Launching your own NFT project is a unique chance for talented and enterprising people to realize themselves and at the same time enter one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Whether it’s a collection of digital art, a video game, a marketplace, a music platform, or an entire metaverse, it can all be radically enhanced with non-fungible tokens. The main thing is to come up with an interesting idea for an NFT project and implement it correctly .
And if you can handle the first point yourself, then the second one may cause some difficulties, since it will be necessary not only to understand how the NFT market works (which is actually not very difficult), but also to find those who will take over all the difficulties associated with the technical side of launching your startup.
This article is designed to help you with these difficulties. We will talk about the important nuances that everyone who wants to create an NFT collection, trading platform, video game or smart contract needs to know. We will also show you how to find an excellent NFT developer to implement the software solution you need.
What you need to know when starting an NFT project?
In order to tokenize and sell a photo, image, video, audio or animation using NFT, you only need to register on OpenSea, SuperRare, Rarible or another NFT platform and issue a token using it, following simple instructions. It is very simple and accessible to everyone.
But if you want not just to sell an image or video, but to launch a full-fledged NFT project, for example, a marketplace, a video game, a real estate investment platform, etc., then for this you need to understand: what is NFT, how do they work, what they are and in what areas they can be useful. In addition, you will also need to know where to find an NFT development company and what criteria can be used to understand that this company is exactly what you need.
What is NFT?
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs, non-fungible tokens) are digital assets created on the basis of blockchain technology. Their main difference from conventional tokens such as bitcoin or ether is the presence of a unique identifier, which can serve as a kind of digital passport confirming the uniqueness and / or authenticity of a particular virtual asset. In addition, NFTs can also be used to tokenize tangible and intellectual assets.
In practice, this means that with the help of NFT any asset can be made unique and sold, bought, transferred and accepted as quickly and easily as ordinary tokens. For example, you can tokenize real estate or a musical composition using NFT and sell them to anyone in seconds (if there is already a buyer) on OpenSea or a similar platform.
Uniqueness, speed and ease of use are not the only advantages of NFT. The technology has other very interesting advantages.
- Liquidity . Creating, buying and selling NFTs is very easy and can be done by anyone with internet access, which means reaching a new level of liquidity. For example, it’s not uncommon for a guy from, say, Guinea to create his NFT on an American site and sell it to buyers in the UK, New Zealand, or Argentina.
- Standardization . With the help of public blockchains, developers have created several templates for creating and using NFTs that anyone can use for their project (which is happening). Thanks to this, the NFT market is standardized (and unified at the same time).
- Programmability . All NFTs are essentially computer algorithms that can be customized to suit your needs. For example, you can make a rule that when you resell your token, you will receive % of the transaction, or you can simply prohibit the resale of NFTs.
- Compatibility . Users can buy and sell NFTs on sites like Ebay or through APIs like OpenSea with the ability to trade in any currency – cryptocurrency, stablecoins, dollars, euros or gold.
What are NFT standards?
A token standard is a single set (template) of technical specifications for the issuance of tokens on the blockchain network that define the characteristics and functions of the issued tokens. These specifications are written in a smart contract that anyone can use to launch their own tokens. So, to launch non-fungible tokens, the following standards are usually used:
- ERC-721 . The first standard smart contract for minting NFTs based on Ethereum. At its core, this is a simple smart contract for issuing tokens with unique identifiers and matching them with crypto addresses.
- ERC-777 . Allows the minting of NFTs with additional features such as token mixing to increase the privacy of transactions or a disaster recovery feature when private keys are lost.
- ERC-1155 . Allows you to create an infinite number of non-fungible tokens in one smart contract, unlike ERC-721, which creates a separate transaction for each token. Because of this, minting with the ERC-1155 requires 50-80% less gas than the ERC-721.
- Others . Composables, dGoods, NFT Cosmos, TRC-721, BEP-721.
NFT Development Solutions
NFTs don’t work on their own. Such tokens are created on the basis of already existing blockchain networks that support the operation of smart contracts. And on the basis of which particular blockchain the token is issued, the cost of creation, available standards, transaction fees, audience coverage, and much more depend. Here is a description of the most popular NFT development solutions and benefits.
A decentralized platform for launching tokens and DApps, on the basis of which the majority of both fungible and non-fungible tokens are created. Due to the large number of users and constant upgrades, this blockchain network is considered the most secure for running blockchain projects, but it has a significant disadvantage – a very high cost of transactions.
The advantages of launching NFT on Ethereum include:
- ERC-721, ERC-1155 and other Ethereum NFT standards support most exchanges, platforms, wallets and DeFi projects. At the same time, communication is provided both at the commercial and at the technological level.
- Most developers are familiar with Ethereum, so it will be fairly easy to find a developer company to launch your NFT solution.
- Ethereum is the second most popular blockchain network (after Bitcoin). It has a lot of nodes, active users and a large community.
Binance Smart Chain (BSC)
Blockchain platform for launching tokens, smart contracts and DApps from Binance. NFT developers favor BSC for its speed, low fees, and Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility. In addition, BSC has a simple interface, a rapidly growing audience, and a great development team.
Benefits of developing NFT solutions on BSC:
- BSC is compatible with most smart contracts and DApps on Ethereum.
- CipherTrace for tracking VASP, OTC and fraud sources.
- Ability to create a decentralized autonomous organization.
- New block confirmation within three seconds.
- Support for interchain data transfer.
Polygon (previously called Matic)
One of the first blockchain projects to pass IEO on Binance Launchpad. The platform is an Ethereum-compatible second-level sidechain operating on the PoS consensus algorithm. Basically, it is a faster, cheaper and scalable version of Ethereum.
Benefits of launching NFT projects at Polygon:
- The platform is compatible with Ethereum.
- Extensive customization options for NFT.
- High speed, low fees.
Another decentralized solution for developing NFT projects, the main feature of which is a set of standard interfaces for issuing NFTs with full compatibility with the ERC-721 of the Ethereum network. In addition, Tron uses a three-layer architecture to improve the stability and security of the network.
Benefits of running NFT solutions on Tron:
- Lower fees than Ethereum.
- High transaction speed and throughput.
- You can use stablecoins to protect against volatility.
- Compatibility of Tron standards with Ethereum standards.
- Improved metadata system.
Examples of using NFTs
Sports . NFT technology provides athletes and teams with many opportunities to interact more closely with fans and monetize their popularity. You can read about it in the article: ” NFT in the sports industry “.
Art . This is perhaps the most famous and common way to use non-fungible tokens. Artists use them to tokenize their artwork and trade on NFT platforms without worrying about content copying and copyright issues. More information about this in the article: ” How NFT can change the art industry “.
Real estate . In this industry, NFTs are being used to tokenize both real and virtual properties and list them on the open market. This increases market liquidity and lowers the entry barrier for investors.
Content subscription . NFT technology allows bloggers, streamers and celebrities to tokenize their content and provide people with the opportunity to purchase a subscription to view it through special platforms.
Tickets for events . Non-fungible tokens are a great tool for selling tickets to various offline and online events, as they can eliminate industry problems: scalping, fake tickets, high costs. More in the article: ” How the NFT will change the ticketing industry .”
Software license management . NFT can also help you manage software licenses. Each such license can be assigned its own NFT, which is signed and certified by its owner. These NFTs can then be bought and sold like regular license codes, but in the case of non-fungible tokens, piracy can be almost completely eliminated, especially when it comes to software services like a license for Adobe Photoshop.
Video games . Here, NFT can help increase the security of transactions with in-game items (game clothes, weapons, mounts, skins, avatars, etc.) by providing 100% proof of their authenticity. In addition, using NFT, you can create a system for transferring characters and items from one game, in particular from World of Warcraft, to another, for example, New World (from Amazon Games).
Music . As with works of art, musicians can tokenize their creations and sell them on the market through NFTs. Thus, the problem with piracy can be eliminated and the donation market can be improved.
How to find an NFT development company?
Blockchain and NFT are relatively new technologies, so there are still quite a few developer companies on the market with a good portfolio and case studies in this area. Therefore, if you want to launch your own NFT project, you will have to spend quite a lot of effort searching for and screening potential candidates. Such a check should include an analysis of the following things.
First of all, you need to look at the list of candidate cases – the NFT developer company. You should understand whether the candidate has experience in creating NFT projects and what kind of experience it is. In addition, it is also important to understand whether the company worked in the right direction. For example, if you are looking for a developer company to launch an NFT marketplace, then you need a team that already has cases in its portfolio on implementing a platform for minting and selling NFT.
Next, you need to check what their clients say about the candidates. You can usually find testimonials from customers on Clutch.co, Goodfirms.co, or LinkedIn. It is important that the reviews are detailed, specific and not anonymous (the name, surname, company and position must be indicated).
Cost of services
In an ideal world, the cost of creating software depends on the skills of the development team, its experience and cases in the portfolio. But in the real world, the cost of development is most dependent on the location of the developer. Thus, the average hourly rate of a developer from the USA is $95/hour, Western Europe is $67/hour, Eastern Europe is $32/hour.
And, curiously, despite such a large difference in wages, the level of professionalism of a specialist from the United States and, for example, from Ukraine or Poland, is essentially the same. This is often used by Microsoft, Apple, IBM and other IT giants, outsourcing part of their development to cheaper countries.
Agile is the standard today. By this term, I mean an approach to development that complies with the Agile Manifesto . For example, at Merehead, the NFT development team uses the Scrum approach (or Scrum of scrums) – this is a scalable version of Agile that allows you to get a software product that best meets user expectations without inflating the budget and deadlines.
How software development works.
Skills, tech stack
Next, you need to look at what technologies the candidate uses. And we are talking not only about languages, frameworks and databases, but also about technologies such as blockchain, neural networks, VR and AR.
It is also very important how the NFT development company was inspired by the idea of the project, learned the background, analyzed the niche and the target audience. Pay attention to how many questions the candidate asks and what these questions are about: whether they are related to the project and its implementation, or whether the candidate is more interested in how much you will pay and how quickly you can sign the contract.
The cost of developing an NFT project
We already wrote above that the cost of developing NFT solutions is highly dependent on the location of the technical partner. The second important factor is the complexity of the project: functionality, design, technology stack, depth of development, external integrations. For example, it takes 700-750 hours of development to create an NFT wallet, which can cost 25,000 (Eastern Europe), 50,000 (Western Europe) or 70,000 (USA, Canada, Great Britain) to the countries of a technical partner. Here is a more detailed description of the cost of creating an NFT wallet:
The development of an NFT marketplace will cost more, as it is more complex software. Typically, such a project takes from 1000 hours of development, which will cost $35,000 (Eastern Europe), $70,000 (Western Europe) or $100,000 (US, Canada, UK).