Gas fees are a headache for NFT veterans and first-time minters alike — cutting into profits so radically that some artists have even sold their work at a loss due to hidden fees.
We dive into what they are, why they exist and how you can (finally!) create NFTs without gas fees.
Gas fees: What they are and why they exist
Minting your NFT takes computing power, as it involves initiating a transaction that enters, validates and stores your NFT deed on a public blockchain. Gas fees cover the cost of this transaction. You can think of it like what the bank charges you every time you swipe your credit card.
This fee is paid to “miners” – people who’ve agreed to contribute their computer’s processing power towards executing blockchain transactions in exchange for cryptocurrency.
The larger the network of miners, the more secure it is and the faster it will be to execute transactions. This means they have to be paid enough to make it worth their while. So, to keep both miners and minters returning, gas prices are linked to the basic economic concept of supply and demand.
How much you’re charged fluctuates, and depends on:
- The amount of traffic on the network. The more people tap into the network wanting to transact at the same time you do, the more valuable computing power becomes. If there’s less competition (traffic) on the network of computers processing your transaction, you won’t be charged as much.
- The size of the task. The more complex your task, the more computing power it takes to solve the cryptographic algorithms associated with the transaction. If you’re executing a big or complex task on the blockchain you’ll be pulling a lot of juice, and be charged more.
- How fast you want your transaction to be completed. The faster your work is done, the higher the gas price as you’ll be tapping into more of the network and demanding priority.
- The type of blockchain you’re transacting on. Proof of work blockchains, like Ethereum, are more expensive than proof of stake blockchains. If you want to learn more about their differences and how it influences whether your NFTS are bad for the environment, click here.
Considering these factors, the most expensive transaction would be a complex one entered into a Proof of Work blockchain at the network’s busiest time, and completed as soon as possible.
Thankfully, you’re able to set a limit on the gas fees you’re prepared to pay. This means you may wait a little longer to see your NFT minted, but you won’t be left unexpectedly out of pocket, as your transaction only gets processed once your limit is reached.
How to create NFTs without gas fees
Both NFT artists and their collectors usually pay gas fees — artists for minting their work, and collectors for placing their purchase order (as these are two separate transactions on the blockchain). As you can imagine, this isn’t great for business. Ideally, artists want to create NFTs without gas fees to boost their profit margins, and want to encourage buyers by offering work for sale sans the transaction fee.
Related: There are many platforms offering fake free minting and hiding their gas fees in complicated sets of conditions and miniscule fine print. Avoid being caught out by this with fresh tips from our Artist’s Guide to Selling NFTs.
The good news is there’s a genuine way minting platforms can help you create your NFT without gas fees — if they use a Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchain. Here are the top 3 things you need to know about them:
- How they validate transactions. We promise not to get too technical, so in a nutshell: servers in a blockchain are called “nodes”. They work together to validate all transactions — when they reach consensus the transaction is authenticated. The way PoS blockchains do this is far more efficient than the way PoW blockchains do it — instead of every single node validating the transaction (PoW) one is chosen at random (PoS).
- Why they work out cheaper than Proof of Work transactions. Authenticating transactions on a Proof of Stake blockchain needs less computing power, without compromising on the validity of the transaction. So you get the same level of security, with a lower price tag.
- Their environmental impact. The carbon footprint of PoS blockchains is so much smaller than their Proof of Work counterparts, they’ve been dubbed “green coins”.
Because transactions on a Proof of Stake blockchain are more cost-efficient, NFT marketplaces that use them are able to pass on these savings to their users. They’re able to offer genuine free minting, and cover the cost of transaction in other ways — like charging a fixed percentage service fee per transaction.
Related: Think we’re pulling your leg? Burning with geekspeak questions on how PoS actually validates transactions? Or just want to connect with other NFT-enthusiasts during your coffee break? Join us on Discord!
Why We Use XDai as Our Proof of Stake Blockchain
At Momint, we believe that the true value of NFTs is in their ability to irrefutably prove who created a piece of work online, and its history of ownership. We don’t believe it should cost the earth to do so (both literally and figuratively).
That’s why we made the decision to build Momint around a Proof of Stake blockchain called xDai. Here’s are the top 5 reasons we love it:
- Fast transaction times and low transaction fees
- A stable token for transactions and gas fees
- A green, energy-efficient and ecologically aware blockchain network
- Extreme useability
- A stable chain allowing real world value exchange where 1 xDai = 1 USD
We could go on, but those are the key reasons we’re able to offer you an NFT platform that doesn’t come with expensive, or hidden, gas fees. Because of xDai, we can proudly say that what you see at Momint is what you get.
Mint on Momint Without Gas Fees
Momint uses xDai. So when we say you can create NFTs without gas fees on our platform, we mean it. Now you know why!
We hope you found this article helpful! We’re going to keep on creating short content about NFTs, blockchain technology and digital art. If you have any questions or if you would like to read or watch something related to these topics, then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.