Creating My Own NFT
Diving into Digital Tokenization
By Valkyrie Holmes
We’ve all been hearing a lot about NFTs lately in everything from Saturday Night Live to Elon’s Twitter feed and it’s time to finally take a look at what an NFT is and how I created one using Rarible.
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, which is a digital collectible stored as a unit of data on a ledger, namely the Ethereum Blockchain. The “non-fungible” aspect comes from the certification of an asset, meaning that each one is unique and cannot be changed once secured on the blockchain. When they were first introduced, no one thought much of them or showed any interest in the future possibilities. Now, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey just sold the very first tweet ever for over $2.9 million dollars!
Needless to say, there are definitely some things worth exploring in the crypto space with regard to NFTs, so let’s just jump into it!
An NFT Overview
NFTs are a part of the Ethereum blockchain. The blockchain is an open public ledger used to store information on everything from transactions to smart contracts. NFTs can be anything; pictures, videos, songs, artwork, gifs; the list goes on and on. They’ve become a new form of entertainment for some, buying famous sports moments or even bedazzled pokemon cards. Once you pay a certain amount of Ethereum on a site that houses NFTs, it is secured into the blockchain and you now own that piece of work.
Now, you can always copy digital files and use them in places, but that’s not the point of an NFT. The point is to have the original copy of whatever art you’ve chosen to buy, like an exclusive prize for yourself. Artists retain the rights to the artwork, just like with physical art, but one person actually owns the piece. Of course, it would also grant the user basic usage rights but the main point is that they’re unique and uniquely yours.
Another big part of why NFTs have gotten so mainstream is the fact that people believe that it could become the new mainstream fine art collecting market. People are spending millions and millions of dollars on digital tokens for…what? The flex?
Well, there’s a variety of reasons. First off, buying digital artwork off of creators without holding an entire auction and separate advertising keeps more money in the pocket of the artist themselves, which allows them to sell more directly to a broader audience. Gaming platforms are now entering the conversation with the possibility of selling in-game items as NFTs. Players could then own certain costumes, houses, and other accessories instead of them being locked into the game and no one else. Most NFTs are in high demand because of their scarcity, which makes everyone want them more!
Making My Own
So why am I making one?
First off, I wanted to get familiar with the process and figure out what it takes to get an NFT up and running. I also thought it might be cool to design my own artwork and be able to put it up! I decided to follow a few different site tutorials and went with Rarible as my host platform.
Think of Rarible as a digital art auction, with hundreds of photos, videos, and more being traded every single day on the blockchain. You can trade NFTs and sell your own and have your own digital library of all the NFTs you’ve purchased. The best part is that it connects right to your Coinbase wallet so there are no big transfers or complications.
The first thing I had to do was actually make the artwork. I used IBIS Paint to create an image that I like to call “this is not an nft”. You may recognize the framework from another painting called the Treachery of Images, which originally had a pipe with the words “this is not a pipe” written under it in French. I fiddled with the software and once it was done, I exported my masterpiece and put it directly onto Rarible.
What I wasn’t completely aware of when I first started was the amount of Ethereum it took to actually set up the NFT. It’s called gas and it refers to the cost necessary to perform a transaction on the blockchain. The miners set up the cost in response to the current supply and demand and if you don’t pay a certain amount, users of the network can decline to process a transaction meaning you’d lose that investment, and the purchase would be invalid.
I grossly underestimated the cost of gas.
Depending on whether you make your NFT part of a unique collection, a single, or multiple, it can range from $40–70 dollars during the week. It drops significantly during the weekend but it’s still a steep price to pay to create art on the internet! It also varies with approving minting (approving your design) and the actual minting itself. I waited until the gas dropped to around 45 dollars before I paid up and finally, there it was. My beautiful art was now on the internet for all to see.
There are so many implications of this kind of technology. If we’re able to purchase digital items, then we can also purchase tokenized real-world items, meaning real estate, houses, cars, and more. We’re not entirely sure how it’s going to look in the future but we believe NFTs are here to stay.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com.