How Much Does Minting an NFT Cost?

Bull or bear market, 2020 and 2021 will forever be cemented in NFT history.

Reports have shown that NFTs garnered the most profit ($17.7 billion) in the crypto space in 2021 – the market exploded by over 20,000 percent from the year prior. The total value of transactions jumped from $82.5 million to over $17 billion. 

However, the times are changing– namely, the technology behind NFT platforms and various mechanisms is improving significantly. 

Today, we’re going to explore NFT minting– how much does it cost to mint an NFT today, and how will this be different in years to come? Read along as we explore what “minting” an NFT is and more. 

What Does Minting an NFT Mean?

A common misconception about NFTs is that people often confuse minting NFTs with buying NFTs. There’s a fundamental difference. Minting an NFT means creating something completely new on the blockchain. 

It’s ‌converting a digital file into a digital asset that lives on the blockchain, whether that asset is digital art, music, or collectibles like sports and trading cards. However, it’s not like the blockchain is hosting the files for the NFT itself– that would cause the blockchain to become incredibly bloated and inefficient.

Remember, an NFT is just a token; this token represents the ownership of a specific digital asset. It’s not the screenshot of the Bored Ape Yacht Club that’s valuable; it’s the token. 

Minting an NFT means publishing your unique token on a blockchain to make it purchasable by other people. 

NFTs are minted on a blockchain. Ethereum’s blockchain is very popular for minting NFTs, including Solana, Cardano, Tezos, and more. 

You can buy NFTs on a marketplace like OpenSea– and sometimes, these platforms will also allow creators to mint their NFTs. 

However, many projects will first launch on a third-party site dedicated to the minting of the project; the fees you can expect to pay are usually only those for the network, which can be a princely sum themselves.

How Much Does OpenSea Charge for Minting NFTs?

OpenSea is the most popular NFT marketplace. Primarily for Ethereum-based NFTs, OpenSea announced the addition of Solana NFTs to their marketplace in Q1 2022. 

OpenSea requires users to pay two fees before minting their digital assets on the platform. These minting prices aren’t fixed: they can be higher or lower depending on the function you seek to perform. 

The first fee you’ll pay as a first-time creator is used to initialize your account. As of April 2022, this fee typically costs $70 to $300

The second fee used to grant access to your account costs $10 to $30. 

You can avoid high gas fees if you spot days when gas fees are lower using tools like Etherscan

Then, OpenSea charges 2.5% for first-time sales of your minted NFT– it’s a multi-billion dollar company for a reason. 

How Much Does Rarible Charge for Minting NFTs?

With ‌400,000 NFTs created and 1.6+ million users, Rarible is another of the most popular NFT marketplaces globally. 

Most users choose Rarible over other platforms because it is a multi-chain platform, has easy-to-use tools, a decentralized governance system that’s more advanced than what you’ll get on most platforms, and a flexible royalty management system that allows creators to set up to 50% royalty fee.

Minting on Rarible is straightforward compared to other NFT marketplaces. The platform itself doesn’t charge a minting fee. You have to pay the gas fee for minting on three different blockchains available in the marketplace (Ethereum, Tezos, and Flow).

After paying the gas fees required for minting, Rarible charges a 2.5% fee for every NFT buy and sell transaction.

What Are Gas Wars and How to Avoid Paying High Gas Fees when Minting

If you’re active in the NFT space, “gas wars” are something you may have sweaty nightmares about. Gas, or the computational power needed to verify transactions on a blockchain network, can often cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollar-worth of Eth.

Since “minting” an NFT to the blockchain is a much more computationally-heavy process, the network charges more than typical transaction fees. 

A gas war is an auction to get front row seats in an upcoming block of transactions to be validated on the Ethereum blockchain. If there is a surge in the number of people waiting for their transactions to get validated, the price gets too high, which triggers a scuffle.

Almost like a bidding war, people pay more so they can get their transactions processed quicker, ‌driving the transaction costs up. Gas wars are the main cause of high transaction fees on the blockchain. They’re prevalent on the Ethereum network, ‌infamous for its performance and scalability setbacks.

To avoid paying high gas fees, ‌learn how to track gas fees. Etherscan’s Gas Now is a handy tool that can help you to minimize gas prices.

How to Mint an NFT for Free on the Blockchain

Popular marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible allow you to mint NFTs for free on the platform.

Recently, Rarible announced that you could mint for free on the platform (yes, no gas fees). The downside is that your asset goes on the Rarible collection and not your collection. This means Rarible has more control of your digital asset, and also, the buyer pays for your minting fee.

You can also mint for free on OpenSea. The new collection manager launched in December 2020 introduced a lazy minting feature, allowing creators to list NFTs paying no gas fees until they make the first purchase. Since the NFT isn’t transferable on-chain until they purchase, creators can list without paying a dime.

However, this is not applicable for first-time listing. If this is your first time listing on OpenSea, you still have to pay the gas fees needed to initialize your account.

The Polygon network also allows creators to “mint NFTs for free at the speed of light.” All you have to do is connect your Polygon account, upload your digital art, select the Polygon network during the minting process, and you’re good to go.

Final Thoughts: What to Expect for NFT Minting in the Future

Although the NFT market went ballistic in 2021, the 2022 bear market has many reconsidering their sky-high purchases.JPEGs– if not at least the hundreds or thousands of dollars they spent on gas fees to simply purchase the art. 

In this article, we learned what NFT minting is, how to mint your project on popular marketplaces, and avoid paying very high gas fees. 

However, increasingly more creative and consumer-friendly innovations are being built to make the creation and selling of NFT art a much more profitable endeavor. 

Start Staking PSL on KuCoin

Users can stake PSL with KuCoin Earn for as low as 1,000 PSL and receive similar staking incentives as operating a full Pastel SuperNode.

Please find more information on KuCoin Earn here.

PSL Staking Promotion

We are excited to announce that we have partnered with KuCoin to provide users with the ability to delegate their PSL and earn staking rewards.

The PSL Flexible Promotion program allows KuCoin users to earn up to ~42% APR of staking rewards earned by operating full SuperNodes, starting with as little as 1,000 PSL and a maximum of 1,000,000 PSL. The program has already commenced and will be running for ~360 days. Users are able to stake and un-stake at any time during the program(subject to a 1 day promotional period).

To participate, please register for a KuCoin account and then navigate to KuCoin Earn where you can find the PSL Staking Product.

Please learn more about the program here or at the link below.

PSL Flexible Promotionhttps://www.kucoin.com/news/en-psl-flexible-promotion

How does staking work on Pastel?

True decentralization & security is of the utmost priority to Pastel’s Layer-1 network. While delegated staking at the protocol level has become very popular throughout the community, it comes with a high costs and risks.

In many delegated staking models, users can simply ‘delegate’ their stake to an existing validator and earn the same rewards as operating a full validator (less any commission fees that the validator charges), without needing to worry about setting up and maintaining their own infrastructure. With little incentives in place to operate a full validator, delegation at the protocol level has led to many networks being operated by a concentrated number of validator leading to concerns around centralization and security.

The potential risks are a growing concern to the ecosystem, as we have seen as recently as in the case of the Ronin Network hack. Smaller validators operated by concentrated parties sacrifices decentralization and increases the likelihood for security exploits such as 51% attacks and chain rollbacks. It also opens the door for the formation of cartels where delegates can concentrate the role of validation and governance to a few parties.

We are not alone in this view. Ethereum has long taken a similar stance — to be sure, Ethereum 2.0 will be a pure self-staking network with decentralization and higher levels of security at the top of mind. By choosing to not apply delegated staking to the Pastel Network we are able to better prevent many lethal attacks by increasing the number of independent network operators. This also combats any incentives for users to form cartels and bribe other voters, thus, bolstering the network’s robustness, resiliency, and security in the name of decentralization.

Partnering with KuCoin gives us the ability to balance such risks at the protocol level, while simultaneously offering the community an opportunity to gain staking rewards without the arduous costs of running full nodes. Through this partnership, up to 20 SuperNodes (100M PSL in total) operated by the Pastel Foundation will allocate their staking rewards for up to 1 year to the KuCoin earn program.

About Pastel SuperNodes

SuperNodes are powerful validator servers backed by self-staked collateral held in PSL.

SuperNodes host full copies of the blockchain and provide a unique second layer of services to the network, processing advanced functionality such as NFT Registration & Activation, OpenAPI Sense & Cascade Requests, and cross-chain bridge relayers & orchestrators.

This interconnected layer provides an additional level of performance, functionality, and security to the broader Pastel ecosystem. Compute intensive operations can be conducted on high-powered nodes, who collectively verify the output and monitor the state of other SuperNodes on the network prior to data or information being submitted on-chain.

SuperNode operators must self-stake collateral denominated in PSL, and in return their operators receive regular payment for the services they provide to the network. As highly committed custodians and validators of the Network, SuperNode operators are also given the opportunity to vote on key ecosystem development and growth initiatives playing a fundamental governance role.

Additionally, you have the opportunity to participate in Pastel’s SuperNode Founder Program. The Founder Program is intended to incentivize early SuperNode operators with additional rewards for participating in the network, providing enhanced performance, ensure network security, and encourage long-term decentralization. The first 250 SuperNodes activated on the Pastel Network will become members of the Founder Program, tracked by their unique PastelID and Address. In addition to receiving Block and Transactional Rewards, Founder SuperNode operators will also become eligible for random PSL or NFT airdrops.

Learn more about running a SuperNode here.

SuperNode Overview: https://pastel.network/supernodes/

Pastel SuperNode Founder Program: https://medium.com/pastelnetwork/pastel-supernode-founder-program-9f3f814c5e2

About Pastel Network

Pastel Network is a fully decentralized, developer-friendly layer-1 blockchain serving as the preeminent protocol standard for non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) and Web3 technology.

Pastel allows for the development of third-party decentralized-applications (“DApps”) to sit on top of its Network, enabling developers to enjoy the scalable registration features, storage processes, and security of the broader ecosystem. Lightweight protocols such as Sense — which was built to assess the relative rareness of a given NFT against near-duplicate metadata — and Cascade — which conducts permanent, distributed storage of underlying NFT data — can be integrated cross-chain across various layer-1 blockchains, layer-2 protocols, or other third-party apps.

Pastel is managed by world-class developers, cryptographers, and technologists, supported alongside an experienced and extensive network of marketers, influencers, and third-party agencies. Pastel is backed by key stakeholders including Innovating Capital, a prominent venture fund.

For more information on Pastel Network, visit https://pastel.network/.

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Pastel: 2021 in Review

After 3 painstaking years of development in stealth, we launched our Mainnet in January 2021. Our co-founders, Jeff Emanuel, Alexey Kireyev, and Anthony Georgiades had a vision stemming all the way back in 2018 of building a blockchain that was application-specific and purpose built for rare digital collectibles, a novel concept at the time. Rare digital collectibles, or NFTs, were brand new, but they saw that the current infrastructure — such as Ethereum and Bitcoin—were not built to handle the storage requirements and transaction sizes of this emerging ecosystem in order for it to thrive in the years to come.

Well, that dream came to fruition this year.

Pastel’s Preliminary Vision

We launched Pastel with the goal of building a marketplace so that creators, collectors, and builders could benefit from the world-class features and protocols that Pastel had to offer. At its core, it was to be a decentralized system that allowed for creators and collectors to trade NFTs in an entirely decentralized, peer-to-peer manner. A platform built purely to be the alternative to those running on Ethereum — offering a very intuitive interface, negligible fees, proven authentication of NFTs, and reliable storage.

With this objective in mind and our technical prowess already proven, we raised $5M in seed funding from Innovating Capital to continue refining the network and platform while simultaneously building out our marketing and business development program. We employed a less popular development model than most projects coming onto the market today. Unlike other projects who marketed their vision, raised capital, and then started building, we focused on perfecting the technology first.

Then the wheels started turning once again…

After a few months of developing the marketplace, we began to identify that certain gaps in the broader NFT ecosystem were growing larger and larger. We saw major issues not being solved but rather ignored. NFT scams and frauds were innumerable and asset loss due to antiquated and centralized storage solutions was dangerously high. But, again, nothing was being done about it.

We already built the protocols to solve these problems, but they were to be accessible only to those using the marketplace on our native blockchain. That did not sit well with our team because this ecosystem was built with collaboration, decentralization, and open-source in mind. The very nature of decentralization is that no one entity holds the keys to the castle. We had the tools to protect users from scams and asset loss with all the necessary infrastructure to work with layer-1 blockchains and layer-2 DApps.

Additionally, we had a number of layer-1 projects interested in utilizing our protocols on their own networks.

So, we opened our technology to the world.

Pastel Network: the World’s Preeminent Protocol Standard for the NFT Ecosystem

After this revelation, we focused all our efforts on becoming the infrastructure standard for the NFT space. We decoupled our protocols and features, modifying them to be standalone solutions easily capable of integrating across the ecosystem via open-APIs.

Core features are as follows:

Sense Near-Duplicate NFT Detection Protocol: Directly integrate Sense, a lightweight protocol on the Pastel Network, into any project to assess the relative rareness of a given NFT against near-duplicate metadata.

Cascade Protocol for Distributed Storage: Built for speed, scalability, and redundancy, Cascade is a fully distributed, permanent storage solution for on-chain NFT metadata.

Pastel Developer Modules: Develop on-chain marketplaces or third-party applications directly on the Pastel blockchain, supported by a series of protocols, well-documented APIs, and RPC functionality to help builders get started.

Agile Ticket Structure: Easily represent NFT data on the blockchain and add custom features or launch dedicated apps on Pastel using an innovative ticket schema built on intrinsic data integrity.

Sense and Cascade are Truly One-of-a-kind

Sense is a lightweight protocol on the Pastel Network, built to assess the relative rareness of a given NFT against near-duplicate data. Sense can recognize the most subtle similarities between two digital collectibles, even if one has been transformed. The protocol goes beyond the standard “digital fingerprint” approach to establishing the rareness of an NFT and actually looks at the rareness of the pixel patterns in data. While digital fingerprints do allow users to verify that an NFT was created by a particular creator, this is a fairly weak form of rareness. Sense solves this problem by assigning a ‘Relative Rareness Score’ to quantify how rare an NFT is relative to all NFTs in the underlying dataset.

How it works: The software leverages a number of deep learning models using Tensorflow with Keras Applications to transform each NFT into a fixed list of over 10,000 numbers (the ‘NFT fingerprint vector’). It then assesses the correlation between a given fingerprint and the database of all existing fingerprints on Pastel, other NFT marketplaces (e.g., Rarible, OpenSea), and open databases on the entire internet (e.g., Google) and outputs a relative rareness score — a number between 0% (i.e., the NFT is identical to a previously registered NFT) to 100% (i.e., the NFT is completely unique). The Sense Protocol “sees through” superficial changes in the same way as a human eye, and, like a human, can recognize even the most subtle change in an NFT.

Sense protects creators and collectors from fraud, scammers, and outright theft. While we verify the authenticity and provenance using the creator’s digital signatures (like all NFT systems in use), we go much further and assess how rare the underlying pixel patterns of the NFT’s data are. If value is largely a function of rareness, we believe that this additional layer of rareness authentication will result in better valuations for NFT creators. After all, if another creator makes a similar NFT in the future, they will still be able to register it, but it won’t achieve anything close to the rareness score of the original NFT. Platforms are also able to guarantee that any nefarious activity to produce counterfeits in the future will be futile, as any attempts to list duplicate works will result in low rareness scores or possibly flagged for removal.

Now to storage —

Cascade is a purpose-built distributed storage protocol for NFT metadata that is fully redundant, decentralized, and permanent. Pay once, store forever.

The current approach of relying simply upon a TokenID and external hyperlinks to centralized storage servers or unreliable external dependencies like IPFS leaves users highly vulnerable to the loss of assets and requires ongoing external maintenance. Pastel is the first NFT platform to have its own completely integrated, decentralized storage layer based on the advanced technologies of RaptorQ and Kademlia. We ensure that the underlying digital asset itself is uploaded, verified, and registered on Pastel’s Cascade Protocol — rather than just the token with which it is minted. Through a series of smart tickets living on the Pastel Network, creators can store their masterpieces in a distributed fashion that is tightly coupled and indelible from the NFT itself.

How it works: Cascade Storage Protocol, leveraging the RaptorQ fountain code algorithm, begins by breaking each asset up in a series of redundant chunks. Every chunk contains certain random fragments of the combined file which is distributed redundantly across participating SuperNodes running on the network. Two parameters that control how the data is encoded into chunks: 1) the size of each chunk and 2) the desired redundancy factor. The sets of chunks are then randomly distributed across network nodes using the Kademlia DHT algorithm. No complex or centralized system for deciding which node is responsible for which chunk, no iteration through SuperNodes to find one with the relevant chunk, and no complicated logic for handling chunk re-allocation in the case of SuperNodes entering and leaving the network.

These protocols are truly game changers. Sense is the first of its kind in the ecosystem, and Cascade is the true alternative to centralized storage.

Marketing and Business Development Recalibration for Pastel as the Layer-1 NFT Infrastructure Standard

With this new focus, we went heads down shedding light on these pervasive problems plaguing the NFT ecosystem, while making known that the solutions we created for these problems were easily accessible.

Our team traveled the world speaking at conferences and meeting with different projects and platforms in order to educate this ever-growing community on what Pastel has to offer.

Our team conducted countless AMAs and interviews to spread the word as well as wrote educational articles to provide a clearer picture on what the issues were and how Pastel solves them.

And, our efforts bore fruit.

We closed out 2021 by partnering with TomoChain — a native layer-1 blockchain — to integrate Sense and Cascade across its NFT standard.

But, we are not stopping there. 2022 is poised to be even bigger.

2022 Roadmap

Pastel will carry the momentum from 2021 and continue providing our world-class infrastructure to the NFT ecosystem.

In 2022, we are focused on:

  • Expediting development releases for a number of our internal projects — such as with versions Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh, and Kubo;
  • Building stronger blockchain bridges, specifically with Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, Polkadot, and Polygon;
  • Expanding our network of partners with more native layer-1s, layer-2 DApps, and third-party enterprises;
  • Delivering more user incentive programs; and
  • Launching user-focused products.

Continuous Development Releases

Coming into 2022, we have revamped our entire development cycle to allow for faster, more frequent releases. Given that we are a native layer-1 application-specific blockchain, this is now more critical than ever. Each release cycle is well-planned, methodical, and heavily tested prior to a full Mainnet release.

We have been working on our largest upgrade, Cezanne, since our initial Mainnet release went live in January 2021. We anticipate that Cezanne will be fully deployed to Mainnet by the end of Q1. Subsequently, we will be following tight, quarterly release cycles. Each upgrade is composed of 4 distinct 2-week sprints resulting in a Testnet launch, and then subsequently 4 individual 1-week sprints for further development, de-bugging, and testing towards a Mainnet release.

Our various release cycles are well-intended to lead to major on-chain Mainnet enhancements. Overall, the upgrades will result in improved performance, increased scalability, revamped reward / incentive mechanics, more paths to increase PSL burn, and numerous blockchain-level optimizations that will make the Pastel Network stronger than ever.

Core areas of focus include:

  • Sense and Cascade Open-API full Mainnet release
  • Sense Protocol upgrade to include sharding for increased performance and scalability
  • Cascade Protocol upgrade to include storage-challenges for enhanced incentive measures and security
  • NFT CDN and ‘hot file’ caching via SuperNodes
  • Upgrades to smart-ticket structure to add overall NFT functionality
  • Pastel Improvement Proposal #01 (PIP-01) resulting in SuperNode governance upgrades (bonded stake, slashed rewards)
  • Full release of Pastel Developer modules with well-documented APIs and gRPC functionality
  • PIP-02 resulting in an enhanced consensus mechanics
  • Security improvements to harden against attack vectors

More Bridges and Cross-Chain Integrations

Pastel Network was founded around the idea that multiple chains will thrive over time. As a result, our core infrastructure was designed in such a way that Pastel can interact with a variety of other crypto ecosystems in a seamless fashion.

Wrapped-Pastel on Ethereum is already enabled on the Pastel Network, allowing users to access native PSL and its diverse array of use-cases directly on Ethereum. This year, our community can expect to see many more integrations with other chains such as Solana, Avalanche, and Polkadot. As more networks are bridged to Pastel, users within other ecosystems (e.g., OpenSea), can directly benefit from the wide breadth of Pastel functionality such as storage and certification. This also will be to drive overall network acquisition growth.

Further Partnership Launches

We are intensifying our business developments effort in order to increase our footprint in the NFT ecosystem. Given the interoperability of the platform and the integrability of our protocols and solutions — including Sense, Cascade, and our Developer Modules — we can target all of the major verticals in the market: native layer-1 blockchains (e.g. Solana, Avalanche, and Flow), layer-2 marketplaces and DApps (e.g. OpenSea, Decentraland, and Metaplex), and third-party enterprises (e.g. DraftKings, Artsy, and WME).

We are positioned well to pursue these target verticals and build on our recent successes.

Ongoing Incentive Programs

In 2022, we are focused on increasing the overall network usage by further incentivizing and rewarding activity in a variety of formats. Initially, we will be launching an incentive campaign to catalyze staking interest and garner enthusiasm to operate SuperNodes. This campaign will be performance-driven and will include rewards, such as PSL airdrops and NFT giveaways.

User-Focused Products

Despite our strategic pivot to an infrastructure integration business model — servicing projects and platforms — we firmly believe that the individual user, or consumer, is a major priority. This year, we remain committed to launching various user-facing products. To start, we will be launching two products that will allow consumers to leverage the next-generation protocols and solutions we offer to our partners, but in easy-to-use and intuitive interfaces.

We are beyond excited to bring these products to market because they have the ability to carry the NFT ecosystem into a very prosperous future.

Closing Remarks

2021 was just a warmup. We expertly navigated this rapidly evolving environment making key strategic decisions for the betterment of the project and the market as a whole. And, now, we are positioned to make a very big splash.

We have never been more focused and inspired to make 2022 legendary. We will continue to push the boundaries of innovation and creativity in order to usher Pastel to the forefront of the ecosystem as the preeminent NFT protocol standard for NFTs.

We have no doubts this will happen, so come join us for the ride of a lifetime!

About Pastel Network

Pastel is the world’s preeminent protocol standard for NFT technology. Pastel also allows for the development of third-party applications to sit on top of its Network, enabling developers to enjoy the scalable registration features, storage processes and security of the broader ecosystem. Lightweight protocols such as Sense — which was built to assess the relative rareness of a given NFT against near-duplicate metadata — and Cascade — which conducts permanent, distributed storage of underlying NFT data — can be integrated across any native L1 blockchains or L2 marketplaces.

Pastel is an entirely native blockchain supported by SuperNodes, which provides computational resources to the network to support asset registration, distribution, and permanent storage. Pastel is managed by world-class developers, cryptographers, and technologists, supported alongside an experienced and extensive network of marketers, influencers, and third-party agencies. Pastel is backed by key stakeholders including Innovating Capital, a prominent venture fund.

“This article was first published by our team here: https://medium.com/pastelnetwork/pastel-2021-in-review-whats-to-come-in-2022-70032b6a75dd