What is minting?
August 26, 2022

“Minting” an NFT is the process of writing a digital item to the blockchain. This establishes its immutable record of authenticity and ownership.

What does it mean to mint an NFT?

Minting an NFT refers to the process of writing a digital item to the blockchain. This establishes its immutable record of authenticity and ownership. This process usually involves things like assigning metadata to the NFT, which can include information about the creator, a description of the content, and other relevant details. Minting establishes ownership and provenance of the digital item on the blockchain, ensuring its uniqueness and authenticity.

Both creators and collectors can mint NFTs. For both creators and collectors, minting NFTs establishes verified ownership and ownership history. For creators, minting their own NFTs gives them ownership and control of their own work, and allows them to build special communities and perks for those who hold their NFTs. When either the creator or a collector mints an NFT from a project, they become the first-ever owner of that NFT, since the NFT is written onto the blockchain during the mint.

What is the purpose of minting?

You may have heard people ask, “Why can’t I just screenshot an NFT?” Minting is part of the answer. When you mint an NFT, it becomes stored on the blockchain, where its authenticity and ownership is established.  And because the blockchain record can’t be edited, minting is the start of that NFT’s immutable history.

Minting for creators

As a creator, minting your work allows you to establish provable scarcity and verified ownership. For the first time, creators can publish limited edition digital works, whose authenticity is validated on the blockchain. Ownership is undisputed and public, allowing creators to build special communities and perks for those who hold their NFTs.

Minting for collectors

Minting NFTs isn’t just for creators, however. NFT projects will often offer early access to their NFTs via a mint. When you mint an NFT from a project, you’re the first ever owner of that NFT, since the mint is when it’s written to the blockchain. Oftentimes, participating in a project’s mint is like buying a pack of Pokémon cards: you don’t know if you’ll end up with something rare. 

How to mint on OpenSea with OpenSea Studio

Recently, OpenSea has made changes to the way creators mint NFTs using our tools. Historically, creators used lazy minting to create items that were not on-chain until they were sold or transferred. While this provided an easy way for creators to experiment with NFTs in the early days, we believe that the future of NFTs is one where creators deploy and mint from their own independent contracts. We're letting creators do just that with our new functionality in OpenSea Studio

We’ve replaced lazy minting with OpenSea Studio. Effective October 3rd, 2023, users won't be able to create new items using the lazy minting tool. Existing items created using the lazy minting tool will still be able to be bought, sold, and transferred, but they won’t be editable going forward. You do not need to do anything in order for your collections with these items to persist.

To mint your own NFTs on OpenSea, you’ll need to do the following:

1. Set up a crypto wallet

In order to do anything on the blockchain, you’ll need a crypto wallet. In simple terms, a crypto wallet helps you buy, sell, and store your cryptocurrency and (in many cases) your NFTs. Going a level deeper, a crypto wallet manages access to your private key, which is needed to control a blockchain wallet address. Your cryptocurrency and NFTs are not stored in/on a crypto wallet; they remain on the blockchain and can be accessed, controlled, and managed through use of a crypto wallet.

You can sign up and create a self-custodied wallet on the OpenSea website using Privy.

2. Create a collection

Before you mint your NFTs, you’ll have to create the collection that they’re a part of. At this step, deploy a smart contract, name your collection, and upload a logo.

3. Upload your work

Once you’ve set up your wallet and created a collection, you’re ready to start minting your NFTs! 

Visit our Help Center for more detailed tutorials on creating NFTs or watch this tutorial..

I minted my NFT! Now what?

Congratulations! You’re officially an NFT creator!

You don’t have to do anything after minting your NFT— you could just wait to see if someone discovers it through search or category exploration. But if you want to keep the momentum going, here are some places to start:

Grow your community

Community is really important in the NFT space. It can be incredibly rewarding to build a community around your project, especially if it centers around a certain topic, like inclusivity or food. Projects can have engaged, tight-knit communities even without an overt theme. The most popular channels for community engagement in the NFT space are Twitter and Discord.

Market your project

When marketing your project, it’s essential to understand your audience and what value you are providing them. Is it the art itself, exclusive benefits, the community, or something else? Make sure it’s clear what people will get by buying your NFT.

For social marketing, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit are great places to start sharing your work. Make sure to use relevant hashtags and engage with other people in the space. Be authentic, and welcome feedback from others. Good luck!

🧠 Q&A

Does it cost money to mint an NFT?

Every transaction on the blockchain requires “gas” to complete (read more about gas fees here). However, there are ways to avoid paying to mint your NFT like using OpenSea’s lazy minting tool.

Do I have to mint my NFT to sell it?

Yes. You can use OpenSea’s lazy minting feature to mint it at the time of the sale to avoid gas fees on Ethereum.

I minted my NFT, but I want to change something about it. What do I do?

If you’re still the owner of the NFT and the NFT doesn't have frozen metadata, you can delete the NFT and re-mint it on OpenSea.