Cryptocurrencies and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have become very popular in recent years to invest, trade and sell. However, the cost of creating NFTs and crypto transactions has also increased. This means that people are looking for new ways to get into the crypto market without the high network fees.
Enter Solana, an up-and-coming blockchain for NFTs looking to charge a lower fee for creation with faster block times. If you are interested in learning more about this new blockchain, read our guide to Solana and how to create NFTs on it.
What is Solana?
Solana is an open source public blockchain created in 2017 to support smart contracts as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). SOL is Solana’s official currency for staking and transfer of value.
Unlike other blockchains, Solana features a unique way to maintain accurate information and monitor transactions. Known as “proof of track record” or PoH, this method assigns nodes to be slot leaders in advance.
In PoH, the leaders broadcast transactions to other nodes in the network in real time, so no one has to wait to complete an entire block with validated transactions. This translates into accelerating the entire process and reducing the cost of transactions.
Learning about Solana and how to run a script on it can be difficult without programming knowledge. If you need help turning your digital art into a Solana NFT, check out Tokenfy. Visit our site to learn more about how we can help you get started and list your NFT collection on the crypto markets.
Setting up a Solana wallet
You will need to set up a Solana wallet to store the token you are creating, as well as the NFT. There are several ways to make a wallet. This method will help you create one using the Solana CLI Tools Suite.
- Install the Solana CLI toolset.
2. Create a wallet by opening a command prompt in Windows or your terminal if you’re using a Mac or Linux.
3. Go to your Desktop in the terminal. Create a folder where you will store your data and create a wallet from there. The lines should look like this:
solana-keygen new –outfile SolanaWallet/my-keypair.json”
4. This will trigger a password prompt. You don’t need to set one up yet, as this is a test for your wallet.
5. Presto, your new wallet has been created using the Solana CLI tools. Note the new key pair written to “SolanaWallet/my-keypair.json”. The long line of numbers and letters written after “pubkey” AdrV3″ seems random, but together, they make up your public address.
Note the seed phrase generated afterwards, as this will help you retrieve your wallet’s key pair path if necessary.
- Now you can start adding SOL to your wallet. SOL is the currency for Solana, just like ETH for Ethereum.
If you want to skip using these tools to create your new crypto wallet, don’t worry. An alternative method for Chrome users is to use the Phantom Wallet extension to access the Solana blockchain. This extension provides a secure interface where you can review, approve, and reject blockchain transactions.
Getting A Solana Node
A Solana node is a computer used to connect to the Solana network. The node supports the network by validating and tracking transactions on the blockchain.
Making a Solana node will need some great hardware, solid processing power, and a large amount of SOL (the currency that runs on the Solana network). These are the minimum hardware recommendations provided by the developers on their documentation site:
- 12 cores/24 threads or more
- 2.8 GHz or faster
- Support for AVX2 instructions (to use official release binaries, autocompile otherwise)
- Ideally it has support for AVX512f and/or SHA-NI instructions
- 128GB or more
- Suggested 256GB capacity motherboard
- PCIe Gen3 x4 NVME SSD, or better
- Accounts: 500 GB or more. High TBW (total bytes written)
- Ledger: 1 TB or larger. High suggested TBW
- OS: (optional) 500 GB or more. sata ok
- The operating system can be installed on the ledger disk, but the developers recommend having the ledger on its own disk to improve performance.
Connecting To Solana
Solana has three networks that you can connect to: devnet, mainnet, and testnet. Here’s a quick rundown of each network:
Think of the devnet as a sandbox for anyone who wants to try Solana, whether it’s for additional tokens, building a devnet wallet for a test drive, or as an app developer.
Note that since it’s basically a low risk playing field for the Solana network, the devnet tokens are not real. Learn more about the required command line configurations on the official Solana Foundation documentation site.
The main network is the real Solana network and the blockchain, where coins bought, sold or traded have real monetary value. Please note that coins cannot be sent from here to other networks. If a mainnet coin is sent to the testnet, it is destroyed.
This is a cluster on the Solana network that developers use to test features for recent releases. The goal of maintaining this network is to provide a live environment to verify stable chain activity and improve network performance.
Fair warning: testnet tokens are not real and will typically run an updated version of software compared to Mainnet and Devnet. This network may also be subject to accounting resets by developers.
Creating the NFT in Solana
Creating and minting your Solana NFT is a simple process. Follow these steps to make an NFT in Solana.
In this case, we show you how to mint a Solana NFT and list it on Solsea, the largest NFT marketplace for Solana. We’ll also show you how to do this using Phantom for your wallet setup so you don’t have to code:
1. Set up your wallet.
First, set up your wallet and make sure it has SOL, Solana’s cryptocurrency. Install Phantom Wallet in your browser and list your secret recovery phrase. Deposit SOL into your ghost wallet by purchasing it or transferring existing funds from another crypto wallet.
2. Create a Solsea account.
Connect your Phantom Wallet to the Solsea platform. This will give Solsea permission to link to your Phantom Wallet, view your funds, and request transaction approval.
You will be redirected to the login page. Enter your email account and a password to register your account. Solsea will send an account confirmation email. Once you have confirmed it, your Phantom Wallet will be connected to Solsea.
3. Create an NFT collection.
- Go to the “Create” tab and click “Collection”.
- Put a title and a short description for your collection.
- Upload an icon and a header image.
- It’s optional, but you can add your main website and social media accounts to get more feedback on your NFTs.
- Click “Create Collection” and sign the transactions. This will improve your collection. Once the minting transaction is confirmed, you can go to your wallet and click on “My Collection”. This will contain your first collection set for minted NFTs.
4. Create NFTs to add to your collection.
- Go to the “Create” tab and select “NFT”.
- Upload your image file. This can be JPEG, PNF, or GIF for images. For video NFTs, the supported file formats are MOV and MP4.
- Add a title and description for the NFT.
- Establish royalty payments. This is the percentage creators get each time their NFTs are resold on secondary markets. This percentage can range from 0% to 50%. Choose according to your business plans!
Frequently asked questions about creating an NFT in Solana
What is generative art?
Generative art is art that is programmed using a computer algorithm to generate pieces with variations distributed by “controlled randomness.” While the parts and variations themselves are created by artists, the AI determines their distribution throughout the entire piece.
How much does it cost to create an NFT?
The cost of creating NFTs depends on your project, its complexity, and the number of people involved. Creating the chain assets and writing the code yourself can reduce costs. However, you will still have to pay a cost known as “gas fees” for the minting process.
To avoid paying these transaction fees up front, some creators will opt for the deferred minting option. This is when you defer the cost of minting digital creations until the time of sale to the first buyer.
The gas fees for minting will be included in the same transaction that the NFT allocates to that buyer. This uses a portion of the purchase price to cover gas fees and saves the maker the cost of minting.
Solana is positioning itself as a comparable competitor to established cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin. Because it claims to have lower fees for blockchain transactions and faster block times, it is worth learning how to build NFTs on it.