You may have heard the term ‘NFTs’ popping up on social media a lot lately. Everyone from Justin Bieber, to Snoop Dogg and even business gurus like Mark Cuban and Gary Vaynerchuk are all evangelising the potential of NFTs.
What are NFTs and how can you create (mint) your own?
NFT stands for ‘Non-Fungible Token’ - which is basically a fancy way of saying that they are unique and as such cannot be exchanged or replaced like for like. For example, a dollar bill could be replaced by another dollar bill or one Bitcoin replaced by another Bitcoin, meaning
they are ‘fungible’. However, no two NFTs are exactly the same and therein lies their perceived value. NFTs can represent a digital asset, such as a piece of art or music. The NFT itself is the unique code stored on the blockchain which delineates exclusive ownership and authenticity of the asset e.g the piece of digital art.
NFTs are exciting people for a lot of reasons and they are already disrupting a lot of industries. Because of the unique nature of NFTs, they are perfect for business areas where collectables have value, such as gaming, sport, art and music.
The NBA launched their Top Shot NFTs in 2020 and these are largely considered to have driven wider adoption and investment in NFTs. Since then collectables like Bored Ape Yacht Club and World Of Women have been grabbing a lot of media attention and hype with big price tags and celebrity owners. These types of NFTs are called PFPs, which means Profile Picture and there are a lot of people sharing these on their social media profiles.
While PFPs are driving a lot of the hype and sales of NFTs at the moment, the truly exciting use cases for NFTs are still being realised. But, in music, for example, NFTs are already facilitating faster and bigger royalty splits for musicians and their collaborators. In the current climate where some artists are getting as little as $0.003 per stream on Spotify, this has truly disruptive potential for the music industry.
For creatives, including musicians and artists, NFTs can cut out the middleman of dealers and record labels and allow creatives to have more control over their work by choosing what and how they release their work and crucially, getting a much greater share of the revenue stream.
Platforms such as Opensea and Rarible make it easy for people to mint, sell and trade NFTs straight to a marketplace with a large number of users, in the case of Opensea that’s 1 million active users. Coinbase, with its 89 million app users will soon have an NFT marketplace that will allow people to buy NFTs directly through their app with either US dollars or cryptocurrency, which will make buying NFTs even easier for those who are new to it.
There has never been a better time to get involved and mint (create) your own NFTs, especially if you are a creative type. Not only could this potentially bring in a new revenue stream for you, but also with so many companies now adding NFTs to their business offerings, educating yourself more about this area could be beneficial for your career in the years to come.
How To Mint Your Own NFTs
The easiest way to begin minting your own NFTs if you are unfamiliar with Web3 technology and Smart Contracts is to use already established platforms that are simple to use and have an already established user base with a lot of potential buyers. Beyond that, it is best to do your research and see if other Web3 platforms specific to your genre e.g art or music, could be a better fit for you moving forwards.
Step By Step Guide To Mint an NFT
** These steps will vary a bit from platform to platform. Never send funds to a wallet you don’t know. Do your research on how to avoid scams, some more info & tips here.**
Set up a crypto wallet e.g Metamask. Wallet needs to support Ethereum.
Buy the crypto that you need to use to fund the chosen platform to pay (‘gas’ fees) e.g ETH by using a credit or debit card.
Choose the platform that you want to buy or sell your NFTs on e.g Opensea/Rarible etc.
Register with the platform and connect your wallet to authenticate yourself.
Upload your digital file e.g. music or art. Then fill in details such as number of editions e.g 1/1, 20 etc.
Set price of each edition.
Double-check everything is correct.
Confirm transaction in wallet and pay ‘gas’ fee. ‘Gas’ fee is basically like a transaction or listing fee.
It’s still really early days within this space and things are constantly evolving and changing at a pretty quick pace. It’s a great time to educate yourself and experiment with launching your own NFTs if it interests you. It’s also important to read up on how to avoid scams.
Discord and Telegram are where a lot of NFT communities hang out but these platforms can often feel a bit overwhelming and full-on for new users. It is best to dip your toe in on Twitter first (search #NFT #MusicNFT etc) where there is a lot of great content shared and a lot of women helping and supporting other women who are new to the space.
Finally, don’t feel overawed or let being new to the space hold you back. As mentioned, it’s still early days and no one is really a true expert. Whether you think NFTs are overhyped or not, we’re going to be hearing about them (and the Web3 technology that powers them) for years to come.
By Laura Woods