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In-house NFT Marketplace or NFT as a Service (NFTaaS)?

Written by: Siddhartha Singh, Product Manager, TribalScale

Photo by Milad Fakurian on Unsplash

The non-fungible token (NFT) industry has great prospects, making NFT marketplace development a great idea for in-house product development. This market is expected to increase at a 35% annual rate over the forecast period from 2021 to 2026, reaching $147 billion. The evolution of NFTs has been fast, unpredictable, and meteoric. In all of its growth, one commonality shines through — business applications.

Businesses are struggling to incorporate NFTs and stay relevant in the wave of blockchain, metaverse, and Web3 dominating the traditional ways. However, with this being said, NFTs have already become a mainstream phenomenon. This tendency can be explained by the growing number of influencers involved, the emergence of new gaming communities, and the increasing demand for digital art. In terms of gaining traction, businesses can have their own in-house NFT marketplace or they can leverage any existing NFT as a Service (NFTaaS).

Check out these blogs for more of an intro to NFTs and how they work:

For this blog, I’ll be exploring NFT marketplaces and NFTaaS.

NFT Marketplace

According to Consensys, creatives are choosing to sell their intellectual properties on NFT marketplaces and those NFT marketplaces are growing.

Why is this important? It’s essential because online marketplaces are growing to exclude the idea of ‘a middleman.’ But there’s something else still. In a world where forgeries, copies, and doubts of originality exist, the origin and validity of rare art pieces can be confirmed. The top two marketplaces where you can mint and sell NFTs are OpenSea and Rarible.

Big luxury brands like Dior, Adidas, Birkin, etc., can also take advantage of the benefits of NFT marketplaces to highlight and reduce the sale of forgeries by using NFT tokens to represent the physical products. It will compound the rarity while also showing indisputable proof of ownership. They can also take it one step further by setting up royalty payments for the resale of their products. Prada has already partnered with LVMH to create Aura, a blockchain platform that gives buyers an NFT token of their product that shows the origin, validity, and manufacturing process.

NFT Marketplace Features to Consider

NFT marketplace project development involves defining the functionality of your platform. Here you have to think of both digital asset sellers and buyers. I’ve selected the main features of the NFT marketplace you should consider, at least to stay competitive.

Storefront — Storefront is the most significant element of your marketplace. Here you will gather all the necessary information, including offers, a detailed description of each NFT, its owners, rates, and price history.

Advanced Token Search — This feature will come in handy when your users need to find the token quickly. Here you should divide NFTs into categories such as music, images, videos, etc.

Filters — Filters have a function similar to the advanced token search, but they encompass more categories. This tool will assist your users in identifying NFTs based on more than just their type. There will also be categories such as price, creators, asset popularity, new offers, etc.

Creating Listings — Allow users of your marketplace to create listings. These can be general lists or, for example, wish lists. It’s good if listings show information about NFTs, such as the asset’s title, tags, price, or detailed description.

Listing Status — This feature is vital for the NFT creators. Thanks to it, they can keep other users up to date with the current status of their digital works.

Buying and Bidding — No eCommerce NFT platform development is complete without the function of buying and placing bids. Make sure you add this option to your marketplace so users can easily buy and bid on NFTs.

Wallet — It would help if you also integrated a wallet into your marketplace. As a result, your users will be able to pay for and manage NFTs without leaving your platform.

Ratings — Implement a rating system to let the users of your marketplace know which tokens are the most relevant. This feature will be especially helpful for beginners in the crypto field.

Auction — The auction is a fascinating feature even for those users who are not yet ready to trade on your marketplace. This function helps to generate traffic for your platform.

Key Steps of NFT Marketplace Development

Building your own NFT marketplace solution takes the following steps:

1. Define Your Niche

The first thing you need to do is decide on your marketplace type: universal or niche. A better option is to list different types of NFTs, as it will attract a wider audience.

2. Choose Your Blockchain

Choose the blockchain on which you’ll build your marketplace. Some of the most popular ones are Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain. As of now, the most popular for NFTs has been Ethereum 2.0 and Flow. You can also make your platform support multiple blockchains at once.

3. Determine Your Project’s UI/UX Design

After deciding on a blockchain and a niche, you can think about NFT marketplace design. Make sure your user interface is intuitive and user-friendly.

4. Implement Smart Contracts

The meat of the entire marketplace development is the implementation of Smart Contracts, and hence the next step is to develop smart contracts for your marketplace. For this, you must hire experts who understand regulatory requirements.

5. Secure Storage

In this step, you should determine where the creators and buyers of NFT will keep their assets. In addition, you should ensure that records of all transactions are securely stored on your platform.

6. Integrate Third-party Services

To build a successful NFT marketplace, you will need to integrate payment gateways, crypto wallets, social media, and email services. These are the basic tools from third-party providers, but you may require even more. The number of integrations depends on your business needs.

7. Test Your Marketplace

Once you’ve developed a basic version of your NFT marketplace, test it. This way, you will correct all the shortcomings of your platform and bring your product to perfection.

8. Launch Your NFT Marketplace

It is the final stage that involves the launch of your marketplace and its ongoing support. You will have to constantly improve your platform and adapt it to the needs of your users.

NFT as a Service (NFTaaS)

NFTaaS is simply the third-party building and management of cloud-based networks for companies creating NFT applications. Under the NFTaaS, there can be many more services but ideally you should focus on NFT as a White Label Service. Like Blockchain as a Service (BaaS), NFTaaS is still a new development even as companies are springing up in the NFT field, and older businesses are slowly adopting NFTs. However, the demand for NFTaaS companies and services hasn’t hit its peak yet and will keep growing as the internet fully transitions from Web2 to Web3.

How does NFTaaS work? It follows the same model as BaaS by letting companies use cloud-based networks and services to build and manage their own NFT applications. The parameters for what services NFTaaS covers are not set yet, but there will be a more apparent limit in the coming years with more companies needing these services.

Why Businesses need NFTs as a Service (NFTaaS)

The cost of setting up an NFT application is a lot, and many companies cannot afford to be self-sufficient. For example, a company offering NFT services may require software that helps make payments more efficient. They don’t need to build their network to get it done when they can get the service from a NFTaaS company offering that in exchange for a monthly subscription fee. Businesses need NFTaaS to avoid operating at a high cost.

There are very few NFTaaS companies helping businesses transition to the metaverse by offering a branded NFT strategy for businesses. The services are broken down into the following five stages, each with key deliverables spanning from conception to post-launch maintenance.

Compose

This stage is the planning stage, and the services include:

  • Devising NFT strategy
  • Composing NFT utilities and design
  • Defining NFT offers and benefits
  • Defining royalty rules
  • Defining NFT design strategy
  • Developing pricing strategy

Companies can expect to get the following deliverables from this stage:

  • Strategic advisory on brand NFT strategy and NFT utility
  • NFT minting and release schedule
  • NFT pre-launch and post-lunch plan

Design

The design stage covers all the essential design aspects of an NFT brand, including:

  • Developing NFT design
  • Crossover collaboration with famous designers for crossover NFTs
  • Developing 2D/3D avatar designs for the metaverse

The deliverables expected in this stage are:

  • NFT graphic design
  • NFT avatar design
  • NFT 3D model
  • Minting-ready final artwork
  • Branded storefront design

Mint

Businesses are eligible for these services under the mint stage:

  • Development of smart contracts
  • Minting NFT with NFT minting protocol
  • Submitting and pre-scheduling NFT for publication on the branded storefront

The deliverables for the minting stage of the branded NFT strategy journey include:

  • Smart contract development
  • NFT minted on blockchain
  • Pre-schedule NFT for publishing
  • Ready-to-sell features on branded storefronts, including payment details

Launch

In the launch stage, NFTaaS may offer the following services:

  • Development of strategic NFT marketing and PR campaign
  • Promotion and marketing of NFT
  • Community growth
  • Publication and launch of NFT on the branded storefront
  • Hosting an NFT auction sale and launch event

The deliverables under this stage are:

  • NFT published on branded storefronts
  • Strategic NFT marketing and PR plan
  • Community growth and marketing execution
  • NFT auction sale

Redeem

This is the last stage, and the services for the post-launch stage include the following:

  • Providing a smooth user experience for NFT holders to utilize and redeem NFT offers
  • NFT education and operational training for brands store staff
  • Post-launch community maintenance and loyalty-building activities
  • Off-ramping crypto to fiat

The deliverables for this stage include:

  • Technical interrogation with brands exiting technology
  • White label NFT wallet for your brand
  • Staff NFT education and operational training session
  • Post-launch community maintenance and loyalty-building activities
  • Crypto converted to fiat

Bottom Line

NFTs are evolving and growing very fast, which calls for the adoption of NFT applications, companies, and services. As more businesses strive to add NFTs to their operations and services, companies are springing up to fill the void and offering NFTaaS. Although NFTaaS is still in its infancy, with no one knowing exactly how much and in what direction it’ll grow, there is still much to be excited about as businesses deploy NFT services for other businesses.

Credit: Solarr, prnewswire

Siddhartha is a Product Manager here at TribalScale with expertise in finance and blockchain-based products. His work is mostly focused on helping product teams find & prioritize high-potential ideas to work on, as well as achieve high velocity & quality by paying attention to details that matter. Outside of work, you can probably find him either hiking or experimenting with cooking.

TribalScale is a global innovation firm that helps enterprises adapt and thrive in the digital era. We transform teams and processes, build best-in-class digital products, and create disruptive startups. Learn more about us on our website. Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook!

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