With growing adoption of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) like the ERC721 token standard, it’s apparent NFTs are a popular blockchain technology use case. Moreover, with the average person hearing all about digital art and collectibles, it makes sense that NFTs are growing in popularity. Furthermore, as developers discover more use cases for NFTs and how NFTs can be used in gaming, virtual events, digital ownership, proof of membership, etc., it’s obvious why individuals want to know how to mint NFTs. As such, we’ll explain in this “full tutorial to minting an NFT” article what it means to mint an NFT and how to mint NFTs. In addition, we’ll be presenting various ways in which NFTs can be minted. As such, you can then decide where the best place to mint an NFT is.
We’ll start this article by covering some basics that will help you understand what NFTs are. We’ll also ensure that you know what “minting an NFT” means. Furthermore, while NFT marketplaces or NFT platforms may be the simplest solution to mint an NFT for the average person, these solutions are not truly decentralized. As such, we’ll show you another straightforward method that enables you to mint NFTs in a completely decentralized manner. Moreover, in our opinion, the latter is the best way of minting an NFT for every developer, mainly because you don’t need to worry about the backend coding, which can be covered entirely by Moralis – the ultimate Web3 development platform. By signing up with Moralis, you get full access to Moralis’ powerful NFT API for powerful NFT token development, which means you can have your own NFT minting platform up and running in record time.
The Basics of How to Mint NFTs – What are NFTs?
As mentioned, we would first like to ensure that you’re up to speed before we take a closer look at how to mint NFTs. Thus, let’s start at the beginning by answering “what are NFTs?”. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are a special kind of crypto asset. As the term “non-fungible” suggests, each NFT is unique. As such, even when two NFTs represent the same digital file or are essentially copies of the same NFT, they have unique on-chain properties. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that digital art and collectibles are the most obvious use case for this type of token.
Furthermore, from the blockchain’s perspective, NFTs are essentially a transaction with particular metadata. However, since we can assign any digital file to that transaction, we can turn JPEGs, MP3s, PDFs, and other digital files into crypto assets. Therefore, there can be some confusion when we’re talking about how to create NFTs. Does it refer to the creation of that digital file? Is it referring to the execution of that transaction, or the entire process to end up with a unique crypto asset? Well, it depends on who you ask.
Digital artists will say the creation of the JPEG or audio file is the key part. On the other side, developers may tell you that it is the execution of the transaction. As such, considering the entire process might be the correct middle ground. However, since a digital file has nothing to do with NFTs before it is assigned to a particular transaction stored on a blockchain, we believe that developers may have a good point. Moreover, the “minting an NFT” term solves that confusion.
Minting an NFT – What Does it Mean?
The verb “mint” primarily refers to stamping metal coins issued by the government. However, the crypto community uses the same term in relation to NFTs. As such, “to mint” or “minting” an NFT refers to the process of executing the transaction mentioned earlier. By doing so, we assign a particular digital file and other parameters we determine to an NFT. All this data gets written in a particular block of the blockchain ledger and thus becomes metadata.
How to Mint NFTs
Now that you know the basics, including understanding what minting is, you are ready to learn how to mint NFTs. As mentioned previously, there are different ways to create an NFT. As such, you need to know your preferences. For instance, if you want to have an NFT minted in the shortest time possible, you don’t know how to code, and you can look past the centralized aspects, you may want to use one of the reputable NFT marketplaces available.
Moreover, please note that we will focus on the minting aspect of NFTs herein. This means that we assume you have a digital file ready that you want to convert into an NFT. Moreover, you should be able to determine what kind of properties you wish to assign to your NFT. Furthermore, you also want to be clear about the functionalities (if any) you want your NFT to have. Being clear on these aspects will also help you determine whether you’ll be able to cover your NFT needs and expectations with one of the known NFT marketplaces or if you need to roll up your sleeves and build a minting dApp yourself.
How to Mint NFTs in a Centralized Manner
There are several relatively reputable NFT platforms or NFT marketplaces available to anyone with a crypto wallet. Including Rarible, SuperRare, OpenSea, Mintable, Nifty Gateway, etc. Moreover, some major centralized exchanges (CEXs), such as FTX and Binance, also recently opened their own NFT marketplaces.
Furthermore, since OpenSea remains the most popular option, we will devote some of our attention to that particular NFT marketplace. As such, we will take a closer look at how to mint an NFT on OpenSea. However, we must point out that this is a centralized way to mint an NFT. Therefore, it is not something we recommend to those proficient or who have solid coding skills. However, it is by far the quickest and simplest way to mint an NFT.
You should also keep in mind that minting an NFT is not limited to Ethereum. Of course, Ethereum is still the most popular blockchain for launching tokens, whether fungible or non-fungible, but there are other reputable chains available (such as Avalanche, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Polygon, Solana, etc.). However, most of the leading NFT marketplaces solely focus on Ethereum.
How to Mint NFTs on OpenSea
In the next step, you will be asked to connect your wallet. You’ll have multiple options (see the image below); however, we believe MetaMask is the best option. MetaMask is also the simplest way for Ethereum authentication in your future dApp. As such, we’ll use this type of crypto wallet.
After clicking the wallet of your choice and signing in, you will land on a page where you will be able to mint your NFT:
At the top, you get to add a file that you want to convert to an NFT. You just click the image icon and then select the file from your computer.
At this point, you may see the first set of limitations. There are only certain file types supported (JPG, PNG, GIF, SVG, MP4, WEBM, MP3, WAV, OGG, GLB, GLTF), and the file cannot be larger than 100MB.
After uploading your file, you get to name your NFT. This can be anything, but you cannot leave it blank. All other features are optional. Once you upload the file and give your NFT a name, activate the “Create” button at the bottom of the page. By clicking it, you get to mint your NFT.
At this time, make sure to connect your MetaMask to Ethereum’s mainnet. Moreover, keep in mind that minting an NFT on the Ethereum blockchain can be expensive in terms of gas fees. As such, you’ll need to have a decent amount of ETH in your wallet to cover the transaction fees. Once you’ve minted your NFT, you can sell it or transfer it to another address.
Listing vs Minting an NFT
Before we take a closer look at how to mint NFTs with Moralis, we’d like to inform you that some platforms (such as “Mintable” [see the image below]) give you a chance to list your NFTs without actually minting them. This means you go through a similar process, as covered in the previous section, but instead of completing it by actually minting an NFT on the blockchain, you only store the information to your account on that platform. This means that the NFT is not actually minted and doesn’t exist on the blockchain. Instead, it is waiting for a potential buyer who will purchase it and also mint it. Of course, you can mint it yourself later on as well.
This option enables you to avoid paying transaction fees as you leave the minting to a potential buyer. However, keep in mind that you are entrusting a centralized platform with your file and all related information about the NFT.
Furthermore, “listing” also refers to auctioning or selling your existing NFTs. This means that you have an NFT or multiple NFTs in your possession and are using one of the NFT marketplaces to display them and potentially sell them.
How to Mint NFTs in a Decentralized Manner
As mentioned previously, this is the way how minting an NFT is supposed to be done. Furthermore, this kind of NFT minting still enables you to use some centralized aspects or go with a completely decentralized method. With the latter, we refer to your digital file (the one that will be converted into NFT) storing solution. You can have the file on any kind of centralized cloud storage option. Or you can use the IPFS decentralized storing solution that is fully compatible with Moralis’ SDK. Again, we prefer to focus on decentralized solutions.
To create your own NFT minting dApp, follow the instructions provided in the video below. In it, you’ll have the chance to follow along with one of Moralis’ experts explaining the entire process. However, before watching the video, make sure to finish the process of setting up a Moralis server. We’ll explain all the steps to this in the next section of this article.
Minting an NFT with Moralis – Setup
Setting up Moralis is easy – all it takes are these four steps:
- Create Your Moralis Account – If you haven’t created your Moralis account yet, make sure to do so now. The link will take you to the registration page, where you enter your email address and create your password. Next, you confirm your email address by clicking the confirmation link sent to your email address. In case you already have an active Moralis account, just log in.
- Create a New Server – Once logged in to your Moralis account, you get to create a new server; just click the “+ Create a new Server” button in the top-right corner of your Moralis admin page. Next, click one of the given options from the drop-down menu that appears (see the image below).
Enter the required details: server name (it can be anything you want), select region, network, chain(s) (you can select one or multiple options), and click “Add Instance”:
- Obtain Server Details – Once your server is ready, you need to get the details to use inside your “.html” or “.js” file. Click the “View Details” button next to your server name (see the image below). Once the pop-up window appears, you’ll see all the information you need (the “Server URL” and “Application ID” information are what interests you). In case you’ve used Moralis before, you may already have one or more servers set up. In that case, you may use any of them.
- Initialize Moralis – To complete the Moralis setup, you need to populate the “.html” or “.js” file with the server URL and application ID information, which you’ve obtained in the previous step:
Note: The server details in the images above are relevant for our server. You should use the details of your particular server.
How to Mint NFTs – Full Tutorial to Minting an NFT – Summary
Being able to mint NFTs is a highly useful skill; however, there is a lot more you can do with Moralis on your side. Thanks to Moralis’ cross-chain interoperability, you get to future-proof your dApps. Moreover, you can deploy your Web3 applications on all major blockchains. So, in case you want to develop on BSC or Avalanche, you do not need to deal with the limitations of RPC nodes because Moralis Speedy Nodes are the best Infura for BSC and Infura for Avalanche alternatives.
In addition, make sure to check out Moralis’ YouTube channel and Moralis’ blog for more in-depth articles and example projects. For example, learn how to supercharge your dApp development with Moralis’ Ethereum API, an example React dApp template, or the best languages for blockchain development – just to name a few. As such, tackle your unique project by letting Moralis guide you in your development process from start to finish!