Thinking about getting your first NFT? Do yourself a favour and read this guide before you dive in. I’ll show you how to buy your first NFT and avoid common (costly) mistakes.
Intro to NFTs
A non-fungible token (NFT) is a type of crypto token, just like bitcoin or ethereum. Non-fungible means that it is unique, and cannot be exchanged one for one (unlike regular money).
Hot on the heels of Ethereum, NFTs on Solana are exploding in popularity. Institutions and celebrities have entered the space, and new sales records are being broken frequently.
One such example is the investment firm Moonrock Capital snapping up rare NFTs from various collection including Degenerate Ape Academy, Solana Monkey Business and Sollamas. The Ape purchased also marks the first sale over a million dollars.
Solana is making NFTs fun again
How did Solana NFTs catch up to the madness on Ethereum so quickly? Well, it turns out NFTs on Solana are just way more accessible to the masses. It isn’t because the art is better, but rather due to the high speed and low fees on the Solana blockchain.
Let’s face it – no one wants to spend more on gas than the actual art.
Building on Solana allows NFT project teams to be innovative. Projects can introduce more complex utility to allow owners to interact with their NFTs, such as gameplay or micro-transactions.
This is the main reason why NFT market places on Solana are thriving and new projects are added every week. However, with all these projects and $SOL mooning, it’s no longer as easy to just mint and sell for double on the market place like it used to be.
All of this leads us to believe that we are early, and that NFTs on Solana will continue to grow, providing an opportunity for investment.
To Mint or to Buy?
There are different ways to acquire an NFT:
- P2P market places, where sellers can specify a price depending on demand and rarity.
- Mint them on launch, where the price is fixed and the rarity is chance.
Minting can be very exciting, but also very stressful. Delays at 2am in the morning, websites crashing and simply not knowing whether the price is worth it.
|Mint||– Chance to get something rare at a low price|
– Adrenaline rush
|– Risk of paying too much, wasting time|
– Last minute changes to schedule or technical difficulties
– Chance of sell out
– Waste of time as the lotteries give only a small chance to mint
|Buy||– Get exactly what you want||– Rarities are expensive|
High mint prices (mainly due to rise in price of $SOL) have led to more and more launches “failing”. They never sell out and remaining tokens end up being burnt or airdropped to minters.
During this confusing time it’s often better to just pick up an NFT from the market place at its market determined price.
Which ever you decide to do, you will need $SOL tokens and a compatible wallet.
Get the native currency $SOL
Every NFT on Solana is bought and sold at a $SOL value, the native currency of the Solana blockchain. If you don’t have tokens yet, follow the link below to create an account.
Register an account on FTX (please use my affialite link to support the site), choose a strong password and verify your identity.
I recommend FTX for amazing UX and ease of use. I managed to get through KYC within 10 minutes and had stable coins deposited. Most coins are accepted so you shouldn’t struggle to send some funds there to get your first $SOL.
Now let’s get ready for your withdrawal of these newly acquired coins.
Get a wallet or two, for safety
You will require a wallet to store your tokens and interact with market places or minting sites.
Generally there are a few that are supported everywhere, but our personal favourites are Phantom and Sollet. Both have Chrome/Brave extensions for operation through your browser.
As a precaution, I make use of two separate wallets. One for storing all my funds and NFTs and another “burner wallet” that only has the minimum amount of SOL (and NFTs) on it.
A god reason to use a “burner wallet” is to avoid losing it all when you get hacked/scammed/whatever. There have been too many stories of impersonators that manage to tricking suspects and sweeping their wallets.
Some rules for your wallet
- Please use a burner wallet
- Choose a strong password
- Do not share your seed phrase/private key with anyone
- If you are storing a lot of funds on these wallets, make sure you test your seed phrase every now and then
- Always check the URL before connecting to a site (you connect to a scam site and approve a transaction = your wallet gets swept)
NFT Market Places – which is the best?
One cool aspect of Solana NFTs are the homegrown market places and the competition between them. Some sprung up from PFP projects like Bold Badgers, Solarians, Piggy Solgang.
After pulling off successful mints and raising money, the teams starting developing their own market place in a quest for volume and liquidity.
|Solanart||OG market place with most volume – the big projects get sold here||4/5|
|Alpha.art||Newcomer with slick UX for both buyers and sellers||4/5|
|DigitalEyes||Slow to add features, caching issues||2/5|
|Magic Eden||Lacking volume but good MP||3/5|
Magic Eden seems to be helping brands create their own white labeled market places. Perhaps this is a trend to watch. An example is the ThugDAO’s marketplace.
Centralised Market Places & Exchanges
Centralised exchanges have seemingly started jumping on the NFT trend, like FTX US and soon Coinbase (for Ethereum though). Something to remember is the difference to decentralised market places:
- NFT custody with them
- KYC required to purchase
However, there seems to be demand. As of writing Coinbase had over 2 million users on its waiting list.
Viewing your NFTs
After buying NFTs you will want a place to view them in private but also a place where you can put your best on display for all to see.
We’ve written about Step, the “front page of Solana” before, but did you know they also have a great NFT gallery? I woudn’t be surprised if the team launches an update to this real soon.
Drop your wallet address on NFTEyez see a gallery of all the NFTs in the address. Only unlisted NFTs will be shown.
SolStead is an NFT project of 2472 homes with a unique address. Owners of a Solstead can display their NFTs in their house’s gallery. Any one on the web can navigate to the owners address and peep inside. Solstead’s are the first of this kind of project on Solana and managed to retain instant bluechip status.
Check out data and analytics on the most popular NFT collections.