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$100 from Scratch: Creating an NFT

By Sapling Corp • January 22nd, 2022

Forward

"$100 from Scratch" is part of a series where I try to learn something and try to make $100 from it. Here are other articles in the series:

Introduction

Non-fungible tokens are natural extensions to the cryptocurrency craze. They are basically like cryptocurrencies, except it's a single object instead of a currency with multiple amounts. The technology behind it is identical. It uses a blockchain to keep track of who currently owns the tracked object.

Why is this the next subject in this series?

I first heard of NFT's when the artist Grimes announced an auction to sell her artwork as NFT's. That was February 2021. I knew it was going to be big because it was already making headlines in tech publications. It grabbed my interest and I saw the potential traction it could pull in.

I was right to think it was going to be very popular. I tried to make my own NFT but was dissuaded when I had to put in a deposit to mint a new NFT. In hindsight, I should have done it as a learning experience. Better late than never.

Why are you doing this now?

Better late than never. I always think of that phrase, but every time I think I missed the train, it turns out there's more and more better trains passing the station.

Twitter just announced NFTs will be allowed as profile pictures. They partnered with OpenSea to make this possible. If Twitter is doing it, then I think it's a good time for me to get started learning more about it.

Also, the Metaverse is starting to be a thing. The Brooklyn Nets even introduced their own VR stream of their professional basketball games, which indicates to me that this is becoming mainstream.

There area also major websites and businesses now accepting crypto to make transactions. El Salvadore is also using crypto now for all transactions. There's so much.

What do you think NFT's will become in the future?

I think there's a good chance (maybe 50/50) that NFT's will have a permanent place in the future. If they are still talked about in three years, there's probably a great chance they'll exist in ten years. If they exist in ten years, they are most certainly not just a fad and is a mainstay in future technology.

With the excitement of the Metaverse, as proposed by Mark Zuckerberg, I see NFT's as a staple part of that technology-- an extension of the "Internet of Things" concept (IoT). Other people think of it as items in an MMO. The MMO called real-life. This isn't too far fetched as there are entire communities who think of the world as a game.

If NFT's turn out to be a bust, then the Metaverse will probably also be a bust.

How do you make an NFT?

  1. Maintain a cryptowallet. I will be using Metamask.
  2. Get some Ethereum.
  3. Create some artwork
  4. Publish on OpenSea.
  5. Sell on OpenSea.

Step One: Maintain a cryptowallet.

I'll be using the Metamask Chrome extension to set up my cryptowallet. This extension lets you easily transact cryptocurrencies on websites, such as OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace. This will make my experience way smoother and might even be a requirement to create a new NFT.

Step Two: Get some Ethereum.

Ethereum is much more flexible than Bitcoin and has additional features that Bitcoin doesn't. That's why most NFT's consume Ethereum rather than other coins. One exception might be Solano.

I purchased $100 Ethereum from Coinbase. After transaction fees, I received $89.75 into my Metamask wallet.

Step Three: Create some Artwork.

I'll be creating an NFT based on the statue of Tommy Trojan. This is a revered piece of building at my alma mater.

Step Four: Publish.

I simply created an account, linked my Metamask wallet, and created my first NFT! It's much simpler than I remember.

Step Five: Sell

Now this is the part where the money becomes an issue. To sell your first NFT, you need to tie your Metamask account with OpenSea. This is only possible through a gas-fee, which I paid about $150 worth of Ethereum for.

Then, you'll have to pay a gas-fee again to approve an item for sale, or "mint" the NFT. As you see, it is not cheap and requires and additional $150 per piece you sell.

Creating some better art...

I submitted some art I put together on Photoshop which does not look good at all.

I'm not an artist. But I can hire someone who can do art on Fiverr! I'm going to spend about $20-40 to have someone create an animated large pixel art of Tommy Trojan.

Update: I just spent about $80 to make something. Let's check it out after it comes back.

I will probably delete the original NFT created and upload this one. I'll probably buy and maybe market it on subreddits that are popular with students.

Creating a better description...

I also need to include more description and history behind the Tommy Trojan statue. This is because if there's nothing filled out, it's like I didn't care about it at all and just did it for the money. That is like 90% of the NFT's out there. It reminds me that is what happened during the 90's when everyone was making an NES game for money. Nintendo shut it down.

Also, a lot of descriptors and attributes would be nice. A collection called the "University of Southern California" as well.

The 'openlib' Collection

  • NFTs never meant for art
  • NFTs meant to catalog items
    • Classify items, categorize items, give them attributes
  • What is an NFT, fundamentally?
    • A digital version of an object that exists in the real world (a thing or action)
    • Right now, art is action
    • Extension of crypto
    • Extension of internet of things
    • Similar to items in an MMO

Marketing Piece for openlib

  • Longtime follower and collector of NFT
  • Minting my first collection
  • NFT never meant for art, but more generally objects
  • Collection of NFT books