Proof of Concept NFT

In order to under­stand web3 emer­gent tech­no­logy, I min­ted my first non-fun­gible token (NFT). This grass­roots oper­a­tion­al approach allowed me to get an in-depth under­stand­ing of how to think about NFT’s from a con­sumer point of view, as well as over­com­ing the tech­nic­al con­straints required to pub­lish an NFT.

Key Technology

NFT
NFT
An NFT is a file attached to a smart con­tract (the blockchain)
Blockchain
Blockchain
A block­chain is a ledger for stor­ing trans­ac­tions of crypto-currency
Crypto Wallet
Crypto Wallet
You store your own crypto-cur­rency in this digit­al wallet
Marketplace
Marketplace
NFTs are loc­ated in a mar­ket­place where they can be bought and sold

You can bid on this NFT!

Although this NFT was cre­ated as a proof of concept, it is avail­able for bid­ding on the Rar­ity plat­form. All pro­ceeds go to the non-profit char­ity Beam — where you can spon­sor a home­less per­son and fund their skills training.

My process

  1. In order to cre­ate an NFT auc­tion of value, I decided to use a pho­to­graph I had taken eight years ago out­side Far­ring­don Sta­tion in Lon­don. This poignant image has stayed with me for a long time. Vic­tims of home­less­ness can be any­one, and they are part of our com­munity — they could be our fath­er, our child, or our broth­er. As this pro­ject was inten­ded for proof of concept only, I decided to donate any rev­en­ue received to the home­less­ness char­ity, Beam. They do fant­ast­ic work, please check them out and donate if you can.
  2. In order to mint an NFT, I needed to decide who would pay the “gas fees” (this is the cost of the trans­ac­tion itself — on the Eth­ereum block­chain this is a unit of Eth­er meas­ured in GWEI). Although gas fees were low at the time, mint­ing an NFT can have hid­den costs and not everything is trans­par­ently com­mu­nic­ated up-front. For this reas­on, I chose free mint­ing (or lazy mint­ing), where the gas fees are paid by the buyer.
  3. Although I had an OpenSea mar­ket­place account, for this NFT I decided to list on Rarible so I could com­pare how the onboard­ing exper­i­ence was different.
  4. After choos­ing the block­chain and mar­ket­place, I needed to decide on the wal­let I wanted to link them togeth­er. I already owned a Coin­base crypto wal­let, but have found it cum­ber­some due to a sep­ar­ate mobile-based app that needs to be linked to a Coin­base account. This time I used MetaMask and it seemed a lot easier.

Summary

I would recom­mend you try mint­ing your own NFT — it’s fairly simple, once you have an under­stand­ing of the con­cepts involved. In ret­ro­spect next time I would prob­ably pay my own gas fees, as I ima­gine this would increase trac­tion. I would also set it to be a timed auc­tion, and make sure I have a budget for pro­mot­ing the NFT on a social media paid-for cam­paign (rather than rely­ing on organ­ic growth). Donat­ing the pro­ceeds to char­ity is some­thing I haven’t seen in oth­er NFTs, and this could be a use­ful dona­tion-gen­er­at­ing mech­an­ism for the non-profit sector.

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