Do You Need to Keep Paying the Gas Price After Uploading NFT Art?
Gas fees are considered to be the most confusing part of NFTs. They’re payments that individuals must make to execute transactions on blockchains. As more people use the network and it gets busier, the gas fees increase, making it more challenging to manage and calculate. In this article, we’ll explain why gas fees are required for NFT minting and give tips on reducing them.
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Why Does Minting an NFT Require Gas Fees?
In the crypto market, the term “minting” describes creating a record of an NFT on a blockchain. The process includes converting digital files like digital art, music, or collectibles like trading cards into digital assets and registering them on the blockchain network to make them purchasable and available to sell to others. They become tamper-proof, more secure, and challenging to manipulate after the process.
However, artists and creators can’t perform blockchain transactions without paying a certain amount of gas fee after minting an NFT. Since blockchains are decentralized networks not owned by a central authority, they’re maintained by miners who use their computing power which is required to execute and verify blockchain transactions. Gas fees are used to compensate miners for helping to record a transaction on the blockchain whenever requested and optimizing transaction speed by using more computational resources in mining operations.
Which Transactions Require Gas Fees?
Whether you’re an artist, an investor, a seller, or a buyer, there are many actions on the blockchain that need computational power to be performed successfully and, accordingly, require gas fees, including purchasing or transferring an NFT to another wallet.
Creating an NFT
The process of creating an NFT is uncomplicated, neither costly nor technical. Non-fungible tokens can be made without writing codes and directly on NFT platforms allowing artists to mint their artwork on a blockchain. But, as already mentioned, minting an NFT also requires creators to pay gas fees to compute the information about the smart contracts into the blockchain.
However, a free alternative to minting NFTs is “lazy minting.” This term refers to creating an NFT without putting it on-chain and making buyers cover the gas fee instead of creators. Many NFT marketplaces already offer artists the option of “lazy minting,” which helps them postpone paying the gas fee until after the sale of the NFT.
This is especially useful for new creators who don’t know how well their works will sell. It’s also important to mention that this method only works if creators ensure that the selling price of their artwork is higher than the minting cost.
Selling an NFT
The costs of selling an NFT vary by the marketplace you choose; therefore, checking and understanding how they operate before transacting is essential. Most marketplaces don’t charge anything for listing and selling NFTs; others charge service fees and gas fees immediately or after an NFT is sold.
For example, Versify, a digital marketplace for crypto collectibles and non-fungible tokens, makes it easy to sell digital assets. It not only never requires gas fees but also allows people that don’t know anything about blockchain transactions pay for NFTs using their credit cards.
Some marketplaces require users to pay the gas fees to accept the highest bid when they auction off an NFT, while others cover the gas fees for users and only need them to pay the service fees to the platform. Some marketplaces require payment of gas fees for NFTs at a fixed price from buyers, while others require it only from sellers.
Buying or Reselling an NFT
Purchasing a fixed-price item isn’t the only time buyers have to pay a gas fee. They must pay a certain fee whenever an NFT gets lazily minted and when they place an order or cancel one.
Transferring assets from your wallet to the seller’s wallet and reselling an NFT also involve gas fees, but only after some funds are transferred to the original creator based on the royalties defined in the smart contract.
How Much Does Minting an NFT Cost?
The mint price of an NFT can differ from blockchain to blockchain and fall anywhere from under $1 to over $1000. Some NFT marketplaces even allow creators and artists to mint digital assets for free or at an affordable price, making it essential for users to conduct a thorough research about the platform and blockchain they want to use before proceeding to mint an NFT.
NFTs have taken over the world by storm in the past few years, resulting in higher costs of minting depending on several metrics:
- The current value of the cryptocurrency you use
- How many transaction requests are made at that time
- The speed of the transaction
- How quickly do you want to mint your digital files
- How much “tip” can you pay to miners to have your transactions verified quickly
- and so on.
The NFT marketplace choice must be influenced by which NFTs you want to mint and how much you’re planning to pay for the minting process since the cost of minting varies on different marketplaces. Besides skyrocketing gas fees, other factors like account and listing fees must be considered when choosing a marketplace.
Your choice of an NFT marketplace determines account and listing fees, and different marketplaces require different fees for listing NFTs for sale on their platform. In contrast, gas fees depend on the blockchain you’re using since they’re needed for transacting and storing NFTs on the blockchain. Gas fees are usually paid in the blockchain’s native cryptocurrency.
Ethereum is the most popular blockchain for NFTs and DeFi, with its high network usage and a block size of around 70 transactions. Minting NFTs on Ethereum is quite expensive due to the high demand on the network. The more it becomes busier and congested, the higher the price of ETH and gas fees get, as a victim of its popularity.
Before the London Upgrade in August 2021, ETH gas fees were calculated like this:
Total transaction fee = Gas Units (Limit) x Gas Price
The gas limit is the maximum amount of gas that users are willing to pay to perform a transaction on the blockchain. The standard gas limit in the Ethereum network is 21,000 gwei which is a small denomination of Ether used to measure the cost of gas (1 gwei = 0.000000001 ETH). In this example, it would equal 21,000 x 200 = 4,200,000 gwei, or 0.0042 ETH which is equivalent to $6.28.
The London Upgrade changed the way ETH gas fees are calculated. Each block is made up of a base fee dependent on network congestion and burned or destroyed as a deflationary mechanism to offset the issuance of new ETH. And a tip paid to the miner users is expected to include with each transaction to speed up the transaction process.
Total transaction fee = Gas Units (Limit) x (Base Fee + Tip)
With a gas limit of 21,000, a base fee of 100 gwei, and a tip of 20 gwei (21,000 × (100 + 20)), the total fee is 2,520,000 gwei, or 0.00252 ETH, which is equivalent to $7.49.
Although Solana (SOL) is the nearest competitor to the Ethereum blockchain, it has grown in popularity and has the potential to become the leading blockchain network soon. Currently, it’s the second-largest blockchain by transaction volume after Ethereum. It’s a much cheaper blockchain network where the gas fees for minting an NFT start at $10.
Solana is a faster, lower-cost alternative with gas fees below $0.01. When minting an NFT, creators incur three transactions, costing around $0.00025. While Ethereum only handles 70 transactions per 13 seconds, Solana handles up to 20,000 transactions per 0.4 seconds. Solana enables users to buy NFTs with a nominal transaction fee, which makes it more easily accessible than the NFTs on Ethereum.
Which Marketplace Has No Gas Fees?
Although there are several marketplaces where users can buy, sell and mint NFTs, they all require a certain amount of payments to conduct transactions on a blockchain, and it can be hard to find a platform that doesn’t have gas fees. However, some marketplaces have a gas-free option that lets creators skip out on paying fees to mint NFTs. Enter lazy minting.
Mintable is one of the few platforms allowing users to lazy-mint NFTs easily without paying gas fees upfront. Mintable and the Polygon Network on Opensea enable users to list their NFTs even with 0 eths in their wallets.
How To Navigate Gas Fees?
In some ways, gas fees are similar to taxes, with the difference that gas fees can change throughout the day. The process of minting an NFT can take unexpected turns every second, making it impossible to minimize gas expenses since it’s something that no one can control. However, there are some steps you can and must make to prepare for unforeseen situations regarding unreasonably high gas fees in order not to end up utterly bankrupt after transactions.
It would help if you thoroughly researched the marketplace where you want to create, sell or buy NFTs. Hundreds of NFT marketplaces are built on blockchains that support the NFT token standard, like Ethereum, Solana, Polkadot, WAX, Cosmos, Tezos, Binance Smart Chain, Tron, and so on. They all have different policies when it comes to minting NFTs and the gas fees that are required to make certain transactions. Make sure to switch to another blockchain network if the one that you were set to use requires high gas fees.
Some platforms allow setting a gas fee limit and performing transactions only when the fees are low enough. A “gas limit” refers to the maximum amount of gas you’re willing to spend on a specific transaction and the amount of ether a transaction can consume. The higher you set the gas limit, the more work you must do to perform a transaction using ETH or a smart contract. However, there’s a risk that the transaction may be rejected. And here’s when it gets interesting.
Setting a low gas limit could save you money if your transaction isn’t time-sensitive, but if you set the limit high, you’ll receive a refund for the excess funds. Meanwhile, if you set the limit too low, you could lose your money if the transaction fails.
Tips on How to Avoid Paying High NFT Gas Fees
Although some blockchains don’t allow users to get rid of gas charges, reducing these fees is not entirely impossible. You can use many strategies to avoid high gas fees and fees in general. Let’s have a look at some of the most valuable methods.
Wait Out and Time It Right
As we’ve already mentioned, gas fees are highly contingent on network congestion, meaning that the higher the number of people using the network gets and the more it becomes busier, the higher the gas fees will rise. So the first thing that you must do is wait out the minting process and find a better time to carry out your NFT minting transactions at a lower cost.
The traffic of transactions on a blockchain varies throughout the day. There are times when gas fees are exorbitant, so make sure to review the variation of gas prices at different times. For example, if you keep checking Ethereum gas prices during a week, you’ll see a lower gas fee for the same transaction on Saturdays and Sundays than on other days. This means that the Ethereum blockchain is at its busiest during the weekdays, and the best time for you to mint an NFT is Saturday or Sunday.
But since no one can predict the future and see when exactly transactions will peak, it’s much better to use some tools to understand the state of blockchain and check the trends in gas fees instead of reviewing it every hour during the day.
For example, you can visit the NFT Gas Station, which shows the gas fees for slow, average, and fastest transaction times on the blockchain and different marketplaces for various actions. You can visit Ethereum Price, a webpage that shows charts for the Ethereum gas prices throughout the week. Rarible Analytics is another tool that shows the current gas fee on the Rarible marketplace and whether it falls in the expensive category.
Adopt Layer-2 Sidechains
Layer-2 solutions are built for different blockchain requirements and operate independently, allowing protocols to carry out transactions with faster transaction capacity and lower gas fees. They’re not written into a code that affects the main blockchain, which is why they’re called layer-2 solutions. Rollups are currently considered the preferred layer-2 solution for scaling Ethereum since they can help users reduce gas fees by up to 100x compared to layer-1. Nodes within layer-2 sidechains confirm and process transactions, maintaining consensus across the blockchain. The most popular layer-2 sidechains include Arbitrum, Optimism, and Polygon Technology, previously known as Matic Network.
Adjust Marketplace Settings
If you can’t wait for low prices and you have to mint an NFT immediately, you can pay higher fees that can be later reduced by adjusting your marketplace settings. Follow these steps before minting an NFT:
- Open up “Metamask wallet.”
- Go to “Account” and then “Settings.”
- Click on the “Advanced” tab.
- Set your “Advanced gas controls” and “Customised transaction nonce” to ON.
- Click on the Edit button above the Gas Fees section.
- Choose from the Slow/Average/Fast options according to your preference. The slower process will require the least gas fees, while the fast charges the highest.
Combining related transactions is another helpful way to avoid paying high NFT gas fees. In this case, you’re not reducing the price, but you’re paying only once when you’re required to pay twice. For example, if you hold multiple tokens at more than one address and want to transfer them to a new address, you’re prompted to move them separately; therefore, pay twice and more for each executed transaction. However, you can transfer your tokens to one address and make only one transaction to the new address, saving you money.
Utilize Gas Tokens
You can utilize gas tokens to make cost-effective transactions. This is done by minting gas tokens when gas prices are low and burning them when gas prices are high. This way, you can save on your gas fees. Your savings will come from the difference in gas price, which is how much ether you pay per gas unit. Simply put, tokenizing gas will result in you getting refunded in ether, which you can later pay for your gas expenses.
Use the Moralis API to Mint NFTs Without Paying Gas Fees
Last but not least, when generating NFTs seems challenging, you can utilize tools such as Moralis to make it as simple as possible and make the process straightforward. Moralis is a middleware or software that helps to build cross-chain DApps quickly and lets you mint NFTs without paying gas fees, thanks to its Rarible plugin. It’s considered one of the simplest and easiest ways of connecting to cross-chains.
Moreover, having access to the Moralis API to mint NFTs enables you to add NFT minting functionality to NFT wallets, NFT games, NFT marketplaces, and any Web3 applications. Overall, it represents the best API to create NFTs or work with NFTs in general.
Follow these steps to mint NFTs without paying gas fees:
- Create a “Moralis” account and a “Moralis” server.
- Use your preferred code editor.
- Download Moralis’ boilerplate from GitHub.
- Download MetaMask and implement crypto login.
- Install Moralis’ “Rarible” plugin.
- Ready, set, go! Mint your first NFT without paying gas fees.
How to Make Free NFTs
Minting an NFT is pretty easy when you’re familiar with the industry and have some exposure to the crypto ecosystem. Anyone can upload an image or a sound into a marketplace, regardless of whether they have the basic intellectual property right to it. But how can you mint NFTs with zero gas fees without using tools? Follow these steps to upload your first NFT art without paying the gas fee:
Step 1: Select a Marketplace and Create an Account
NFT Marketplaces differ by several factors that must be considered before creating an account. These factors include the various wallets and blockchains compatible with different marketplaces, their supported file formats and sizes, gas and service fees they take for performing transactions on the platforms, and so on. The majority of marketplaces support ETH. Catering for any taste, NFT marketplaces continue to expand their features.
Step 2: Connect a Cryptocurrency Wallet to the Marketplace
Choose a digital wallet compatible with the selected marketplace and connect them. MetaMask is one of the most popular bitcoin wallets supported by almost every marketplace. You can download the wallet, use the secret recovery phase, and import it. Confirm the wallet connection on your device and begin making your first NFT.
Step 3: Upload Your Artwork and Mint an NFT for Free
This is the most crucial part. You must select the correct blockchain for your creation when minting an NFT since the prices of gas fees change based on the selected blockchain. On the Blockchain section, choose the “Polygon” option, if given, to pay zero gas fees. This is the only option that’ll not require any fees when uploading or listing items for sale on the blockchain.
If you want to upload and make a single NFT, click on Create (on the top-right menu). If you’re going to create an NFT collection, click the account icon (top-right, near the wallet icon) > My collections > Create a collection.
Step 4: List Your Token for Sale
Do Gas Fees Affect the Price of an NFT?
No, there is no connection between the price of an NFT and the cost of the gas fee. Gas fees are independent of the price and are determined by the laws of demand and supply, while the price of an NFT comes from the average cost of similar assets.
Why Do Gas Prices Fluctuate?
Gas prices fluctuate depending on demand and supply between blockchains miners at the time of a transaction and because of transactions complexity. If a transaction requires more computational power, the gas price gets higher.
What is a Gas War?
The term gas war is used to describe a surge in gas price – when the demand to mint an NFT collection is high, collectors are willing to spend a premium on gas fees to secure their NFT during a public NFT sale, knowing that gas fees can sometimes be higher than the cost of the NFT. As a result, the winners claim their NFTs while the losers still have to pay the gas fee for the failed transaction.
Why Do NFTs Use so Much Energy?
NFTs use much energy because of their proof-of-work algorithm. It is used by one party to another to prove that a certain amount of computational effort and energy has been expended. Many main NFT blockchain networks use this method to create and purchase NFTs.
What is the London Hard Fork?
London hard fork is the name of the upgraded blockchain network of Ethereum. It’s a set of five improvement proposals, a backward-incompatible upgrade incompatible with the already existing blockchain protocol and keeping the transaction fees in check.
Why is the Gas fee so High on OpenSea?
OpenSea runs on the Ethereum blockchain, which is one of the most expensive blockchains out there. Accordingly, gas fees are costly because of ETH and the blockchain’s volatile base fee.
Before creating an NFT, it’s recommended to research and fully understand the crypto ecosystem and what potential risks you can run into when executing transactions. As confusing as gas fees are and will continue to be, they’re an inseparable part of the whole minting process. The less you can do is be aware of them and prepare to avoid paying high gas fees if the need arises. Hopefully, gasless solutions will go mainstream and make the NFT purchasing and minting experience less stressful for artists, creators, traders, and buyers.