This month alone has already made a few big NFT splashes over numerous media outlets. First, an Emmy-nominated photographer sold his laser-emitting-eyed Bored Ape for USD 1.39 million. Later, a not-so-lucky owner accidentally sold an NFT originally pegged at USD 300,000 from the same Bored Ape Yacht Club Collection for only USD 3,000.
But it does not end there. The co-founder of Twitch has created an NFT marketplace, while the shoe brand Nike is planning to sell sneakers at an NFT store that the company bought this month. The first-ever Wikipedia page “Hello World!” was sold for USD 750,000, and Internet sweetheart Keanu Reeves’ interview where he laughs at NFT is going viral.
If you don’t know why there’s so much hype about NFT, or even if you do but are already thinking about creating your own NFT marketplace and looking for the right services to build an NFT marketplace, this article is for you.
- What is NFT?
- How does an NFT marketplace work?
- Main Types of NFT Marketplaces
- How do you create an NFT marketplace?
- How Much Does an NFT Platform Cost?
- The Most Popular NFT Marketplaces
- Wrapping Up
What is NFT?
While some may think that NFT is pointless, others buy memes or even tweets for millions of dollars (as was the case with the first-ever tweet posted by its founder Jack Dorsey who sold it for USD 2.9 million).
So, what is an NFT, and what is all this hype about the need to create your own NFT marketplace? NFT stands for non-fungible token. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, fungible means capable of being substituted in place or one another. So the logical question is: “How come a meme or a tweet, or any other digital piece, can be non-fungible when literally everyone can have access to it and can store it on their device, blog, etc.?” And why would anyone spend a fortune on the Disaster Girl or Nyan Cat?
A very accurate analogy between NFT and the traditional form of art can be drawn to understand this modern phenomenon. While everyone can have a reproduction of the Mona Lisa at their home, the real Mona Lisa is exhibited in The Louver and is worth more than USD 850 million. In the digital world, an original image or video will cost quite a buck because it is one of a kind. And the blockchain makes such a selling-purchasing transaction easy without engaging any middlemen.
How does an NFT marketplace work?
If we can buy NFT, there must be a place where people can do it. Such places exist as it is relatively easy to create an NFT marketplace, and it is a digital platform where users can trade and store non-fungible tokens. Simply put, it is kind of an online auction with floor pricing, bids, offers, etc.
The majority of such NFT platforms are based on the Ethereum blockchain. Other examples of the blockchain are Binance Smart Chain, Polkadot, Flow, and the like. If you'd like to create an NFT marketplace, the choice is truly impressive.
From the user’s side, a marketplace works like this: to start using it, if a person wants to sell a digital collectible, they have to go through the minting process, meaning that their jpeg file, mp3, or any other digital format of their digital piece is validated as unique, creating a block with the information on the blockchain. Once it is done, the person must choose a marketplace, create an account there, and install a crypto wallet. A cryptocurrency wallet allows people to use blockchain services and sell & buy transactions. They must also make sure that their cryptocurrency aligns with that of their chosen platform. For instance, Ethereum’s native currency is Ether or ETH for short.
Nonetheless, there is no universal standard of how to create an NFT marketplace and how each platform must work. Besides, there are different types of NFT marketplaces to consider.
Main Types of NFT Marketplaces
If you plan to create an NFT marketplace, you must choose a suitable type of platform first. One of the most popular types of NFT marketplaces are mass platforms. art, gaming, and sports platforms.
Art NFT Marketplaces: Non-Curated
Everyone can use this NFT to trade their art pieces. Thus, the quality of the digital artworks represented on such a platform can be different.
Art NFT Marketplaces: Non-Curated or Invite-Only
Create an NFT marketplace of this type if your target audience includes people interested in unique artworks. To be presented on such a marketplace, an artist must undergo a thorough selection process that might take months.
Gaming NTF Marketplaces
Gaming is one of the most popular business domains, and NFT gives users a chance to capitalise on their favourite items in an online game. As such, a person can buy a sword and be its sole owner even if the game shuts down forever. They will still be able to access it via their crypto wallet.
Sports NFT Marketplaces
When we were young, many of us used to trade cards with our favourite sportspeople. Now that we are adults, it seems nothing has changed. We can still trade, buy, and sell our cards, but we now do it differently. We just create an NFT marketplace for that! Sports NFT marketplaces allow users to purchase, exchange, and collect non-fungible tokens related to the sports industry.
Mass NFT Marketplaces
As its name suggests, this is where users can buy and sell various sorts of collectibles, be it art pieces, memes, tweets, music, video clips, gaming items, etc. The mass platform is a nice choice if you'd like to build an NFT marketplace that will attract as many users as possible.
How do you create an NFT marketplace?
If you're wondering how to create an NFT marketplace that will be fully functioning, profitable, and successful, the info below is for you!
To build an NFT marketplace, you must decide what type of platform you want — for trading memes, sports memorabilia, or selling truly sophisticated art collections to art connoisseurs. Once you have decided on the type of marketplace you want to have, you must decide on the overall look and feel of the platform and thoughtfully consider all the necessary features to be included.
For example, if you go for an art NFT marketplace, you would want to have:
- A storefront or shop window. This is where the information about a non-fungible token will be displayed: its description, name, price, owner, views, and the image itself. Filters and a search engine.
- Filters and a search engine are an integral part of the functionality if you plan to create an NFT marketplace, as they enable users to find the right item. Filters might include status, price, and be related to the art sold on your platform. For instance, Bored Ape Yacht Club filters can help find an ape with various backgrounds, eyes, furs, clothes, hats, earrings, and mouths.
- Trading history. Your users will be able to track their trading history and keep an eye on the trading history of the collection item they are interested in. It will provide an overview of how successful the item is. Listings.
- Listings are pages where your users will be able to create, submit, and send their files, provide descriptions of their collectibles, etc.
- Buy and Bid. This is an important feature of an NFT platform that allows users to decide whether they would like to buy a particular digital asset. They will also have important information such as the action status, bid amount, expiration date, etc., to decide.
- NFTs Wallet. This is a must for any NFT marketplace, as it is the main way that users will carry out various transactions, from buying to selling, etc.
- Reviews & Ratings. It is always important to not leave your users in the dark about a seller and a particular item. As such, you may consider providing review and rating options to create an NFT marketplace that is credible and respectable. Thus, the user can rate a seller from one to ten and give them their feedback in the form of a comment. Moreover, the seller can also leave a comment about a buyer.
- Support. Probably, the biggest downside to any technology is that bugs and other malfunctions will happen. However, this does not mean that any of such things must disrupt the platform performance and spoil the user experience. To run things smoothly on your NFT marketplace, you must think about support options, which might be a chatbot, email, phone service, or all these things combined
There exists no actual difference in what type of framework you may use to create an NFT marketplace. One of the three most popular frameworks for an NFT platform are:
When it comes to the back end, the options here are also volatile. You may consider the following technologies to create an NFT marketplace:
However, NodeJS has its advantages over Python and Java thanks to the number of libraries available for blockchain. Java is more difficult to use due to its insufficient support.
You may create your own blockchain platform for your NFT project. For example, Light IT experts have developed a blockchain system based on EOSIO. Otherwise, you may choose one of the many that are available today.
However, you must bear in mind that the right platform for NFT must support smart contracts, as they make any transactions effortless and secure. If you would like to know more about how a blockchain works, read about it here.
- Ethereum. One of the most widely-used blockchain platforms for NFT. This decentralised open-source platform allows building truly robust smart contracts and leverages Solidity, a programming language used for creating these smart contracts. Ethereum digitalises any valuables, not only cryptocurrency. This makes it perfect for marketplaces, games, financial apps, and so on. Flow. Flow is a blockchain system that was specifically built for non-fungible tokens.
- Flow is swift, developer-friendly, and scalable, which is ideal for NFT games and digital art collections. Cardano. Another good choice for creating an NFT marketplace.
- Cardano is fast, secure, scalable, ensures faster transactions, and decreases their confirmation time.
- Tezos. Another option is Tezos. An advantage of this blockchain lies in its ability to upgrade itself and evolve over time. It also provides functionality for smart contracts.
- Solana. This is currently the fastest decentralised blockchain that is used to create user-friendly, scalable NFT marketplaces and applications.
Standardisation of blockchain technologies brings the development processes to the next level as it is vital for scaling, regulation, interoperability, and subsequent regulation of the technology.
Each blockchain supports its specific token standard. For example, if an NFT is built on Ethereum, the token standard for Ethereum will be ERC 721. You can therefore use the following standards for your NFT marketplace:
- ERC 721 Standard
- ERC 998 Standard
- ERC 1155 Standard
- Flow-NFT Standard
- CIP 25 - NFT Metadata Standard
- FA2 Standard
- SPL Standard
Testing & Deployment
Testing and deployment tools are vital in the NFT marketplace development as they help launch your platform and finally show it to the world. It is of prime importance to create an NFT marketplace that is bug-free and will run smoothly and satisfy your users. For this, you can use Truffle Suite, a best-of-breed tool used for Ethereum-based blockchains that provides a development environment, testing framework, and asset pipeline for developers. You can also use Dfuse for blockchain data visualisation. For other blockchains, you can use:
- Visual Studio Code Extension (Flow)
- Plutus (Cardano)
- Tezsure (Tezos)
- Solana Test Validator (Solana)
- Alchemy (Flow)
- Plutus (Cardano)
- Nautilus Cloud (Tezos)
- Solana CLI (Solana)
There are quite a few storage platforms for NFT to choose from:
- IPFS. The InterPlanetary File System, or IPFS for short, is a P2P hypermedia protocol created to keep digital content decentralised.
- Filecoin. Another decentralised network used for storing digital content. It is secure and efficient.
- Pinata. A fast, reliable, and easy-to-use storage platform created specifically for storing NFT collectibles.
How Much Does an NFT Platform Cost?
When it comes to the cost of the NFT marketplace development, it is almost impossible to answer the questions right off the bet. It all depends on what type of marketplace you would like to build and what version of features it must include. Once you decide, choose the right tech stack: pick the most suitable blockchain platform & blockchain standard, select frameworks for your back end, and figure out what technologies will work best for the back end. The next step is to choose your testing, deployment tools, and storage platform.
All this is just to get started. Then, if you want to create an NFT marketplace, you need to assemble a team of proficient developers who will be able to transform your idea into reality. They must be knowledgeable and have enough experience with NFT to pull this off. For instance, when creating a full-fledged NFT project for one of our clients, Light IT engaged four skilled teams & blockchain developers and managed to build the sophisticated marketplace in six months. If you would like to know more about how much an NFT platform will cost for you, our professionals will be glad to provide the number for you. Contact us here and get a free estimate and create an NFT marketplace that will bring you profits.
The Most Popular NFT Marketplaces
According to this report, in 2021, people spent USD 22 billion on digital assets. And with the rise of NFT popularity, the number of famous NFT platforms has grown. These are the five best marketplaces popular with tons of users:
Gaming is becoming more than just a pleasurable pastime. Nowadays, many gamers are playing to socialise and find friends, while others are playing to earn some valuables, which today are efficiently represented in NFTs. Axie Infinity is one such illustrious example. It is one of the leading blockchain games based on Ethereum with more than 2 million daily active users (this number was only 108,000 in July 2021) and more than USD 1 billion in sales.
Axie Infinity strongly resembles Pokemon: users assemble a team of funny-looking creatures with various stats to battle monsters. The game has introduced the new play-to-earn model and NFT collectibles in the gaming industry. For instance, Axie Infinity has helped the Filipino people to survive unemployment. How? By availing cryptocurrency to its gamers.
OpenSea is one of the largest and first peer-to-peer NFT marketplaces on Earth. If you are not new to the crypto world, you have probably encountered the name at least a few times. The question is why is it so popular with users around the globe? First, it is easy to use. For someone who has only a vague idea of what a non-fungible token is, it will be easy to figure out the ins and outs of the platform. OpenSea includes art, online collectibles, music, photography, sports, trading cards, domain names, and even virtual worlds where users can explore new realities.
Overall, OpenSea is a perfect place for creators, artists, collectors, traders, musicians, developers, sports fans, and many others to create, buy, trade, and sell digital pieces of art, memes, mp3, mp4, and other collectibles.
Rarible is not only a popular NFT marketplace, but it is one of the pioneering platforms in the crypto world. It is similar to OpenSea, as it offers an extensive collection of digital assets related mostly to art, photography, and games. Rarible also supports three major blockchains – Ethereum, Flow, and Tezos, allowing users to choose the most convenient platform for minting, buying, and selling non-fungible tokens. Still, the marketplace is planning to add more blockchains in the future.
Unique One Photo
The platform claims that it is the first decentralised NFT photography marketplace. Unique One Photo supports photographers by not charging any fees or commissions and allowing them to earn money while directly avoiding traditional photo platforms that cut a large portion of a photographer’s revenue.
The platform also provides photo artists and buyers with an opportunity to manage their royalties, licensing, and ensure that no one else is using a photo illegally.
This is an excellent example of a “metaverse,” or a virtual world. On Decentraworld, users can appear as avatars and interact with the virtual environment. You can buy your own land and other assets using cryptocurrency.
In this virtual world, users can create art, various challenges, and scenes.
NBA Top Shot
This is a fairly recent (created in 2019) but already incredibly popular NFT marketplace dedicated to the sports world. Basketball has millions of fans around the globe. As such, NFT platforms dedicated to this sport make a lot of sense. NBA Top Shot allows users to sell, trade, and buy video clips of the most prominent historical moments in the history of basketball.
The popularity of the NFT market has been gaining momentum in the last couple of years. Judging from the latest news, 2021 was more than successful for the industry. NTF uses the transparent and protected digital ledger of a blockchain to create unique digital collectibles. People can trade, buy, and create art pieces, cards, and other memorabilia on various marketplaces — mass, art, sports, and gaming NFT platforms. The most popular are Axie Infinity, OpenSea, Rarible, Unique One Photo, and Decetraland.
To conquer one of the most promising fields in the technology sector, you can build an NFT marketplace. You must decide on what type of platform to pursue and what kind of features to include. Thereafter, choosing the right tech stack is one of the most important steps in the development process: blockchain & blockchain standards, front end & back-end technologies, tools for testing, and deployment.
If you are looking for a team of highly-experienced and trained professionals to help you create an NFT marketplace, Light IT has broad expertise in building NFT platforms and will be happy to assist you. Remember, you can make your own NFT marketplace now!