NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have become the buzz of the art world. After all, Christie’s recently sold one for $69.3 million. But how do you get in on the action of being able to buy them without having to pay exorbitant gas fees?
Gas fees are part of the NFT game, but to get around paying the premiums frequently charged, and avoiding higher gas fees, consider:
- Minting on days other than Tuesdays or Thursdays (the most popular days)
- Combining multiple transactions
- Consider platforms such as OpenSea and Rarible
Before you whip out your credit card to buy an NFT, you need to understand the ins and outs of gas fees which is critical for your ability to buy your NFTs successfully. To learn more about the process, what it is, and ways through—or even around it, keep reading as we dig deeper into the world of NFT minting and gas fees.
Suggestion: If you are totally new to minting and buying NFTs, start here and then return to this article.
What Are NFT Gas Fees?
Like most creative endeavors, there are fees associated with producing a product and putting it on the market. In this case, the “gas fees” are assessed to pay data miners to:
- Research the token you want to buy to make sure it’s unique
- Mine through piles and piles of data to provide the correct provenance for your new purchase
- Add evidence of your new ownership to a secure blockchain
This entire process takes an extraordinary amount of computing power, and therefore, electricity. This is because the more data miners that are working through the mining process simultaneously, the more electricity and power that is required.
As with most market-related supply and demand commodities, higher demand for the data miners’ time results in higher fees.
Side Note: this article is based on using Ethereum, the most used crypto when it comes to NFTs. Like anything in the NFT world, this is subject to change.
So, When Are Data Miners More Available?
Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to be the days of the week that demand more of the data miners’ time. It’s easier to find a miner to do work for you on Saturdays and Sundays due to how the market cycles work (more on this a little later).
The miners set the gas fee rates based on the level of the NFT minting traffic at a given time. That basically translates to the following:
Another way to think of this is to remember that this is part of the information super-highway. When you’re driving your car, the more time you spend in congested traffic, the more gasoline your automobile consumes. Similarly, the busier the information super-highway is, the more energy it consumes and the harder it is for miners to get their jobs done.
The miners set their fees based on a combination of:
- Traffic volume
- Consumer drive for the type of NFT
- How much time and effort the mining will require
The miners work to solve complex equations that require a lot of brain time and computing power. So, it stands to reason that those who offer the higher gas fee limit bids win the data miners’ attention.
The Data Mining Community
Ethereum data mining, in fact, any data mining, is a worldwide prospect. Someone (or many someones), somewhere, is always working on these calculations.
With that in mind, it’s understandable that there isn’t any one large bucket of time that is ideal for getting a miner’s attention for the best deal for the lowest gas fees. When you think of time in global terms, you can somewhat intuit when more people are typically working and, conversely, when fewer people are vying for the limited number of available miners.
- Look at where there are working-hours time zones for large populations and where they overlap.
- Find the gaps
- You can find some brief windows that might offer lower gas fees.
Here’s a table that takes a look at that concept. The “Xs” in each time zone represents local 8 am – 6 pm typical office or work-day hours.
If we next consider:
- High-volume populations and financial centers (highlighted in yellow)
- Where there could be significant overlap in those various time zones (shaded in green)
We find the following patterns:
This table suggests that between 0300 – 0500 UTC is potentially a lower volume time frame to work on minting and/or buying your NFT.
Additionally, if you consider that markets are closed over the weekends, we can also make a general leap that Saturdays and Sundays are not as busy.
Why Do the Markets Matter?
You are either minting or buying your NFT to make money – whether it be for income or investment purposes. But, of course, this process can only be done when the markets are open for trading.
If you want to drop your most recent NFT during prime trading, the most activity seems to happen during Tuesdays and Thursdays. To make your NFT available or to buy the most desirable NFT on one of these days, you can plan on paying premium gas fees. It’s just a given.
Conversely, if you can be patient and are willing to be in the market at a time that isn’t as busy, you can avoid higher fees and, on some platforms (that may not be aligned with Ethereum), may even be able to avoid the fees altogether.
Another option is to consider taking advantage of a process known as “lazy minting.”
Choose Rarible to Lazy Mint Your NFT
Rarible is the platform of choice when lazy minting. It has a process that allows you to slip the noose of gas fees and put it on the buyer. These fees can be crippling to an artist with a small budget. Instead, they make the marketplace friendly to all creators, and when everyone is invited, there’s a lot of profit to be made.
Reasons to use Rarible to avoid high gas fees are:
- Fluctuation – The price you pay for gas fees can fluctuate depending on the time of day. That means you could have difficulty judging your profit/loss as the number could be several different things throughout the day. Budgeting for these fees can be a nightmare, and you can avoid them with lazy minting.
- Locked Fees – There are situations where your tokens could be locked for not having the proper amount for minting fees. Other sites will slide in costs on the back end, making it impossible for you to trade the non-fungible, but Rarible keeps the process open and easy.
- Your Schedule – Not worrying about gas fees means you don’t have to avoid certain peak trading times during the week. These times are a way for companies to save money and get expedient releases of their tokens. With Rarible, you work with your schedule and release when you are ready.
- Hidden Fees – Other platforms can have fees that don’t show up until a certain point in creation or sales has been reached. These hidden fees can derail a good NFT, and Rarible’s lazy minting skirts the problem. Lean on lazy minting to beat these fees, and your project will not be in for any unnecessary financial surprises.
Rarible does some great things for those who are seeking to lazy mint. They work hard to ensure that the barrier to enter their market is low and people form all different types of budgets. While other companies can claim to have more bells and whistles, no platform covers the creators and miners like Rarible.
Lazy Minting Your Non-Fungible Token on Rarible
Lazy minting doesn’t produce an NFT. Not directly, but what is created is a cryptographic signature with data they have created. You are off to the races once this signature is ready to go. You are minting with the gas fees converted to the buyer from this point forward.
The stages of lazy minting are:
- Crypto Signature – The first bit of coding required after your artwork is created makes a cryptographic signature. This signature allows another person to find the bit on the currency block.
- Claiming the Signature – Once the signature is created, it acts like a ticket waiting to be redeemed. The ticket allows access to all the encoded non-fungible you have created.
- Redeem the Ticket – The coding requires that you process a ‘Redeem’ function to sign the token. Signing requires a bit more code typed in a specific sequence. If you are unfamiliar with coding, take your time and copy from the online examples.
- Transferral – Transferring the ownership is the last piece of the puzzle. Like downloading a file, the NFT should shift from its spot on the marketplace to the other account. The Ethereum will appear in your account simultaneously.
When it comes to a finished transaction, you will notice that all the gas fees have been taken care of during the sales process and moved on to the buyer—freeing up your time and space to begin anew with a fantastic NFT that will cost you nothing upfront to create.
Gas Free on OpenSea with Polygon
Another popular way to create NFTs without gas fees is by using the Polygon blockchain on Opensea. As of now, these NFTs are not as popular as the ones minted on Ethereum, but none the less this is an option.
When you have minted your NFT, you will then be able to list your NFT for sale on OpenSea. Personally, I have yet to try this method, but I encourage all our readers to get their feet wet.
Coding and NFTs
One of the most apparent hurdles for those looking into creating their own tokens is coding. People code for years and can still have trouble inputting the correct lines and code sequences to make a program or app work. However, these lines will be the same and could easily be copied and pasted from another app.
A few ways to get coding into your non-fungible token are:
- Copy & Paste – If you look for the lines needed to mint an NFT, you wouldn’t have to go far. A quick search shows that there are a set number of lines you can use to mint, and these lines can be copied, sometimes verbatim, from the internet…I’ve never done this.
- Learn to Code – Learning to code could take a long time to master. There are different coding versions, and each could present a series of problems for the minter and miners. However, rudimentary knowledge is all that is needed, so don’t be afraid of a bit more reading.
- Partnership – If you are a designer who knows nothing about coding, you could easily take on a partner. Having a skill, like design, allows you to trade your services off to other tech-savvy people. Having a partner who does the coding while designing is a win-win for both parties.
Although the term “coding” may bring you a bit of trepidation, as we’ve just discussed, it’s a process that you can make work for you to lower those gas fees, so you get to see a profit from your work.
Gas fees are part of the NFT recipe and are changing the world, but they don’t have to be the crippling driver that some have experienced. By using what you’ve learned here and choosing your timing and your process wisely, you can limit those fees so that your fans see the value of your art and clamor for it rather than being dissuaded by those high gas fees.
Looking for more money-saving NFT articles? Read these:
- How Much Does It Cost To Burn & Destroy An NFT? (Complete Guide)
- Can NFTs Have Multiple Owners? The Facts Explained
- How Much Does It Cost to Create an NFT? A Simple Answer