NFTs are one of the newest forms of crypto assets. To list your work as an NFT, you need to “mint” it. If you have a large number of assets to mint, you might be wondering how much you should expect to pay in gas fees (costs associated with the creation of NFTs).
These days, most marketplaces offer free minting in exchange for a percentage of your list price once the NFT sells or defer the minting fees to the buyer at the time of sale. However, you can mint an NFT before listing it for sale, usually costing $50-$150. So, minting 10,000 NFTs could cost $500,000-$1.5 million total.
(Take this number with a grain of salt as there are many caveats like the choice of blockchain, NFT platform, and time of day you mint an NFT.)
What is an NFT and Why Would You Create10,000?
Before we get into the topic of minting, it’s essential to understand what precisely an NFT is. NFTs, which stands for “non-fungible tokens,” are unique digital assets. They represent real-world items, such as art, collectibles, music, videos, and in-game items, just to name a few but NFTs have many other functions and utilities.
One of the most popular and valuable collections of NFTs are the CryptoPunks created by Larva Labs. CryptoPunks are a collection of 10,000 unique and algorithmically created portraits of 8-bit style punk portraits. These were initially released for free, but they are now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and some have sold in the millions!
They are essentially the inspiration for this article. In fact, numerous other collections have come out since CryptoPunks, with the chosen amount of the edition set at 10,000 pieces.
Where’s the Value?
NFTs can be bought and sold online using various types of cryptocurrencies. They’re usually one-of-a-kind assets, and each has its own unique identifying codes.
While anyone can view an NFT or NFT collection online, built-in authentication serves as proof that the buyer owns the original copy.
Curious about why collectors are spending millions of dollars on NFT? This sums it up: 7 Things That Make NFT Art Valuable and Collectible.
What Does “Minting” Mean?
“Minting” is the process of taking a digital item and converting it into an NFT asset that can be bought, sold, and traded. The process can be thought of as similar to how a physical coin is minted to store its value.
NFTs are all stored on something called the blockchain, which is essentially a record of every NFT that’s ever been uploaded and who owns them.
Meaning people won’t be able to change who created it, and you will always be able to see the records of ownership as well as how much it sold for.
Minting is like putting your own digital signature on the NFT, and it can prevent illegal copyright situations in many ways. For example, minting your NFT will allow the blockchain to track it everywhere it goes. It will be able to see who has access to it, who purchased it, and any other activity the NFT has.
There are many benefits of minting your NFTs. Doing so allows you to:
- Democratize an asset’s ownership
- Store and preserve the asset’s value
- Sell or trade your unique digital assets
Once an NFT is minted, you can start selling or trading it.
What Are Minting Fees?
There is a lot of energy required to process an NFT transaction. This energy is needed to transfer and validate the asset on a blockchain. Minting fees are sometimes also referred to as “gas fees” because the significant amount of computer power required to change the blockchain uses gas.
Gas fees will vary in cost based on market demand, and the fees go directly to the blockchain miners. Simply put, miners are the ones who gather the NFT data and secure it to the blockchain.
Part of the reason minting fees are so complicated is that gas prices vary by the minute. It depends on how much traffic is on the network at the time you decide to mint your NFT. However, you can typically expect to pay the lowest fees early on Sunday mornings.
In fact, we provide an excellent breakdown of how to really mint NFTs for less in this article titled, “The 3 Cheapest Ways to Mint an NFT: Full Breakdown.”
How Much Does It Cost to Mint an NFT?
If there is a massive demand for minting and completing transactions on a blockchain, then the fees go up. During extremely busy times, I’ve heard of gas fees costing upwards of $700 on the Ethereum blockchain.
But I’d say the average cost to mint an NFT on the Ethereum blockchain is between $50-150.
How the Marketplaces Make “Big Money”
Listing fees are associated with the sale of NFTs and go to the NFT platform that is listing your NFTs for sale. It’s usually a percentage of the sale price, and that’s usually how the marketplaces make their money.
Each marketplace has its own fee structure. For example, OpenSea and Rarible both take 2.5% of the list price once an NFT sells, while SuperRare takes 3%. It seems the most expensive platform is Nifty Gateway, which charges 5% on the initial sale and $0.30 on each secondary sale.
How to defer minting costs and mint for free
There are websites that will mint your NFTs for you and charge a higher selling fee percentage at the time of sale or defer the minting and gas fees to the buyer at the time of purchase.
Plus, certain blockchains are more affordable than others. Ethereum, the most common blockchain used for NFTs, has a fairly higher gas fee cost than some of the other up-and-coming blockchains, but if you use a lesser-known blockchain, your NFTs might not get as much exposure as most buyers are using Ethereum. (Things change fast, though!)
The traditional way to mint NFTs involves minting them on the blockchain as soon as you upload them and paying for gas fees immediately.
NFT marketplace websites are using a method called “lazy minting” that allows you to mint NFTs for free when you upload them.
The NFT is minted when someone else purchases it rather than when you upload it. The buyer pays the gas fees when they purchase the NFT. Until then, your NFT would be listed on the marketplace and be protected by decentralized storage.
To use this method of minting, all you have to do is connect your crypto wallet to the website you want to use and sign a “minting authorization.” This will give the website permission to wait to mint your NFT until someone has bought it.
For further instructions and how to use the Lazy Minting on Rarible, check out this guide.
How to Easily Mint an NFT
If you are ready to begin minting your NFTs, you will need to follow the process below. While the exact steps can vary based on the wallet or marketplace you use, the general process is the same.
Here’s how to mint your NFT:
- First, you will need to decide on and create the digital asset you want to mint. It could be any kind of digital asset, a meme you created, your home videos, or amazing digital artwork. If you want to learn how to auto generate a collection of NFTs here is how.
- Now you need to pick a crypto currency exchange and convert your fiat money into crypto. One of the easier exchanges for newbies in Coinbase. You can connect Coinbase direclty to your bank account and convert currencies with the click of button. Do know there are fees involved.
- Choose your NFT marketplace. Some of the most popular marketplcase are OpenSeas and Rarible.
- Deposit crypto currency into a crypto wallet. A virtual crypto wallet allows you to store your funds, mint NFTs, buy and exchange NFTs, as well as interact within the crypto network. Each NFT marketplace has it’s own list of compatable crypto wallets. Just head the site you are interested in and pick a wallet.
- Set up your account on the marketplace and follow the site’s specific instructions to create and mint your NFTs. While the steps can vary slightly, you’ll generally just have to choose the asset you want to mint, fill in all the details, and add it to your collection.
- Now that your assets are in your collection, you can start listing, marketing, and selling them to buyers.
3 Easy-To-Use Marketplaces
Yet, I must say the most challenging part about the NFT game is marketing and selling, and there is a specific way to do this in the NFT world. That’s why I’ve published this guide: How To Get Your NFT Art Noticed: Complete Guide.
Although it may seem strange, it actually takes a lot of energy to add an NFT to a blockchain. For this reason, gas fees are not cheap! Most of the popular marketplaces have creative ways to postpone the gas fee costs or defer to the buyer in order to get more people involved with the NFT experience.
If you want to keep the traditional route and mint your NFTs from the get-go, expect to pay between $50-$150 to mint each NFT. If you want to mint 10,000 NFTs, the total cost could range from $500,000-$1.5 million.
Don’t stop your NFT education here. Keep it going by reading these now-viral articles:
- Is It Legal to Make an NFT of a Celebrity?
- Why Are Some NFTs Free on OpenSea?
- How Long Do NFT Auctions Last? It Depends.