The NFT world is getting bigger and bigger, so new challenges are coming up daily to create solutions for this technology. Of course, some are more useful than others, but essentially – it all comes down to how they are implemented.
In this article, we will discuss something that is most likely the essential element that came with the NFT or was popularized by the NFT – a smart contract. It’s a blockchain-based contract that can be utilized in many different ways and has the same advantages that the blockchain is known for.
When it comes to selling or buying tokens, you need to have an NFT contract to put all the necessary information about buyers, sellers, stipulations, and consequences.
Creating a smart contract can seem like a hard programming job, but it is a pretty straightforward process you can follow if you keep up with the instructions. For anyone who feels a little afraid about this concept, we have prepared a detailed guide on how to draft your first smart contract and deploy an NFT private key onto an NFT marketplace.
If it’s something you are interested in, join us in the journey of understanding smart contracts and the NFT world while doing so. Let’s begin!
What Is an NFT?
First of all, let’s quickly go over the concept at hand, which is – the NFT. You may have heard it multiple times circling in the crypto world and outside and wondered – what is this NFT thing everyone seems to be discussing?
NFT means non-fungible token in essence. The non-fungibility means you cannot exchange a singular NFT for any other NFT.
Comparing it with cryptocurrencies, you can pretty much give your friend one ETH and receive one ETH, and you have the same amount of money. That is not the case with NFTs, as those are only singular and unique pieces.
Why is that? It’s mostly because they are digital assets minted onto a blockchain to ensure their uniqueness. Any digital asset can be an NFT, from pictures, music, and videos. Anything you would like to mint can be transferred onto a blockchain. Putting it there ensures that this is the original version of said digital asset and all the others are just copies of the original.
Most NFTs are “residing” on the Ethereum blockchain, as it is one of the most compatible blockchains with NFT technology. Still, some people also use Solana or Polygon, for example. You can mint your NFTs onto pretty much any blockchain you want. It depends only on what you want to do with it and how much you want to spend on gas fees.
What Is a Smart Contract?
So, now that we know what an NFT is let’s go over the concept of smart contracts that govern NFT-related transactions. The most important thing to understand is that the smart contract is essentially the element of the metadata file located on a blockchain that hosts your NFT. With that, you can show that you own said NFT. You can also use it to link to your NFT or just convey all the information relevant to your NFT.
The most important thing about this is the fact that you cannot essentially change any part of the smart contract, and it is visible to the public, like all of the things that are located on a blockchain. Why does it matter? Well, it makes the whole industry much more secure and transparent because you cannot hide any closures or, for example, agree with each other that we show people X and claim it’s the original, even though it surely is not.
You will also have the contract address that you can utilize to send out the relevant data.
How Are the NFT Contracts Written?
So, you may be wondering how to create such a contract. If you want to be this “gourmet” NFT creator and do everything from scratch, you will probably need some IT experience.
But fortunately, there are a lot of programs that can help you out with drafting your very first smart contract. In the case of Ethereum, most people recommend using Solidity as it is one of the most popular and easy-to-use programs on the market. You can also try Rust and Vyper as popular alternatives.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to use software that is in line with the type of blockchain you are trying to work on. If you create something strictly for Ethereum and use Solana to mint your NFTs, it can turn out pretty badly. Keep that in mind while drafting your contracts.
Types of Smart Contracts
So, now that we know the concepts of NFTs, smart contracts, and know which programming languages are best suited for our needs, let’s talk about the different types of smart contracts you may encounter in the crypto space.
The most common one is the ERC-20, but it is mainly used for fungible tokens, such as cryptocurrencies, so we will not dive into further details.
The ones you need to look out for when talking about NFT are the ERC721 and ERC1155. Both standards are common in the NFT space, and for a reason – they are used for essential purposes in the NFT creation process. The first one, ERC721, is commonly used when creating a singular NFT, while ERC1155 is best for production purposes and can be great for fungible and semi-fungible tokens.
For our purposes, it is mostly it, as there are plenty of different standards when it comes to NFTs. Still, if you are not planning on doing something scarce, a true once-a-lifetime kind of thing, you can be sure that you will never hear of any other standard in your lifetime.
How to Create Smart Contracts?
So, let’s get into some NFT creation. It is not the most difficult of processes, but we will guide you through it so you can be sure you are doing everything right. Creating smart contracts is pretty much data insertion into a project folder and later into the JSON file, so only the owner can access this data.
We will go with the ERC721 token standard, so be sure to prepare your wallet to connect to the Ethereum network. There are many smart contract methods that are utilized in this space, but for this sample project, we will take the most prominent and common blockchain.
Connect to the Ethereum Blockchain Network
First things first – connecting to the Ethereum network. The best way to go about it is using Alchemy API, which links your code to the ledgers easily and understandably. To accomplish that, create an Alchemy API account. It is a completely free, open-source app that will guide you through the whole process.
Connect Your Digital Wallet
Whether you use a MetaMask or any other digital wallet, you must connect it to the platform. Ensure that your wallet can connect to the Ethereum blockchain and access the faucet ETH as well, as it is all we will be working with right now. It would be unwise for the test run to use the real ETH because this guide could cost hundreds of dollars, and that would be an extremely unwise investment.
Add Some Currency
So, now that we have our wallet and Alchemy app going, let’s add some test currency to our MetaMask (or other wallets of your choice). The first thing you need to do is to fill out the target wallet address. Now, we will get some FaucETH to our wallet. To do it, it’s best to use the Ethereum Goerli testnet.
- Run MetaMask wallet on the Ethereum Goerli test net
- Copy Goerli wallet address from the app
- Paste the address into FaucETH
- Click on the “Request Funds” button
- Then, choose “Ethernet Testnet Goerli”
- “Request Funds” one more time
And there you have it; the fake funds should be on your fake account.
Next thing you need to do before drafting the contract itself is to install the Hardhat project app. It is a blockchain-based development platform that will help you get out and test your smart contracts beforehand. It is the best app for you to use if you are only starting with drafting smart contracts and are looking for a way to make this whole process a tad bit easier and safer.
It will also help you compile, test, deploy, and debug your Ethereum software, which is great for all crypto purposes.
How To Write a Smart Contract?
And now, onto the main point – how to write a smart contract guide, part one, after the preparation phase. The most important thing you need to remember if you want to write a contract is that it is something that everyone does, even people with no experience with the topic, so don’t be afraid to do something wrong. Once you stop being afraid, you also need to understand how to read an NFT smart contract.
The crypto community is opening up to many people who are not in the smart contract development business so that they can also use and utilize this tool to their benefit. Think about it more like a real-world contract, where sometimes you need to go to a lawyer, but if you would draft something simple based on the draft you’ve found on the internet, you can craft the smart contract code in no time.
The first thing you must do in drafting a smart contract is to provision a blockchain platform instance. The best way of going about this is using Oracle, as there are a lot of tools and security granted there. So, create an account on the Oracle Infrastructure account. After you’ve done that, go to the Services panel right under the Blockchain Platform Menu.
Next, click the Create Blockchain Platform and put all your data there. Now, you have all your documentation in the Oracle Infrastructure.
Blockchain App Builder
The next thing you need to do is to install the Blockchain App Builder. As the title suggests, it combines all the necessary components of all the blockchain development elements and creates a code based on the specs you’ve put in before.
- To install Blockchain App Builder, go to the Dev Tools panel in the Oracle Blockchain console.
- Next, go to the Blockchain App Builder panel that will be available in the menu.
- Go to the download section and select the CLI, which means Command Line Interface or VS (Visual Studio).
Now you have your Blockchain App Builder Installed.
Oracle Smart Contract Deployment
Oracle is great at creating smart contracts based on the parameters you’ve set and will make it so that no coding is required from you. You can generate smart contracts easily if you just fill out all the fields and brackets correctly. Oracle makes it so that there is no issue for a newbie in the field to create a smart contract for themselves.
Generate Smart Contract
The first thing you need to do is to generate your smart contract. First, go to the Chaincodes in the workplace and click on the plus button. Add all the data into the blanks and select Create. After that, the chain code will get generated, and users can see the smart contract. Remember to use the HardHat app to see if there are any issues with your smart contract and just to keep everything safer with your sample NFT specification file.
Deploy Smart Contract
If everything seems to be running smoothly, you should be able to deploy your smart contract with a Blockchain App Builder and have your contract up and running. The devs/bots will check the contract for any issues, and you’re good to go.
Test Your Contract
But – it’s always great to be sure. So – test your contract! It’s not unusual to create a space for contract development that has a lot of checks and balances, and it is not different in the case of smart contracts as well. In this place, however, the onus is on you to ensure everything runs smoothly and is all according to your plan.
To check it, go to the Execute panel in the Chaincode details. You will see many NFT functions that you can check out on your own if something is wrong. The Oracle development environment has many great tools for creating smart contracts and other crypto-related elements, so be sure to click through this app and see what other elements can be utilized in your future projects.
Now that you have your smart contract, check on all the elements NFT creators are about. See how all the aspects of NFT creation are coming together, such as different rarity types, quantity, and how to put them all together in one file.
Smart contracts are a great way of keeping the NFT environment in check and can provide a lot of utility in many different projects over the internet. In the case of NFTs, it is necessary, so be sure to keep that in mind while drafting your contracts.
How to Publish an NFT Collection
There is one more element that we should discuss with smart contracts, and it’s – NFT collections. As you may have noticed, creating smart contracts is all fun and games when you have one, but what if you have a collection of one hundred?
Well, it can all be solved with smart contracts, of all things. So, let’s say you have a collection of different artworks you want to mint, but it would cost a lot of money and effort to go one by one for each piece in the collection.
So, you can create a smart contract that will verify the authenticity of the whole collection.
A smart contract can assign a token for each piece and, that way – confirm the authenticity of each asset on its own accord. NFT smart contracts can create a collection and prove authenticity based on blockchain reliability.
How to do it? Well, there are some ways to accomplish this task. Of course, you can use Oracle, but for this kind of element, we can present a different type of software that is also pretty useful in most circumstances.
Smart Contracts – Collections
In collections, we do not want to bother with loads of details to create such a collection. We could use an OpenZeppelin contracts library, but for this one, we’ve chosen a different kind of tool to deal with a lot of additional files. You can use this one in many other circumstances, for example, in your everyday minting purposes too.
To deploy smart contracts with NiftyKit, you must first create an account. It’s a pretty simple process; there should be no issues. After that, go to Create Collection and add:
- The main photo
- Banner image
- Collection name
- Collection symbol
- Custom description.
After that, you can start uploading your NFTs easily and understandably. The whole thing costs around ten bucks to mint your NFTs, so if that is a sum you are willing to pay for your collection, so be it.
Frequently Asked Questions
So, now that we’ve gone through the whole process of understanding, creating, and deploying smart contracts, let’s go over the most frequent questions regarding the NFT space to clear out all confusion about it.
Can I Use Cryptocurrencies Other than Ethereum?
Yes, you can! Depending on your blockchain, you can use a completely different set of coins if you feel like changing things up. Two of the most popular right now on the market are Solana and Polygon. Solana is pretty cheap, and you can find some dedicated NFT marketplaces that focus on these coins. Polygon, on the other hand, is supported by the biggest NFT marketplace – OpenSea, so you can get some pretty good recognition using that.
How Can I Make My NFTs Visible?
If you went through the whole process, your NFTs should be available to find on the blockchain of your choice. After that, you can put them on the NFT marketplace or deploy them to your website, where you sell your stuff.
Some digital wallets, like MetaMask, allow you to automatically transfer all your NFTs to the marketplace of your choice without any additional actions.
Why Is No One Buying My NFTs?
The most important thing about selling NFTs is marketing. The best way to sell your NFTs is to market them to the public appealingly and excitingly. Most of the NFTs sold for millions of dollars had some story with them, a little nostalgia, like with CryptoPunks, hype-generation like Bored Ape Yacht Club, or a political statement like with the Pak’s “Clock” piece on Julian Assange.
If you believe your project is good, find a narrative with which to sell it. Find like-minded people on Twitter, Telegram, and Discord groups, where people discuss topics close to your heart/crypto and show them your works. It may not be an immediate success, but if you are willing to practice good marketing and public relations skills, you will surely get out there in no time!
How to Create a Smart Contract for NFT – Conclusion
Thank you for checking out our article on creating a smart contract for NFT. It was a long and winding journey, but we hope you found something while reading our work. If you feel like we’ve missed something or there is something more to be told on the topic, please let us know, and we will indeed amend it in the process.
Creating smart contracts can seem like a hard process, but if you put your mind to it, you can easily get it done without getting an IT degree or hiring a whole team to sell your pictures online. Remember that many people are working on similar projects, and they can do it with no issues whatsoever. And we believe you can also do it with a bit of help.
Writing on NFT-related stuff is always fun as this technology is getting more and more interesting daily. We hope that you found this article informative and interesting. Check out other articles on NFTs we’ve prepared for you. There is great information to discover, so don’t miss out on it.
Thanks for stopping by, and we will see you at the next one. Stay safe!