’s end is relatively easy. All you need is a crypto-wallet, ETH tokens (or other cryptocurrencies depending on the blockchain ecosystem you are using), and an NFT marketplace.
However, the actual procedure to integrate the digital data on the blockchain ledger isn’t that straightforward. It involves using highly complex computing power and consumes a lot of electricity. This is why minting an NFT can cost a lot at times.
As far as the limitations go, there’s absolutely no restriction on the type of data to convert into NFTs. From simple jpg images to video and audio formats, everything can be turned into non-fungible assets using a blockchain ecosystem.
How Much Does It Cost to Mint an NFT on OpenSea?
As discussed, the total cost of minting an NFT varies from marketplace to marketplace. But how much does it cost to mint an NFT on OpenSea – the biggest NFT marketplace with more than 1 million active users and featuring almost 10,000 NFT projects?
The total amount depends on the current price of the ETH token and the demand for blockchain. You have to pay the fees in two legs. First is when you mint the NFT. This fee can be anywhere from $50 to $300. Then, when you secure a sale, you have to pay the trading fees, which are around $10-$30.
How to Mint an NFT?
As mentioned earlier, minting an NFT is a fairly simple task, and anyone can do it by following these steps:
1. Create an Asset
The first step is to create artwork that will appeal to the buyers’ tastes. You’ll have to consider the market trend and your target audience. Fortunately, the possibilities are unlimited in the world of digital assets. An NFT can be a hand-drawn art piece, a musical track, hyper-realistic illustration, meme, PFP avatars, and whatnot.
2. Purchase ETH
You will require a certain amount of crypto tokens to mint an NFT successfully. The type of crypto tokens depends on the blockchain you are using. Traditionally, most NFTs are minted on the Ethereum blockchain, so the required token is ETH. You have to purchase SOL or MATIC for other blockchains, such as Solana or Polygon, respectively.
3. Set Up a Crypto Wallet
You will need a crypto wallet to make payments for the minting fees. A number of online crypto wallets are available in the market. However, ensure that the wallet is compatible with the blockchain of your choice. The most popular wallet for the Ethereum blockchain is Metamask, a browser extension wallet.
Setting up a wallet is quick and easy. You just have to give the required data and create a password.
4. Send ETH to Your Wallet and Link It with the Marketplace
The next step involves sending ETH to your crypto wallet from the exchange account using the crypto address. This will enable you to make payments directly from the wallet. After funding, link the wallet with the marketplace. Make sure that the marketplace supports the crypto wallet you are using.
5. Create the NFT
Now coming towards the last and the most important step, i.e., creating an NFT, which is just like uploading a video on YouTube or attaching a file to an email.
- Click on the ‘Create’ button.
- Drag and drop the file you want to convert into an NFT.
- Select the blockchain.
- Give your NFT a name and a description. Confirm the royalties.
- Select the fee structure (discussed later) and proceed.
What Are Minting Fees?
Although minting NFTs is a matter of a few clicks, do not get fooled by the hidden minting and transaction fees. These fees vary, depending on the blockchain and marketplace you are using. Normally, the total minting fees will be a sum of gas fees and a few other charges put on by the marketplace.
The gas fee is the money you have to pay to the blockchain network. It is needed to proceed with your transaction and write a smart contract for the NFT on the decentralized ledger. The amount depends on several factors. The rest of the fees may include listing, trading, and account fees.
READ ALSO: 7 Best NFT Marketplaces Without Gas Fee
An NFT marketplace can charge you in the following manners:
The upfront fee involves the cost of minting an NFT and running the marketplace. For each NFT you mint, you have to pay this charge. Whether or not your NFTs attract any sales, you will have to pay this amount.
● Per Sale
Every marketplace has a predetermined percentage cut for each sale made on the platform. You have to be careful here, as some marketplaces add numerous other charges into this amount. So, it is necessary to check the complete fee structure before minting your NFTs.
In a subscription model, the marketplace charges you a monthly fee instead of asking you to pay upfront for each NFT you mint. The trading fees are also much lower (if any) if you’ve bought a subscription package.
Can I Mint NFTs for Free?
Considering that you have to pay the minting fees upfront, minting involves high risk. Especially since it can go as high as a few hundred bucks, many creators may end up in a loss. So, is there a way to mint NFTs for free?
Well, yes, sort of. Recently OpenSea and Rarible, two of the most popular NFT marketplaces, launched the ‘Lazy Minting’ program. By using this feature, creators can list their NFTs on the marketplace without necessarily minting them. The minting only occurs after you manage to hit a sale. In this process, the minting fees will be included in the trading fees.
Why Is Minting So Expensive?
The main reason for such high minting costs is that most NFTs are minted on the Ethereum blockchain. As a result, the traffic on the network often gets ridiculously high. So to avoid delayed transactions, users have to pay a hefty tip to the miners on top of the fixed gas fee.
Moreover, ETH is an extremely popular crypto token for investors as well. When the price of ETH rallies up due to high demand, it also overprices the minting costs.
What is a Gas Fee?
As we all know, blockchains are decentralized databases, which means there is no centralized entity to authenticate the validity of transactions. The mechanism depends on miners, who use high-output computing power to check and record every transaction. The blockchain network offers them gas fees as an incentive to encourage them to continue mining.
The Ethereum gas fee is measured in GWEI (one billionth of an ETH token). The minimum gas fee a user has to pay to complete one transaction is 21,000 GWEI. However, minting an NFT will cost a lot more than just 21,000 GWEI. That’s because of the complexity and the computing power required to write a smart contract for an NFT.
The popularity of NFTs has skyrocketed over the past year and a half. Technology has been a game-changer for artists and creators alike. It gives them a powerful platform to exhibit and sell their artwork.
Moreover, the number of available NFT trading platforms and the ease of accessing them lead to their rising popularity. However, these marketplaces are not without their risks and come with a long list of fees and multiple charges. If you don’t understand how things work, you can very likely end up losing money.