All the Questions I Have Been Asked About NFTs

NFTs can be confusing, and there’s a lot of information and misinformation to wade through. Below are some of the most common questions that might come up while you’re learning how to make and sell an NFT.

What is minting?

Like physical currency, “minting” is the term used for creating a currency and NFTs on a blockchain. With NFTs it’s usually on Ethereum. 

The process of minting records data in a unchangeable and tamper-proof public ledger that can follow and track the NFT as future sales are made. Minting usually has a cost – the gas fee that we mentioned above. But as we said, some marketplaces are becoming creative about how, when, and to whom the fees are charged.

What’s a blockchain?

Investopedia(opens in new tab) describes a blockchain as: “a distributed database that is shared among the nodes of a computer network.” The strength of blockchain tech is that it guarantees security and trust without the need for a third-party, speeding up data transactions. 

The data entered is irreversible, ensuring it’s permanent. For NFTs, the artist can trace their NFT and ensure a percentage on future sales. Read our guide to NFT crypto for more detailed information.

Do I need a crypto wallet?

In most cases, yes. In most cases, you will need to pay in cryptocurrency to mint an NFT, or to buy an NFT. As a result, most NFT marketplaces require you to create a crypto wallet to mint and trade NFTs. 

A typical crypto wallet is MetaMask, though Coinbase is another secure wallet. Some newer NFT marketplaces, such as Nifty Gateway, have started allowing the use of Fiat currency payments (US dollars, etc) via credit and debit cards, making access to NFTs easier.

What are gas fees?

This is the charge you need to pay on the Ethereum blockchain to perform a function, which includes the case of creating (minting) an NFT. Gas fees are measured in gwei, and they can go up and down depending on how heavy the use of the blockchain is. 

On average you’ll be charged 0.0042 ETH per transaction. You can find lower fees early in the morning, between 1am and 3 am (UTC) or late at night, between 9 pm and 11 pm (UTC).

Can I avoid gas fees?

Yes, some NFT marketplaces are offering gas-free minting. These include OpenSea and Raible. This approach essentially places the gas fee on the buyer, not the creator, so it will show in the sale (a little like VAT, or the fuel tax added by some airlines). 

Some blockchains have no gas fees or at least lower fees. These include Polygon on Opensea or ImmutableX on Mintable. Before minting or buying an NFT, look into the fees and at which blockchain and token are used.

Are there any energy-efficient blockchains?

Yes, and NFT marketplaces are now offering alternatives to energy-hungry Ethererum with better carbon footprints. These include Flow, Tezos, and Polygon. The new blockchain Solana boasts of being carbon-neutral. Check on your NFT marketplace which is being used, and opt for one that suits your conscience.

Can anything be an NFT?

Yes. Any kind of digital file can be stored as an NFT. Most marketplaces are set up for digital artwork, but more are now supporting video, game assets, and music. Even physical items are now being digitized as NFTs, for example physical limited edition Nike trainers and other collectibles. The NFTs act as a guarantee of ownership over the physical item. Suffice it to say, we can expect NFTs to exist on and between the digital and physical spaces in the future.

Where do people sell their NFTs?

NFTs can be sold and bought on NFT marketplaces. Some of these are open to everyone while others can only be used by invitation. Some are just for art, others for video games and other items. There is an NFT marketplace for everyone, so do some research and find the best one for you.

Some of the most popular NFT auction platforms include OpenSea, Rarible, SuperRare, Nifty Gateway, Foundation, VIV3, BakerySwap, Axie Marketplace and NFT ShowRoom. See our guide to NFT marketplaces for a comparison of some of the most popular options.

What do people do with NFTs after they buy them?

Are people new to the NFT world often wonder what people do with their NFTs when they buy them? Some collectors simply hold them, some try to flip them – that is, immediately sell them on for a profit. But NFT art can also be treated like any other art and displayed. 

The best NFT displays are essentially 4K and 5K screens, but the best have tactile anti-glare screens to make the art look like it’s set on a canvas. Good examples include The Frame by Samsung, as well as screens from Meural and Canvia. Also look for screens that feature built-in NFT marketplace and wallet connectivity from an app.

What kind of NFTs sell?

The best-selling NFTs are either those by established artists, such as Beeple and Damien Hirst, or those NFTs that have ‘utility’. The latter will be relevant to most new NFT artists. 

This means you need to create a collection that has a wider use than simply being a digital asset; for example, it can be used to enter in real-life events, a community chat room, or even to raise money for charity. Good NFTs include World of Women and the many Ukraine conflict NFTs helping raise funds for charities such as Doctors Without Borders.