- The NFT minting process starts with picking the blockchain network. This largely depends on whether it supports the largest NFT marketplaces.
- While Ethereum may be pricey to mint NFTs, there are periods within a week when the price is super low.
- Both Ethereum’s sidechain Polygon and lazy minting offer practical feeless experiences.
Are you a digital artist who wants to repeat Yuga Labs or Beeple’s successes? Even though NFTs are a revolutionary way to simplify and automate royalty income, there are still ways to make it easier.
By that, we mean paying as little mint fees as possible or none at all. Before delving deeper, let’s clarify some terms.
NFT Minting Fees Explained
Like any other computer network, keeping blockchain networks up also requires resources — computing, storage, and electricity.
Therefore, just like one would have to pay to upload a large file to a streaming network, so too is required for the minting process.
From one blockchain network to another, these “gas” fees drastically vary. Some have flat fees, while others have variant fees depending on the network’s traffic load at the moment of minting.
For example, for its NFT marketplaces such as Solanart or Magic Eden, Solana has a small mint fee of 0.00001 SOL, which in the current steep bear market is worth $0.0000027.
However, the dominant smart contract platform Ethereum has highly volatile fees. This is predictable as Ethereum hosts thousands of DApps and typically executes over one million transactions per day.
For this reason, it would be prudent to pick a time of day when the network’s traffic load is lowest. Typically, this is on Saturdays, Sundays, early Mondays, and mid-Tuesdays, as shown on the gas price activity chart below.
As you can see, ETH price is denominated in gwei, which is equal to one billionth of ETH, or 1 gwei = 0.000000001 ETH. For easy conversion, it is best to use online tools such as cointool.app.
On Wednesday, June 16th, ETH gas price is as follows, broken down across three categories of transactions — slow, normal, and fast.
NFT minters don’t have to worry about speed, so a normal or slow gas price is better. This is because NFT flippers are looking for NFTs to trade every day before the competition.
With these tools in hand, it is easy to time NFT submissions when the cost is the lowest.
NFTs Also Take a Beating From Crypto Market Crash
The past few weeks have had a strong impact on the market, and unfortunately, NFTs have not been immune to the effects.
Floor prices of NFTs have dropped significantly, with Bored Ape Yacht Club’s NFTs seeing a floor price drop of 16% a few days ago. However, it’s not all bad news.
Overall NFT trading volume has actually been growing. As bitcoin dropped to around $20,000, NFT trading volumes actually increased by 54%. The takeaway is that enthusiasts are still keen on engaging with the NFT market.
Rather than completely avoid trading NFTs, enthusiasts are turning to other ways to engage with the market. This includes focusing on free NFT minting.
Free NFT Minting Are the New Phenomenon
The bear market has led to users being much more cautious with their funds. Fortunately, free-to-mint NFT projects have provided a lucrative way out.
Collections like Goblintown have proven that free NFT minting can be successful, and there’s a lot of evidence pointing to it.
The number of total owners has been steadily rising and is now over 4,500. The average hold has also increased to 11 days.
Of course, creators should be able to do as they please, even if NFT enthusiasts can get free-to-mints. However, the former will have to endure gas fees in a bear market. But here too are some good solutions, as listed below.
Take Advantage of Other Blockchains and Scalability Networks
Although using other blockchains than Ethereum is an option, that may not even be necessary.
That’s because Ethereum has a network scalability solution in the form of Polygon. This sidechain offers a fraction of the gas fee present on Ethereum, often at $0.0017.
In fact, the largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, supports Polygon for a completely gasless NFT minting experience.
However, the platform asks for a 2.5% service fee, which is deducted from the price when the NFT is sold. Most NFT marketplaces follow this pricing model.
Still, Polygon has become so popular that even Yuga Labs, with its prestigious BAYC collection and upcoming Otherside metaverse, added its ApeCoin (APE) to the Polygon sidechain.
Layer 2 scalability networks like Arbitrum and Optimism are good alternatives to Polygon that have even lower gas prices. However, they have a much smaller market footprint.
Aside from Solana and Ethereum’s Polygon, you can also think about the Tezos, Avalanche, and Cosmos networks. Which all have inherently low minting fees.
But if you want the most people to see your NFT project, you shouldn’t go too far from Ethereum/Polygon.
When picking an NFT marketplace for your project, it is also worthwhile checking if it offers lazy minting. This is simply deferred paying of the minting cost, after the NFT actually found a buyer.
In other words, it is the buyer who pays for the NFT mint fee instead of the creator.
The largest NFT marketplaces on Ethereum already support lazy minting — OpenSea and Rarible. Whichever platform you use, lazy minting offers numerous advantages:
- As already mentioned, by the time you decide to mint the NFT during the day, the price can fluctuate wildly. Lazy minting removes this factor from the equation.
- Your NFT launch schedule is under your control, instead of reliant on the market’s gas fee volatility. Because of this, you can time your schedule with peak trading periods on a weekly basis.
- Lazy minting also gets rid of any hidden fees you might not know about until the transaction is finished.
Between the two, Rarible and OpenSea, Rarible has the advantage in making the NFT market available to everyone.
With that said, one has to keep in mind that lazy minting is not an actual NFT launch as would happen with a fee paid upfront.
Lazy minting, on the other hand, uses the metadata given during the submission to make a cryptographic signature.
This signature then acts as a ticket that is redeemed and transferred when the trader buys the NFT. At that point, the gas fee is transferred to their transaction, leaving you with a free NFT mint.
NFT Minting Could Be Made Affordable
In the middle of 2022, there are more NFT sellers than buyers. The latest market crash made sure of that. This also means that you could lose money by the very act of NFT minting, as it might not sell at all.
But even if you don’t use lazy mining, it’s easy to avoid ridiculous gas fees by keeping an eye on Ethereum’s network load.
In the end, NFT mint fees are the easy part compared to attracting buyer interest in the first place.
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