How to Make and Sell NFTs

Contributor, Benzinga

Want to make NFTs? Ethereum is needed to mint NFTs, and you can get some on Gemini.

A non-fungible token (NFT), is a blockchain-based tokenization of a collectible item or art piece. NFTs certify digital ownership and authenticity, stored publicly on the blockchain for quick verification. As applied by the term ‘non-fungible’, NFTs cannot be exchanged or traded at equivalency with each other. As a result, every NFT is unique and irreplaceable, adding scarcity to the digital world.

Popularized by the NBA, Mark Cuban, Snoop Dog and Logan Paul, NFTs have bubbled into the mainstream. You don’t have to be a famous YouTuber or billionaire to make your own NFT. New companies like Nifty Gateway, OpenSea and Rarible let anyone get in on the action. 

An NFT gold rush means collectors want to get in early on the next generation of collectible items. Some NFTs fetch huge markups in the resale market after selling out within seconds of dropping online. 

NFTs have changed the way we think about art, and this is only the beginning. 

What Does NFT Mean?

If something is fungible, it is easily replaceable. Oil is fungible because any 1 barrel is just as good as the next, but a 1 of 1 Mickey Mantle rookie card is not just any baseball card — it’s irreplaceable or non-fungible. 

By tokenizing non-fungible assets, important details about the asset are digitized with the token. 

Tokens are held in wallets, which also have their own unique addresses. Token IDs point to wallet addresses on the blockchain, which is a large, publicly accessible database, so anyone can verify digital ownership. This also means that fake versions of NFTs could never pass as the real deal.

NFTs were first launched on the Ethereum blockchain, but other blockchains including Solana and Binance Smart Chain now also support them.

How to Make Your Own NFTs

If you want to create your own NFTs, it’s surprisingly easy. 

OpenSea and Rarible are the leading platforms for NFT creation. While Rarible dominates total sales figures, OpenSea provides more related services, including the ability to create your own NFT webstore powered by the OpenSea exchange. Both platforms allow users to upload their art and create collections without any technical blockchain knowledge required. 

Before you get started, know there will be some up front costs. NFTs are powered by a blockchain – typically Ethereum’s blockchain. Using a blockchain comes at a cost, a network fee called gas, that you’ll need to pay in order to tokenize your art.

Rarible requires artists to mint their NFTs on the blockchain (on-chain) during creation. This means repeated smaller costs. If you’re planning on selling a couple NFTs for huge prices, Rarible is likely your best bet. On the other hand, if you want to create a multitude of cheaper NFTs, you’ll want to use OpenSea’s Collection Manager. 

OpenSea Collection Manager allows users to pay a one-time fee for establishing a new collection. From that collection, an unlimited number of NFTs are able to be created and stored off-chain by the OpenSea centralized team until a sale is made. At this point, the buyer will pay the gas fee associated with the transaction, and your NFT will be placed on the chain and transferred. 

This tutorial will cover the step-by-step process for everything you need to create your own NFTs in a collection on OpenSea.

  1. Set up MetaMask.

    The first thing you’ll need to do to create your own NFT is to set up a software wallet. This wallet can hold your NFTs and you’ll also need to use it to pay blockchain gas fees later on. 

    Make your way over to metamask.io where you can download the app or add the chrome extension. Creating a MetaMask wallet is simple and free. Just remember to keep track of your seed phrase in case you ever need to recover the wallet. 

    Remember that wallets don’t hold cryptocurrency or NFTs — they store your private key which is needed to authorize transactions. All cryptocurrencies and NFTs are actually kept on the blockchain with the wallet ID designating ownership. 

  2. Tokenize your art or other assets.

    Once you have a MetaMask wallet created, you’ll be able to create your own NFTs. 

    Navigate to opensea.io and click the Create button in the menu bar. Now you can connect your MetaMask wallet with OpenSea and get to work.

    Create a name for your NFT collection, then click the Add New Item button. You are now ready to upload the file you want to tokenize and give it certain properties and stats to distinguish it from the rest of your collection. 

    Determine how many copies you want of each item, then set a retail price.

  3. List on the marketplace.

    In order to sell your first NFT, you’ll need to enable OpenSea to sell items from your account. This requires a blockchain transaction, so you’ll have to pay a gas fee. Send some Ether to your MetaMask, and you’re good to go. You’ll only need to pay this fee the first time you create an NFT collection. 

    If you don’t have any Ethereum, you can use Coinbase or Gemini to purchase some and send it to your MetaMask wallet. If you’re completely new to cryptocurrencies, it may be useful to start with Benzinga’s guide to buying Ethereum.

    Now that you’ve given OpenSea permission to sell your NFTs, anyone can find and purchase them on the OpenSea marketplace. You’re done!

Other Ways to Profit from NFTs

There are 3 main routes to profit from NFTs: creation, scalping and investments in the industry. 

For most people, their best bet to cashing in on the NFT bubble before it pops would be to invest in a platform like Nifty Gateway, OpenSea or Rarible. During the California gold rush, most miners left empty-handed, but those who sold the picks and shovels became incredibly rich. 

If you’re an artist or influencer, it may be worth it to create your own NFTs for your fans. YouTuber and professional boxer Logan Paul made over $5 million in 1 single day by selling 3,000 NFTs for 1 Ether each. Clearly, NFT FOMO is at an all-time high. Another more recent example is the Nelk Boys selling 10,000 MetaCard NFT passes to fans, raking in over $23 million in sales in less than 24 hours.

NFTs can represent physical and digital objects. For example, the NBA is tokenizing clips of the biggest plays in basketball history and selling them for a fortune — and they get a 5% cut of all secondary market transactions — just another benefit of NFTs for their creators. 

The cryptopunks are tokenized images of 24 x 24-bit avatars. There are 10,000 cryptopunks in total, each one uniquely identifiable and boasting an average sale price of over $100,000. There are 9 aliens, 24 apes, 88 zombies, 3,840 females and 6,039 males — each randomly generated with a unique set of attributes that also vary in rarity. Only 44 cryptopunks have the “beanie” attribute, making them instantly more valuable than 1 of the 332 that have VR goggles. 

Another popular collection is Bored Ape Yacht Club, made by Yuga Labs which recently acquired CryptoPunks and Meebits. This collection is owned by celebrities like Post Malone, Snoop Dog, Madonna, Steph Curry, Eminem, and dozens of other celebrities. While the mint price of BAYC was 0.08 Ether, you’ll need to shell out 6-figures to get your hands on one today.

The Future of NFTs and Tokenization

The blockchain is revolutionizing art and collectibles as we know them, but this is merely the beginning. Tokenization is an incredibly powerful tool with hundreds of undiscovered applications. 

NFTs appear to be here to stay. Which NFTs will stand the test of time and hold their values is another question. Each NFT collection has its own value proposition, but at the end of the day, they are only worth exactly what someone is willing to pay. 

Most of the NFTs ever created will become essentially worthless given enough time. On the other hand, some will become ever more valuable and desired. 

Maybe your NFT will become the next Mona Lisa! There’s only one way to find out…

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