The Cost to Create an NFT: A Comprehensive Guide


If you are planning on creating your own NFT, it’s important that you understand all the costs associated with creating one. There are numerous blockchains to choose from, as well as associated fees. So how much does it cost to create an NFT?

The cost to create an NFT ranges from $0.05 to over $150. The Ethereum blockchain is the most expensive blockchain with an average cost of $70, and Solana is the cheapest costing only $0.01 on average to create an NFT. That does not include marketplace fees which range from 2.5% to 5%.

The cost to create an NFT ultimately comes down to which blockchain you decide to mint your NFT on. Furthermore, some blockchains are preferable to others. This article will walk you through the cost to make an NFT using the most popular blockchains.

How much does it cost to create an NFT?

Creating your first NFT is exciting. That is until you discover how much it can cost. The average cost to create an NFT ranges anywhere from $.01 to $150. However, the Ethereum blockchain has experienced fees over $500 to create one NFT at its busiest time.

Creating an NFT on an iPad

The Ethereum blockchain is not your only choice when it comes to creating NFTs. There are several other blockchains that also let you create your own NFT, and they are generally a lot cheaper than the Ethereum blockchain.

Below is a chart of the most popular NFT blockchains and the cost to create an NFT using each one.

NFT BlockchainCost to create an NFT
Ethereum0.01 – 0.05 ETH ($50 – $150)
Solana0.00001 SOL ($0.01)
PolygonFree (subjective to marketplace fees)
Tezos.08 – 3.6 XTZ ($0.20 – $8)
Cardano.17 – 1.5 ADA ($0.13 – $1.15)
WAX0.13 – 13 WAXP ($0.05 – $5)
Avalanche0.008 – .02 AVAX ($0.50 – $1.50)
Zilliqa0.7 – 2.9 ZIL ($0.05 – $0.20)
The cost to create an NFT on the most popular NFT blockchains

The reason why many of these blockchains are so inexpensive compared to Ethereum is the result of the type of blockchain. Currently, Ethereum is a proof of work (PoW) blockchain. The PoW blockchain is extremely secure but lacks efficiency. As a result, users of the Ethereum blockchain have to pay higher gas fees to the miners to transact.

Whereas a blockchain like Solana uses proof of stake (PoS) as well as a protocol known as proof of history (PoH). These two protocols allow the Solana blockchain to provide a more efficient experience resulting in approximately 65,000 transactions per second (TPS), whereas Ethereum can on execute about 12 to 15 TPS.

Regardless of what blockchain you decide to use to create your NFT, there are usually a couple types of transactions that will cost you.

Minting

Creating an NFT is often referred to as minting. Minting an NFT is the act of publishing your token on the blockchain. Since minting an NFT involves transacting on the blockchain, you must pay a fee to the miners who are actively working to publish your NFT. Minting is generally the most costly process of creating an NFT.

The prices mentioned above reflect the cost to mint an NFT on each blockchain. However, they do not take into consideration the marketplace fees which vary depending on the marketplace you use to create your NFT. With that, there is one option to avoid upfront minting fees if you can’t afford it.

Marketplace fee

Of course, the NFT marketplaces need their piece of the pie too. The compensation for marketplace services is generally attained via marketplace fees. Creating an NFT on any of the marketplaces regardless of the blockchain means you are subjective to its transaction fees. Each marketplace will have its own fees that ranges from 2.5% to 5%.

Can you create an NFT for free?

You can create an NFT for free using the Polygon blockchain. Utilizing the lazy minting function also enables you to create an NFT free of charge, until your NFT sells. Otherwise, you are best off using inexpensive blockchains like Solana, Tezos, Avalanche, or WAX to create an NFT for cheap.

There are very few NFT marketplaces and even fewer blockchains that allow you to create an NFT completely free of charge, understandably. Since blockchains aren’t run by one single person, rather, there are a number of people around the world putting their time and resources into maintaining each blockchain, hence why users have to pay a fee.

With that, there are some Ethereum NFT marketplaces that offer options to decrease the initial cost to mint, and in some cases, completely eliminate these fees alltogether.

Lazy minting

Lazy minting allows you to create an NFT ‘off-chain’ (off the main blockchain) to avoid the upfront cost of minting an NFT. This allows you to create an NFT but only pay the mint fee once your NFT sells and is published ‘on-chain’ (the main blockchain). Lazy minting is a great option, especially if you are just beginning to create NFTs.

Below is a list of popular NFT marketplaces that offer lazy minting:

  • OpenSea
  • Rarible
  • Nifty Gateway

Gasless minting

Gasless minting allows your NFT to be accssible on the blockchain without needing to actually submit anything to the blockchain. That means no transaction occur, so you don’t have to pay any fees to create your NFT. Gasless minting allows new users into the NFT space by removing the barrier to entry known as gas fees.

As of now, Mintable is the only marketplace that offers gasless minting. As compensation, Mintable takes a 5% marketplace fee on all sales done via gasless minting.

Layer 2 scaling solutions

If you want to use the Ethereum blockchain but you don’t want to pay the absurdly high fees associated with it, then you should look into layer 2 scaling solutions. These solutions help scale an application like Ethereum by processing transactions off of the Ethereum mainnet (layer 1), while maintaining the same level of security.

Layer 2 solutions increase the throuput and reduced gas fees, meaning less money out of your pocket without sacrificing security. Also, layer 2 solutions reduce the carbon footprint. (Less gas, less energy used, resulting in less carbon.) Examples of layer 2 solutions include Polygon, Immutable X, and Polkadot.

How much does it cost to create an entire NFT collection?

Creating an entire NFT collection is not only more labor-intensive than a single NFT, it also costs more. An NFT collection is generally defined as a collection of randomly-generated NFTs. Collection sizes range anywhere from 100 to over 100,000 NFTs in a single collection. Examples of NFT collections include VeeFriends and Book Games.

The cost to create an NFT collection ranges from $150 if you do all the work yourself, to over $10,000 to hire someone to create a full-fledged collection. This includes the cost to design all the artwork, code the smart contract, and create a website.

Before you create your own NFT collection, it’s important to note that an entire collection is difficult to sell compared to a few of your own NFT creations. Usually, brands and businesses utilize NFT collections to offer something to their existing customer base. If you are just starting out, you might want to consider creating a few of your own NFTs before jumping all in.

Creating your own NFT collection is usually broken down into four main parts: The art, metadata and rarities, smart contract, and the minting website.

Art

If you are an artist and you create your own artwork for your NFT collection, then you can save yourself $60 to $500 during the creation process. Otherwise, hiring a freelance NFT artist on Fiverr will cost you anywhere from $50 to $100 for a base character, plus an additional $12 per trait if you want multiple variations of your NFT.

Metadata and rarities

NFT metadata is the content and the description of the content described in the contract stored on the blockchain. Included in the metadata are the rarities. Depending on how many different variations of traits your NFT collection has, certain NFTs will have different rarities.

The metadata is an important part of any NFT. It basically acts as the ‘contract’ or ‘terms’ of each individual NFT. Metadata integration generally costs between $150 to $500 depending on the number of traits your NFT collection has.

Smart contract

The smart contract includes all the coding necessary to allow your NFT collection to be minted on the blockchain. The smart contract is crucial for your NFT collection to function, hence why the average cost to hire someone to create a smart contract is around $500.

Minting website

If you don’t plan on using an NFT marketplace to mint your NFT collection, then you are going to need your own minting website. The website will act as a landing page where buyers come to initially purchase (mint) your NFT collection. The average cost to hire someone to create a minting website runs from $500 to $1,000.

What is the best blockchain to create an NFT?

The best blockchain to create an NFT is Ethereum. Ethereum is the most widely-used blockchain and as a result, is preferred by a majority of consumers. However, the Solana blockchain is up and coming and is much cheaper to create an NFT, compared to Ethereum.

Image source

Ethereum is the preferred blockchain to create NFTs because it has the largest community of developers meaning that any bugs can be effectively fixed in a reasonable manner. Also, Ethereum comes with a lot of techniqual documentation that assists developers when they are building dApps and smart contracts.

As well, Ethereum has established what is considered to be the token standards in the NFT space. Both ERC-721 (non-fungible tokens) and ERC-1155 (fungible-tokens) have formed the foundations that most existing NFTs are currently built on.

If you are concerned about the cost of creating NFTs on Ethereum, join the rest of the world. Users of the Etherum blockchain have been awaiting the Etherum upgrade, which will allow for Etherum to scale to more than 1,000 TPS, increasing throughput (transaction speed) and significantly reducing the cost to transact on the blockchain.

That’s not to say that other blockchain options like Solana, Polygon, or Cardano aren’t good options for creating NFTs as well, but each blockchain has their own pros and cons. Currently, Ethereum is the preferred blockchain for creating, selling, and buying NFTs.

Tips to reduce the cost of creating NFTs

Anything you can do to reduce the overall cost of creating an NFT is beneficial. Below are some proven tips that will help you to reduce certain costs when creating your NFTs.

  • Mint your NFT late at night. Oftentimes you will experience reduced transaction fees late at night when the blockchain isn’t as busy. Less demand on the blockchain means less expensive minting for you.
  • Use a marketplace that offers lazy or gasless minting. Lazy minting eliminates the need to pay for your creation until it sells. Gasless minting allows you to mint an NFT at no cost to you, period.
  • Utilize an inexpensive blockchain. Blockchains like Polygon, Solana, and Cardano all offer affordable minting. Remember, these blockchains aren’t as popular ar Ethereum, however.
  • Do the work yourself. Designing your own art, coding your own smart contract, and building your own minting website will save you a lot of money if you are developing an entire NFT project.
  • Use scaling solutions. Layer 2 solutions maintain the integrity of the Ethereum blockchain while allowing for less energy consumption resulting in reduced gas fees. That means its not only better for your pocket, but its better for the enviroment.

Ultimately, the cost to create an NFT greatly depends upon the blockchain you use. Although Ethereum is the most preferred blockchain for creating NFTs, other blockchains that are more cost-effective exist. Moreover, there is technology like lazy minting, gasless minting, and layer 2 scaling solutions to help reduce the overall cost to create an NFT. It just depends on your preference and which NFT marketplace you want to use.

AlexWGomezz

Alex is passionate about informing others on Web3 tech. He previously worked for Gary Vee at ONE37pm as his Web3 writer and has written for other media outlets including Voice. Alex is an avid researcher and investor in the Web3 space and strives to help others while keeping a curious mind.

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