NFTs (Non-fungible tokens) are not new. They have been around since 2014, but with collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club recently surpassing $1 billion in trade volume, they're beginning to go mainstream. But you've already missed the boat, right?
Wrong! (I think…)
NFTs are still in their infancy, and I suspect we are only scratching the surface of how society will eventually utilize them both in the "real world" and the Metaverse. For now, let's focus on their use as digital art.
I recently tried my hand as an NFT artist, and to my surprise, I actually sold one! I won't be quitting my day job any time soon though, as I'm still pretty deep in the hole thanks to some ridiculous ETH gas fees. More on those later.
The process was surprisingly easy. There are many ways to mint and sell NFTs, but I'll share my experience to get you started.
1. Open a Crypto Wallet
To mint, sell, or buy an NFT, you're going to need a crypto wallet (and some crypto). Most NFT marketplaces integrate with a variety of wallets. I chose to use Coinbase Wallet because it allows you to quickly transfer currency from your main Coinbase account. If you don't have a Coinbase account or are new to crypto, MetaMask is another popular wallet option that easily allows you to purchase tokens through its browser extension.
After you've created a wallet, the next step is purchasing some Ethereum. I recommend about $200 worth to get started.
2. Connect Your Wallet
Now that you have a crypto wallet and some ETH, the next step is to connect it to an NFT marketplace. I chose to use OpenSea.io, which pegs itself as "the world's first and largest NFT marketplace."
On OpenSea, the platform will prompt you to scan a QR from the Coinbase Wallet app. Once connected, complete your profile, and you're nearly ready to start selling.
3. Mint your first NFT
With your wallet connected and your profile complete, you're now ready to mint your first NFT. It's as easy as hitting the Create button, uploading your artwork, and giving it a name.
It's at this point that you need to initialize your wallet with a one-time gas fee, which at the time of this writing is ridiculously high. I paid about $145. These fees cover the cost of executing a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, and they are a known problem that ETH 2.0 plans to solve in the near future. You're now ready to sell your work!
4. Sell your first NFT
Selling an NFT is not nearly as straightforward as minting one. As with physical art, the value of digital art is only as much as a buyer is willing to pay. If you intend to "get-rich-quick," the odds are not in your favor. I sold my first NFT for .003 ETH, which was the equivalent of $9.60 at the time.
If you're going to succeed, you have to believe in what you're selling and start your prices LOW. After all, NFTs offer the tremendous benefit of royalties, which give the creator a percentage of the sale price each time they're sold on a marketplace.
There you have it. The minting process is in a few easy steps, and once you get past the sometimes outrageous Gas Fees, you are all set to sell your NFT for whatever price someone is willing to pay!
If you're looking for some help in starting up or if you want more information, check out some of our other posts about making the most of your NFTs.