NFT Marketplace Basics
The world of non-fungible tokens has exploded in recent years, with the market for these unique digital assets growing rapidly. As the popularity of the NFT market and ecosystem has increased, so too has NFT marketplace development.
Social media, ever growing interest in the blockchain network and its decentralized nature, as well as the high quality artwork creators have proven to produce for their digital collectibles play a huge part in the popularity of NFTs and NFT marketplaces.
Over the past few years, some individual NFTs sold for millions of dollars, with Beeple's NFT selling for $69 Million, making it the most expensive NFT to date.
NFTs are unique digital assets that are verified on a blockchain with a unique identifier, making them scarce and valuable. NFTs can represent a wide range of digital assets, including artworks, collectibles, and even tweets and GIFs.
Unlike cryptocurrencies (think bitcoin - if you trade one token for another, you'll have exactly the same thing because bitcoin is "fungible"), NFTs cannot be replaced by another token as they are unique. There are many types of NFTs: art, music, photography, video game items, tickets to events, digital collectibles, trading cards and virtual worlds, domain names, and tons of other digital items - there are even NFTs just for the memes. NFTs can provide utility both in the metaverse and in the real world, with access to special features or even real estate.
NFT marketplaces are online platforms that allow users to buy, sell, trade NFTs, and they often offer additional features such as the ability to mint NFTs and manage personal NFT collections. Minting is the process of creating and issuing a new NFT, often requiring the use of a crypto wallet and the payment of fees in cryptocurrencies such as ETH.
Although every NFT marketplace works differently, one of the main features of NFT marketplace platforms is their use of smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement written into lines of code. Smart contracts allow for the automation of many tasks and processes, making NFT marketplaces efficient and transparent.
Smart contracts work by following simple "if/when...then..." statements that are written into code on a blockchain, meaning they are computer programs designed to run autonomously when predefined events or actions occur: with the right inputs, a certain output is guaranteed. The terms of a smart contract are specified in code, thus eliminating the need for human intervention, intermediaries or a central authority.
The Ethereum (ETH) ecosystem is a home to many NFT creators and collectors. On the Ethereum blockchain, like on any other blockchain, NFTs are minted through smart contracts that assign ownership and manage the transferability of the NFTs. When someone creates or mints an NFT, they execute code stored in smart contracts that conform to different standards, such as ERC-721. Tokens that follow this standard are compatible with any Ethereum-based project.
Ethereum is currently the most popular blockchain for NFT development, with the ERC-721 and ERC-1155 standards being widely used.
Other blockchain platforms such as Cardano, Binance Smart Chain and Solana are also being used for the creation of NFTs and app development.
There are many NFT marketplaces available today, including well-known platforms like OpenSea and Rarible, as well as newer startups like Nifty Gateway and SuperRare. Each platform has its own unique features and target audience, with some focusing on specific types of NFTs or use cases.
In addition to the buying and selling of NFTs, many marketplaces also offer features such as metadata and the ability to create and manage a personal NFT collection. Metadata is additional information about an NFT, such as the artist's name or a description of the artwork.
Despite being the first and largest crypto, by prioritizing security over programmability, Bitcoin long lacked the world computer aspect of ETH, making the take off of NFTs in the Bitcoin ecosystem difficult. Stacks enables smart contract functionality for Bitcoin, allowing developers to build Web3 dApps (decentralized applications), DeFi and NFT marketplaces (the largest being Gamma.io), beyond Ethereum (ETH) and other blockchains, while enjoying the security of Bitcoin.
Gamma is an open NFT marketplace, a home for creators and collectors, a hub for the world's Web3 social identity. We specialize in collectibles and digital art.
The Gamma platform offers three core products, offering options for minting, selling, buying and auctioning NFT tokens. Gamma helps collectors discover incredible NFT collections and helps promote curated works from unique creators who share their story.
A user-first marketplace to find, explore, and collect extraordinary NFTs secured by Bitcoin, the most trusted and decentralized blockchain technology for digital assets.
A creator-first launchpad for artists to deploy their own NFT collection with fully tested, creator-owned, no-code smart contracts in minutes. Creators can sell their art at a fixed price or auction it, making it easy for beginner crypto artists to join the ecosystem.
A social platform, with user profiles, bringing together creators and collectors in an engaging and Web3-native way.
Before you can start buying Stacks NFTs, you'll need a digital wallet compatible with the Stacks blockchain as well as STX (the Stacks cryptocurrency).
The two Stacks-compatible wallets we recommend using are Hiro Wallet (desktop and chrome extension) and Xverse (mobile wallet and chrome extension). The crypto is available for purchase on exchanges such as OKCoin, KuCoin, and Gate.io.
NFT marketplace development
One of the key considerations for those looking to own or develop their own NFT marketplace is the selection of a domain name and the development of a user-friendly and visually appealing platform. UX design is an important factor in the success of an NFT marketplace, as is the ability to easily browse, mint and trade NFTs.
The development of NFT marketplaces typically involves both frontend and backend work. The frontend is the user-facing part of the platform, including the storefront and user experience. The backend is the behind-the-scenes technology that powers the platform, including the use of APIs and the integration of blockchain technology. The architectural components of an NFT marketplace must include a chosen blockchain, crypto wallets that can be integrated (think MetaMask or Coinbase), smart contracts and IPFS. Since NFT marketplace development requires specific technical skills and expertise, enlisting the help of a blockchain software development company can be useful to assist with the development process.
As with any emerging technology, there are still many unknowns and challenges when it comes to the development and use of NFTs and NFT marketplaces. However, the potential for the growth and adoption of this technology is significant, and it will be interesting to see how the NFT ecosystem evolves in the coming years.