How to create an NFT?

NFT (Non-Fungible Token) has become extremely popular in 2021. But, why are NFTs’ favour have taken off in recent times? NFTs are something completely unique, and their potential has yet to be fully identified and understood. In this article, we try to figure out what is NFT and how to create NFT?

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What Is an NFT?

According to Wikipedia , NFT can be defined as follows:

“A non-fungible token (NFT) is a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain, a form of digital ledger, that can be sold and traded. Types of NFT data units may be associated with digital files such as photos, videos, and audio. Because each token is uniquely identifiable, NFTs differ from blockchain cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.”

A few more short definitions of NFT can be formulated, and they all capture the essence of this new technology in different words:

  • NFT is a new way to determine ownership of digital property (using a blockchain ledger) that is used mainly for art, music, collectibles.

  • NFT is a technological platform that allows creators and companies to build and offer.

  • NFT is a type of cryptocurrency that represents something unique, collectible, and that cannot be replicated.

  • NFTs are digital art or collectibles that are authenticated or “minted” using blockchain technology and then purchased using cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum.

  • NFT is a technology that confirms the ownership of a digital object.

  • NFT is a special type of asset, a record in the blockchain, that confirms the unique and exclusive ownership of a digital asset.

And so on… You can give your own definition of NFTs, and it will undoubtedly represent the uniqueness, prospects and manufacturability of these digital assets that have caused a colossal hipe!

Blockchain is the key technology for making NFTs. The Ethereum blockchain is the basis for most NFTs currently offered. It supports the ERC-721 token standard, allowing NFT creators to collect data related to their digital artefacts and store it as tokens on the blockchain. The unique digital file is stored on the blockchain ledger, and any changes in ownership are checked by the worldwide network and logged publicly. Therefore, it is virtually impossible to replace an NFT with a fake.

NFTs function like cryptographic tokens, but, unlike cryptocurrencies, they are not fungible and thus may have a different value. For example, Bitcoin is a fungible token. It can be exchanged for another bitcoin, and it will be precisely the same. However, the one-of-a-kind collectable baseball card is also non-interchangeable. If you change it to another card, you will get something completely different.

NFT Smart Contract

An NFT is created using a smart contract that sits on a blockchain. Once you have designed an art object, for example, you made an image, the next step is to create and deploy a smart contract. The smart contract binds the file and metadata created during the generation process. Then you need to deposit it onto a server where it can be accessed by potential buyers.

What is a smart contract?

The NFT use is based on smart contracts. First of all, a smart contract is a piece of program code that allows the network to store information in a transparent and immutable way.

Most NFTs follow the ERC-721 token standard. ERC-721 is an open standard that describes how to build NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain and defines the work of a smart contract.

If you use the Ethereum blockchain, smart contracts can be written in Solidity or Vyper. The developers of Ethereum and smart contracts took into account that uploading large images results in a high transaction fee, so they designed a way to display an image without uploading the entire image. As a result, NFT smart contracts have a tokenURI. This is a globally unique identifier for all the image aspects of an NFT. This simplifies the NFT visualization.

NFT smart contracts have a tokenURI variable and a mapping of a tokenId to its owner. Owners can add metadata or attributes pertaining to the asset in NFT. For example, artists can sign their digital work with their own signature in the NFT metadata.

Why is the NFT smart contract needed?

NFT is a digital creative intellectual property that is used mostly for art, music, collectibles and more. NFT is generated using a smart contract that sits on a blockchain. NFT has a unique identification code and metadata that differs one NFT from another, making it work differently from a cryptocurrency coin. NFT smart contract is a piece of software code that allows the network to store the information transparent and immutable. Eventually, this code is what controls the digital asset known as NFT.

Pros and Cons of the NFT

NFT is a fairly new concept, and it has both advantages of making money, art collecting or improving business processes with NFTs and disadvantages.

NFT Pros

  1. NFT - a way to make money. NFT can work like any other asset. You can buy it and hope that it will rise in price. Then, you can sell NFT profitably.
  2. Loud buys and sells of NFTs. NFTs are among the hottest internet trends that bring thousands and even millions of dollars to creators. When you create or acquire an NFT, you forever leave a mark in the digital space as the unique owner of this token. Data about the transaction, the seller, the buyer and the value of the object are always stored in the blockchain. In addition, you can resell the NFT for a profit.
  3. Uniqueness. Each of the NFT tokens is unique and exists in the singular. Each of them contains identifying information recorded in smart contracts. This information makes each NFT different from the other. NFTs are unique - they cannot be copied!
  4. Security of ownership. NFTs help solve the problem of securing ownership of digital objects. Information about the owner and his tokens is fixed in the blockchain. Therefore, it is not viable to replace or delete data. NFTs are digital objects that cannot be stolen, faked or deleted.
  5. Standardization. Most NFTs are issued based on Ethereum in several major standards. The standardization of NFT issuance guarantees a higher degree of interoperability, allowing such non-fungible tokens to be transferred between different decentralized applications. ERC-721 is a lightweight standard that lets people transfer the tokens, set permissions on the tokens, and more.
  6. Wide range of applications. NFTs can represent ownership of various digital objects: images, illustrations, design, photography, music, podcasts, radio programs, serials, streams, shows, videos, digital art, texts, blog posts, tweets, instructions, maps, games or characters, club cards, domain names, financial instruments, etc. You can turn anything into an NFT!
  7. Accessibility. The NFT ecosystem is growing fast and becoming easier to use. There are many platforms for creation and marketplaces for buying or selling NFTs.
  8. Great potential. NFTs can become incredibly popular in the cryptocurrency market in the next 10 years. Moreover, NFTs could work as building blocks for a next-generation digital world! The potential of NFTs goes far beyond determining ownership of digital property. For example, NFT can be used for digital identification or authentication.
  9. The appeal of NFTs to collectors. NFTs are often seen as a new manner to collect contemporary art, only in digital form. NFTs are a growing trend in digital commerce and art collecting. NFT can be anything that has a digital form, but the biggest hype comes from selling digital art. NFTs eliminate the need for agents and allow artists to communicate directly with their audiences and collectors to append to their collections of digital arts.

NFT Cons

  1. Fraud with NFTs. It is impossible to steal an NFT, but nothing prevents you from copying the file linked to the NFT and creating your own token.
  2. NFT as a potential tool for money laundering and tax evasion. Huge amounts of money flow in the art trade make it attractive to criminals who want to legalize illegal income. NFTs can become a new tool for the implementation of financially criminal schemes.
  3. Harm to the environment. Processing cryptocurrency transactions require massive computing power. As a result, NFTs are receiving increasing criticism due to the energy cost and carbon emissions into the atmosphere associated with verifying transactions on the blockchain. For example, the computer networks that make up the Ethereum blockchains are estimated to take as much electricity per year as a country like Ecuador.
  4. Is it a Ponzi scheme? Looking at NFTs from an economic perspective, many experts suspect that this is a standard Ponzi scheme.
  5. Copyright and ownership confusion. By acquiring NFT, you are not buying a work of art, you are purchasing a token certificate! NFT is like a certificate of authenticity for an object, real or virtual. NFT is a collection of metadata about a digital object; a data unit stored on a blockchain ledger, which can be sold and traded. But this is no copyright on an object of art, music, etc.
  6. Ethereum gas fees. You must pay to upload a smart contract to Ethereum. If you want to execute the code to create a change in the data stored in the smart contract, it costs you money. Remember, a transaction demands a fee. The larger the file size, the higher the fee!

Create your own NFT

Aspose.SVG offers an online NFT app that allows generating an NFT smart contract to create your own image NFT. Also, it encodes SVG document’s content to its equivalent string representation encoded with base-64 digits. NFT has a URI that points to data containing the NFT metadata and the corresponding visuals. We generate smart contact based on ERC721URIStorage interface, which allows keeping the image as Base64 encoded string inside tokenURI storage. The smart contract is written in Solidity language and can be compiled via any Ethereum tools like Remix or Hardhat.

To create a smart contract you need to follow a few steps:

  • Open the NFT app or NFT Smart Contract app by clicking on the link.

  • Add an SVG or ICO image for NFT making.

  • Enter the NFT metadata. Make sure to add an NFT Name and NFT description to your NFT. Owners can add metadata or attributes pertaining to the asset in NFT. For example, artists can sign their digital work with their own signature in the NFT metadata.

    The NFT metadata includes:

    • “name” - name of the NFT;
    • “description” - a human-readable NFT description;
    • “image” - this is the URL to the NFT image.
    • “imageURI” - a URI pointing to a resource with mime-type image/* representing the asset to which this NFT represents.
    • “attributes” - these are the custom attributes, which will give your NFT a little more unique and will appear for each of your assets.
  • Run the application by clicking the “Encode” button. When encoding is completed, the SVG or ICO image will be encoded to Base64 format, and the smart contract will be generated. After that, you can copy them to the clipboard or download them as files.

  • Finally, you need to deposit your smart contract onto a server where it can be accessed by potential buyers. Remix is one of the most well-known Ethereum tools for smart contract development on Solidity-based blockchains. It is easy to use, and you may use it for smart contract testing.

Note: We recommend you not upload large files to create an NFT smart contract as the file size affects the transaction fee. The larger the file size, the higher the fee! You will pay a fee when uploading the NFT to the server and performing any actions with NFT, such as validating the token, putting it up for auction for sale, etc.