Minting is the process of creating an asset on the blockchain. It’s the process used to create non-fungible tokens (NFTs,) which are blockchain-based tokens that prove ownership of an item such as a piece of music, profile picture, or image.
They first grew in popularity in 2021, with collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks making international headlines for their huge price tags. Since then, brands such as Nike and Adidas have created their collections, doubling the number of collections in just one year.
So what exactly is minting an NFT? How does minting work, and what does it cost? In this article, we’ll answer each of these questions: how long it takes to mint an NFT, the most famous mints, and how an NFT gas war can impact the minting price.
What Is Minting An NFT?
Minting an NFT is the process of creating an asset stored on the blockchain, where its authenticity and ownership are proven. The blockchain itself can’t be edited, which makes ownership indisputable.
Minting an NFT is usually completed on platforms like OpenSea, which provides users with the tools to mint their collection. In addition to these tools, creators will also need the art they plan to use and details of unique accessories and features. Some general knowledge about blockchain technology is also useful but not essential.
To mint a collection, creators will need a crypto wallet with the cryptocurrency needed to put their collection on the blockchain. Most NFTs are created with Ether (ETH), though Solana (SOL) and Cardano (ADA) are also popular options.
After paying all fees and uploading the necessary files to create a new token, the platform you use will register your new asset on the blockchain, which can be listed on exchanges to generate a crypto income,
How Does NFT Minting Work?
Minting For Creators
As a creator, minting an NFT lets creators create scarcity, secondary earnings, and verified ownership. Creators can create limited edition pieces, specialized collections, and more, all of which are validated on the blockchain.
Minting also lets creators build communities and perks for collectors who buy their NFTs and generate a passive income through “creator fees,” which charge a small percentage of each secondary sale.
Creators can complete the process on platforms like Solsea and Opensea, which cover all complex coding, allowing creators to focus on the art.
Minting For Collectors
As a collector, minting allows you to become part of a community. When minting from a new project, collectors become the first-ever owner of a particular NFT. Minting from a new collection is like buying a pack of collectible cards; you never know how rare the NFT will be.
Minting as a collector requires you to go to the developer’s website. On the website, there will be an option to “Mint.” Connect your wallet, pay all fees, and your NFT will arrive in around 30 minutes.
How Much Does Minting Cost?
The cost of minting depends on the “gas price” (transaction fee.) This is paid to the blockchain and will vary depending on the time of day and overall activity. Minting an NFT can cost as little as $0.01 but can go as high as $500 to a few thousand dollars. If gas fees are particularly high when minting an NFT, you can always return later to mint at a lower price. Just make sure the collection won’t sell out before then!
How Long Does It Take to Mint an NFT?
Minting an NFT can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3-4 hours, depending on how experienced you are with the platform.
The actual minting process is the stage at which your NFT is published. Before minting, you need to create the art for the collection and decide how many NFTs you plan to create and how you plan to promote the collection.
Most Famous Mints
CryptoPunks was first released in June 2017 and became the most popular NFT collection of all time. What makes this mint famous is that it was completely free. Anyone with an Ethereum wallet could claim a CryptoPunk.
Following its release, many collections replicated the 10k profile picture trend, and CryptoPunks went on to sell for millions. As of December 2022, CryptoPunks remains the most valuable NFT collection on the planet.
Quantum is commonly cited as the first NFT ever minted. It was minted in May 2014
(May 2014) on a site known as Namecoin. After its initial mint, Quantum was forgotten about for years until going on auction at Sotheby’s in June 2021, where it sold for over $1 million.
The Eternal is the fastest-selling NFT collection to be minted, selling out in just seven minutes. It was released by Anthony Hopkins, who partnered with NFT company Orange Comet. It was sold on 13th October and showcased 1000 NFTs consisting of 10 unique animation NFTs and 990 unique images.
What Is an NFT Gas War?
An NFT gas war is a bit like a bidding contest with too many bidders. It starts when the demand for an NFT is higher than its supply- for example when a popular new NFT collection is released. This increase in demand causes the blockchain to slow, and consequently, some investors tip blockchain validators to speed up the transaction. As a result, the gas fee increases based on the tip.
To beat other bidders, investors will keep paying higher fees until most investors can’t afford the gas fees. This causes the overall traffic to decrease and prioritizes the highest bidders, which can be frustrating for investors with smaller budgets as it could price them out completely.
It’s important to note that gas fees will also differ based on the platform and the time of day. In some situations, the gas fee can be higher than the listed sale price of the NFT. Therefore, it’s important you research the gas fee before selling or buying an NFT.
Final Thoughts: Minting Isn’t As Complex As You May Think
Minting an NFT isn’t quite as complex as it’s made out to be. While you need to consider factors such as gas fees and the platform to mint, once you have the designs in place, most platforms will take care of everything for you. Be diligent with your research beforehand and ensure that the gas fee is within your budget- the last thing you want to do is bid for an asset only to realize you can afford the gas.
Minting is a great way to make money as a digital creator. As NFT technology advances, its use cases and widespread adoption will also increase, making it a great time to get involved in the market.