A Beginner’s Guide to NFT Marketplaces
Although NFTs came into existence in 2015, the technology was not very popular until March 2021, when Beeple sold his NFT project for $69 million. The news shook the internet, and NFT became a trend virtually everyone wants to understand. So, it’s pretty okay that you’re also interested in knowing how NFTs are created and distributed in marketplaces.
Look no further, as this article will show you just everything you need to know about NFT marketplaces and possibly get you started in your NFT journey.
Foremost, Non-fungible tokens, NFTs, are irreplaceable digital items that are run and hosted on blockchains, particularly through smart contracts. They are digital items because they take digital formats such as PNG, JPG, MP3, MP4, GIF, etc. But unlike Bitcoin and Ether, NFTs do not possess equal value, and so their name, “non-fungible.”
What are NFT Marketplaces?
Online Stores are to Shopify what NFTs are to Marketplaces. An NFT marketplace allows you to mint (create), buy, and sell NFTs. They typically run smart contracts that give them access to blockchains on which NFTs are registered and assigned proof of ownership.
Consider a marketplace to be a multipurpose hub where you do everything that pertains to NFT. That means you have to sign up on a marketplace before you do any “NFT business.” Registering gives you your own space and dashboard to do whatever you want. There are several marketplaces out there, including OpenSea, SuperRare, Unifty, Rarible, Foundation, etc.
While they have different structures and features, they basically do the same thing—the creation and trade of NFTs. Every NFT marketplace is built on a blockchain and requires the use of digital wallets for transactions. Let’s discuss these in detail.
What Is a Digital Wallet and Blockchain Ecosystem
In its basic definition, a digital wallet (electronic wallet or e-wallet) is any software, either for mobile or desktops, that stores digital assets and users’ payment information. They are most commonly used for holding and transferring cryptocurrencies.
A digital wallet is a must-have for every beginner or deep-rooted NFT investor, enthusiast, or even digital artist. In fact, without a digital wallet, it is impossible to carry out NFT transactions. You may ask, what about blockchains? Yes, a digital wallet acts as an intermediary between a blockchain and a marketplace. Here’s how and why:
- To sign up in most marketplaces, you will be required to have a wallet address that you get from a digital wallet.
- Blockchain charges a kind of fee for every NFT transaction, known as a gas fee. You will need a funded wallet to pay this fee and complete your NFT transactions, which includes minting, buying, selling, or even burning of NFTs.
- Digital wallets allow you to assign signatures and register ownership for an NFT you wish to mint.
- With digital wallets, it is faster and easier to hold and spend your token and also receive funds earned from NFT marketplaces.
Ethereum is the most adopted blockchain network for NFTs. However, there are several other blockchains such as Enjin, Tezos, Polkadot, Polygon, Celo, etc. Each of these blockchains has distinguishing features that made the NFT marketplace developers or owners choose them. In the same manner, every blockchain has a proprietary token or coin it uses for transactions.
You should have digital wallets that support the respective tokens of these blockchains. Some good options are Fortmatic, MetaMask, Trust wallet, and Coinbase wallet. They support the ERC-721 and ERC-1155. They can, however, support the popular ERC-20. The best way to choose the right wallet is to visit the marketplace website to see what it uses. Some marketplaces even have their native wallets.
How to Mint NFTs in Marketplaces
Minting an NFT can be a little tricky; that is why NFT marketplaces have user-friendly and easy-to-navigate interfaces. Take note of this. If the marketplace is not user-friendly, you may find it too technical to mint NFTs.
Each marketplace has its set of procedures for minting NFTs. You may visit the marketplace’s FAQ to learn more. Irrespective of the different procedures, the process is often straightforward and similar across most marketplaces. However, the first step is to have your digital art ready. Since NFTs are digital artworks, you must have digital artwork that you want to convert to an NFT.
Some digital arts can be as simple as a picture or video. But the truth is that some of the expensive NFTs out there are not simple pictures, GIFs, or video files. They were designed using sophisticated software and several lines of code in different programming languages. So the question is, “if I don’t know how to code, how do I compete in this market?”
This is where solutions like Unifty come in. Unifty is a multi-chain infrastructure platform that allows you to create mind-blowing NFTs without typing any code. Yes, it’s a huge innovation and has, since its establishment, reinvented how NFTs are created. Being “multi-chain” means that you can use it to create NFTs for different marketplaces running on different blockchains.
Some of the blockchains it supports are Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Polygon (Matic) Celo, xDai, Rinkeby, and Avalanche. Soon, it will support Polkadot and Solana blockchains. As crazy as it sounds, with Unifty, you can also create your own marketplace, mint your NFTs there and showcase it to all your followers like a portfolio website.
How to Attract Traffic to Your NFTs in A Marketplace
It’s one thing to mint an NFT, but it’s another thing to sell it. Most times, before you record successful sales, you’ve got to promote your works first. Promotion helps people to know your brand, appreciate your expertise, and attach value to your works.
This is probably the toughest part of the NFT journey—getting people to know you in the industry. Well, this is obviously for NFT creators and not collectors. The more popular you are as an NFT creator, the higher the price you can sell your works.
Let’s cut the chase! For the optimum promotion of your brand, you need to be active on social media. For best results, prioritize these social media platforms: Twitter, Discord, Reddit, and Instagram. Other platforms are a good fit too, but the main show happens on these four.
However, don’t stop at social media. Use every available opportunity to preach about what you do to the right audience. If you have a personalized marketplace, like the ones Unifty offers, you can easily share the link to all and sundry. It’s highly professional and cool.
What Else Can You Do in A Marketplace
Apart from minting NFTs, you can also buy, sell, stake, and burn NFTs within a marketplace. Buying and selling sound pretty basic. It means exchanging NFTs for crypto or the other way round. Just as we explained minting, every marketplace has its procedure for buying and selling NFTs, which are quite easy. In both cases, you need to connect your wallet to the marketplace so you can transfer or receive tokens for the transactions.
On the other hand, staking isn’t “basic,” as it’s not common in most marketplaces. As a dummy definition, NFT staking means saving your NFT for a fixed time, during which the marketplace rewards you with its proprietary token or another NFT. The easy way to understand this is to picture it as a fixed bank deposit where you receive interest after a given period.
As amazing as this feature is, it’s currently available on only a few platforms, such as SuperFarm and Unifty. The good news, though, is that burning of NFTs is available in almost all marketplaces. Burning means the complete deletion of an NFT if you no longer need it.
NFT marketplaces are just a good way to begin your NFT journey. You can get started with open NFT marketplaces, like OpenSea, Foundations, and the likes. Alternatively, you may go for the personalized marketplaces that Unifty offers. Whatever you opt for, the goal remains the same; explore, mint, buy, sell, and make the most out of the NFT technology.