For months now, I’ve seen an increasing number of people posting about NFTs. After watching from the sidelines, I decided it was time to get in on the action and learn more about the process of creating and selling NFTs.
These digital pieces of art may be essentially just digital files, but thanks to blockchain technology, the owner of them can be traced. Having an easy way for everyone to determine the owner means that any attempt to use that digital creation makes basically an open and shut case for a copyright claim.
Some Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are also providing benefits in the real world. With the ability to prove who has purchased a digital item, it’s then easy to make ownership of specific NFTs an entry requirement to special events, or first access to deals, not too different to buying a flight online and showing the digital barcode on your phone.
Technically the difference is dramatic, instead of an airline being responsible for the transaction (which is only available to them), the whole world can see the public ledger on the blockchain to see the NFT transfer from one ETH Wallet to another, providing a full history of its sales over time.
This weekend I made it my mission to create not only my first NFT, but my first NFT collection and I’ll run you through the process which, if I’m honest, the process today is far too complicated for average people to engage, there’s a steep learning curve of terminology to wrap your head around, as well as some financial hurdles to jump through. If you’re interested in learning more, there’s a how-to guide at the bottom of this post.
Technology has made a dramatic impact on our lives over the past couple of decades and Gidgets is a way to collect and own digital representations of gadgets that have changed our lives.
All Gidgets are 1024×1024 animated GIFs, under 15MB in size, making them easily sharable on social media. They are available to the highest bidder, in an auction that will last 1 week.
Our first collection now contains 7 items, with the success of this release determining future releases.
Gidget 001 – Torus knot (prototype)
The one that started it all – the proto. Our very first Gidget is a Torus knot, something that intrigues you, fools your brain and makes you question how is that even possible. This is much like the technology gadgets that change our lives, made by innovators, creators and engineers, the rockstars of our time.
Gidget 002 – Camera
Capturing the amazing world around us is now a favourite hobby of millions and the career of many. DSLRs have played a critical role in the photography story, offering interchangeable lenses to capture everything from a ladybird snacking on a leaf, to a ferocious formula 1 car entering corners in anger. While memories are hard to create, thankfully they’re now easier than ever to capture in stunning detail.
Gidget 003 – Smartphone
The ultimate representation of device convergence, the past decade of smartphone development has been nothing short of life-changing. We now walk calmly down the street with a supercomputer in our pants. These addictive beasts offer endless information, entertainment and education right in the palm of our hands. From movies to music, to browsing the web and occasionally making calls, smartphones offer us a world of opportunity and to connect with loved ones on the other side of the planet.
Gidget 004 – Laptop
Computers are essentially productivity machines and while playing games on them is fun, it’s often the work we do, that leads to the best outcomes. Design, development, planning and productivity, we now have more than a computer on our desk, but a computer on our knees. Thanks Bill.
Gidget 005 – Microphone
From Podcasters to streamers, microphones are the critical piece to production quality that makes for a smooth listening experience. Capturing our voices is an art in itself, but thankfully over time, prices have come down, making great microphones more affordable to more of us.
Gidget 006 – Headphones
Whether you’re blocking out co-workers, or your family, headphones provide us with a chance to leave the real world, and enter the blissful isolation of your handpicked playlist or favourite podcast for hours on end. Headphones also provide a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the virtual world, while gaming and now offer surround sound that will trick your mind into thinking there’s a werewolf over your right shoulder. There isn’t.
Gidget 007 – Monitor
Laptops are great, but when it comes to getting work done, large, external displays is where its at. Our desks are now full of pixels, with many taking different approaches from 2, 3 or even 4 displays, while others prefer to go for a Super Ultrawide display, whatever you decide, these displays consume more of your attention per day than your family. If you’re lucky enough to get some downtime, gaming on a 4K HDR-enabled monitor with a high refresh rate, is a pretty amazing experience.
How-to create and sell NFTs.
To get started, you’ll need an account on an NFT marketplace. I chose OpenSea.io as it’s currently the largest. From here you create a collection, which requires you to set a unique title, add a description and upload 3 images (Logo – 350×350, Feature – 600×400 and Banner – 1400×400) to present your Collection on the site (and mobile app).
Finally, you’ll need to decide on the type of NFT this collection is for, selecting from Art, Trading Cards, Collectable, Sport, Utility.
With the collection established, you’ll then start adding items to your collection. This process involves uploading your digital asset, an image, video, audio, or 3D model. File types supported include JPG, PNG, GIF, SVG, MP4, WEBM, MP3, WAV, OGG, GLB, GLTF with a max size of 100 MB.
Once you decide on the right number of items to include in your first collection, it’s time to post them for sale. To do this, just select your item, then click the Sell button on OpenSea. You’ll have a choice between a fixed price or an auction model which will feel familiar to any eBay seller.
Choosing the Fixed Price option means the buyers need to pay for the NFT using Eth (Ethereum), however, the auction model means buyers need to use is WETH. If this is new to you, it’s a token that represents ETH 1:1, but conforms to a specific standard (ERC20), allowing for increased functionality across applications. Yes, this does feel like an unnecessary complication, however looking at sales using this technique, it seems plenty of crypto buyers are comfortable getting through this hurdle.
Whatever method you choose to sell, you’ll then need to pay a service fee of 2.5% which does seem high by comparison to credit card transactions, but you will need to spend money to make money as the saying goes.
Now for the biggest challenge (that should be the creation of the art), to post your item, particularly your first, where you’ll need to pay a Network Fee to verify you.
Right now, Coinbase Wallet is prompting and warning users that network fees are currently high and are advised to wait until things settle down. You will select between Slow (45s), Normal (30s), Fast (15s) depending on how urgently you want your item to go live on the marketplace. Each of these attracts a different rate, ranging from US$176.21 right up to US$259.53. For an item that has a price of 0.69 ETH or US$301.74, these fees really don’t make sense as you’d be losing money on the sale.
After this, it’s time to actually pay for the item to go on sale and this is a more reasonable US$17.69 – $23.48.
After another auth prompt to the phone (Coinbase Wallet requested by OpenSea) and a fingerprint, the first item was now available for sale. From there you simply repeat the process to list the remaining items in your collection,
One of my biggest learnings was that the crypto I had (mostly Bitcoin and a little Ethereum), was not available to help in this process. I needed to set up a Coinbase Wallet, which may have the same name, but felt like a completely different service to Coinbase, requiring a browser add-in and separate mobile app to participate with NFTs on OpenSea.
I would love to see this process simplified for average people who want to engage with NFTs, as right now there is a lot to learn, hopefully, this post goes some way to helping.