How Much Does It Cost To Create An NFT

$6-60 Dollars USD. There. I've answered the question.

No, not really. It's a lot more complicated than that. Read on to see why.

Costs Associated With Making Non-Fungible Tokens Vary Quite a Bit

With NFTs more popular than ever before, a lot of people are wondering about the costs associated with creating their first one. In this article we will go over the nitty-gritty of how NFTs are created, or "minted" as it's technically called, and the cost that comes along with it.

Minting means that you're creating a certificate of authenticity for your new NFT. This authenticity means that it will always show that you're the original owner and ensure you're paid for royalties on future sales.

The cost associated will vary greatly depending on the method, blockchain and platform you're using to mint your NFT.

Essentially though, every time you make an NFT transaction, you are submitting data to the blockchain for miners to process.

This is called a 'transaction'. Transactions cost fees that pay crypto miners. Miners need to be compensated for the time and resources that it takes to mine.

There are times when you can get around some of the fees but we'll get into that a bit later.

Easiest Path To Getting Started With NFTs

For people new to the NFT world the easiest way to get started is by using the Opensea marketplace.

Opensea and Ethereum are by far the most popular Marketplace and Blockchain duo for creating, selling and collecting NFTs.

How Opensea Works (and how they've reduced fees)

Opensea allows you to easily convert files like JPEGs, PNGs, Gifs and even MP3's over to an NFT.

Back in December of 2020 they announced that you could create collections at no cost, which is where your NFTs will "live" until it's sold or transferred to someone else.

So no Opensea fees involved until you're ready to put it up for sale. It's not truly minted until you sell. They call this "Lazy Minting".

But let's say that you've just created your first collection and are now ready to sell the NFTs inside of it.

You'll need to initialize your first transaction here to allow Opensea to process Sell orders for you. What this costs is entirely up to how busy the Ethereum network is at that time.

Let's take a quick detour on Ethereum.

How Ethereum Works

On the Ethereum blockchain, the fees are calculated by taking your transaction inputs and multiplying it according to its gas limit.

At the time of this writing, the state of the Ethereum blockchain is currently such that Casper (Proof of Stake) hasn't been implemented yet.

As such, Ether still has to be mined through Proof of Work (PoW).

The process for this involves having computer hardware solve cryptographic problems. This happens on a network level and is usually referred to as mining.

These miners are using their time, heavy GPU resources and need to be paid back. This is called "Gas Fees".

Mining is roughly analogous to clearing a checkbox on a piece of paper, where your chances of being able to do so are proportional with the amount of computational power you have at your disposal.

The more computational power you have access to, the better your chance will be at solving these cryptographic puzzles and thus 'mining' new blocks for the blockchain.

Costs Associated When Using OpenSea

It's completely impossible to say what it will cost you for that first account initialization but there's a lot of great resources that provide the latest Gas Fee Averages, like this Dashboard here.

As Paxful.com explains, on average, the cheapest times for Ethereum Gas is during the weekends.

Lowest Ethereum Gas Fees
Lowest Ethereum Gas Fees

So that first initialization could cost you anywhere from $6 to $60 - in most situations it should be well under $100.

There are times where you'll see outrageous estimated gas fees (like the image below) when there's a lot of mint activity going on. But that's typically when you're trying to compete with a lot of people to get in on a new NFT drop before they're all gone.

high gas fee shown in Metamask
Crazy Gas Fees!

That's it in this scenario. You've paid your Ethereum Gas to get your OpenSea account set up for selling and can list as many NFTs as you'd like in your collection without paying any other fees right now.

But now let's say you've spread the word on Twitter about your new collection and you get a sale on one of the NFTs in that collection.

If that NFT was up for sale at a fixed price then the Buyer pays the Ethereum gas fees for that transaction.

If that NFT was up for sale in an auction (or you just accept an offer without the NFT being officially for sale) then You pay the gas fees associated with the transaction.

Regardless of what type of sale it was, OpenSea receives a 2.5% transaction fee.

Fees on Other NFT Platforms

It's hard to argue that OpenSea isn't the most popular NFT marketplaces but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best one out there.

Let's go over some other platform/marketplace options for creating your first NFT.

SuperRare

SuperRare is known for featuring some of the world's top digital artists and their artwork in NFT form.

SAWARGA artwork NFT on SuperRare
SAWARGA by @iannocent on SuperRare

If you're just starting out with NFTs, this might not be the best platform for you because it's invite-only. If you're an already established artist though, you might be able to get in by filling out the interest form.

Once you're in and selling NFTs on SuperRare, artists keep 85% of the sale price, with the other 15% going to SuperRare.

And remember, when you mint your NFT you still have to pay Ethereum Gas fees as we discussed already.

Foundation

Suburbia Mexicana, Lost Rivers #4 NFT on Foundation
Suburbia Mexicana, Lost Rivers #4

Foundation has the same fee structure as SuperRare, with the artist keeping 85% of the sale price and the remaining 15% going to Foundation.

To join you must be invited by a current Foundation member. Once you've joined you'll be able to upload your files and set your artwork auction prices.

You, as the artist, will receive 10% of each secondary sale as well. So if someone wins your Foundation auction and then resells it on OpenSea, you'll receive 10% of that secondary sale price.

Rarible

Rarible NFT marketplace
Rarible Home Page

The Rarible NFT marketplace is closer to OpenSea (and actually is integrated with OpenSea), where there's a wider variety of NFT collectibles. Not as focused on artwork and photography.

As of this writing Rarible has the same 2.5% transaction fee set on all NFT sales.

You can view and manage NFTs that you've created or collected on Rarible on your OpenSea profile as well.

Participating on Rarible earns you $RARI tokens.

"RARI token, awarded to the active users of the platform, will act as the governance instrument: it will enable collectors and creators to vote on multiple upgrades and decide how the platform should develop further."

Coinbase

coinbase opens up for NFTs
Coinbase Crypto Marketplace

Coinbase is one of the most well-known and used crypto marketplaces that there is. Typically, a user will purchase their cryptocurrency here and then transfer it to a crypto wallet, like Metamask or Phantom.

They've just announced that they'll be launching an NFT marketplace of their own to compete with the likes of Opensea and Rarible.

With millions of Coinbase users already built-in, this decision is likely to help bring NFTs more into the mainstream.

It's still too early to know pricing and fee structures but we'll update this once those details are known.

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