NFT development has emerged as one of the top priorities in the world of web3. Among the many blockchains used for NFT development, Ethereum always comes on top. It is the trusted destination for smart contract development, which serves as the core of creating non-fungible tokens. On the other hand, you are here to find out how to create NFT on Solana blockchain. Why?

Solana has emerged as a promising solution to the problems of scalability and interoperability with Ethereum blockchain. Interestingly, Solana offers unique tools to help you with NFT development. For example, the Metaplex Candy Machine could help in creating NFTs on Solana within a few minutes. Let us find out more about the easiest step-by-step guide to creating NFTs on Solana blockchain.

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Fundamentals of NFTs

Before moving further, it is important to reflect on the basics of NFTs and how they work. You can find answers to ‘Why should I create NFTs on Solana?’ by exploring the value of non-fungible tokens. NFTs or non-fungible tokens are unique crypto assets that have their own distinct on-chain signature. 

If you want to build NFT marketplace on Solana, then you must know about the use of NFTs. Non-fungible tokens can serve as representatives of digital art, certificates, virtual collectibles, online tickets, and proof of ownership on blockchain networks. You must know that NFTs are not limited to a few unique images on the internet. 

Misconceptions regarding the utility of NFTs have led to the rise of projects without any clear definition of utility. The actual value of NFTs is visible in how they can verify the uniqueness of a specific asset with cryptographic proof. Before creating Solana NFT projects, you should know that NFTs are available in different forms, such as MP3s, PDFs, JPEGs, MP4s, and PNGs. However, the files serve as the tangible aspects of the NFTs, which anyone could copy like other digital files. The real value of NFTs is in the cryptographic signature. Even if two NFTs have the same file, you can notice uniqueness of on-chain data. 

You must also note that the file types mentioned previously are too large for blockchain storage. Therefore, you would have to rely on decentralized storage solutions for such NFT files. Subsequently, the NFT metadata includes links to the files in decentralized storage, and the NFT metadata goes to on-chain storage. 

When you would use the Solana NFT maker tool, you would mint the NFTs or store the NFT metadata with unique cryptographic identifiers on the chain. If you want to create an NFT, then you would need an on-chain transaction. In addition, the details included in the NFT metadata would also differ according to the type of NFT standard. It is also important to remember that you have to include certain mandatory metadata details while some parameters are optional.

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Reasons to Use Solana for Creating NFTs

The discussion on creating NFTs with Solana blockchain would also require emphasis on the reasons for using Solana for creating NFTs. The answers to “How do I start an NFT project on Solana?” would draw your attention towards Solana and its value advantages. Solana is a popular non-EVM blockchain with the advantage of flexible programmability. As a non-EVM blockchain, Solana does not use tools like the ones you would find in Ethereum. For example, you can find different development tools in Solana and you cannot use Metamask in Solana. 

Most important of all, Solana has its unique variations of smart contracts or programs. Solana programs work in the same way as Ethereum smart contracts. The ‘programs’ in Solana ensure that applications work in accordance with predefined rules. Solana programs can achieve the same by executing predefined actions upon fulfillment of predefined conditions. You can build NFT marketplace on Solana or create new collections with the help of Solana programs. 

Interestingly, Solana programs are one of the dedicated NFT mint tools in Solana. In addition, Solana also provides another reason for developing NFTs with its independent token standard. Solana does not adhere to the ERC-721 and ERC-1155 standards for NFT development. On the contrary, it uses the SPL token standard for representing non-fungible tokens on the Solana chain. 

The prominent advantages of Solana programs and SPL token standard provide enough reasons to consider the use of Solana for NFT development. In addition, Solana also offers the assurance of low transaction fees alongside high speed, which can support NFT development projects. However, it is also important to learn about the significance of Metaplex in providing opportunities for NFT development on Solana. 

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What is the Use of Metaplex in Solana NFT Development?

Metaplex is a renowned NFT ecosystem that features marketplaces, games, arts, and collectibles. You can use the Metaplex protocol for Solana NFT projects to access different tools and standards for the development process. Most important of all, Metaplex also offers a solution for creating NFTs on Solana in a completely decentralized manner. You can think of Metaplex as a combination of different smart contracts and tools that provide flexible ways for creating NFTs. Metaplex provides access to two popular tools, such as the NFT Candy Machine and Metaplex Storefront.

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Step-by-Step Guide for Creating NFTs on Solana 

You must be curious about the use of tools for flexible NFT development. Interestingly, the answers for ‘How do I start an NFT project on Solana?’ would direct you towards NFT Candy Machine. It is one of the most powerful tools that provide an easy way to create NFTs on Solana. Here is a detailed guide to the different steps for creating NFTs on Solana.

Steps For Creating NFTs On Solana

  • Configuration of Candy Machine V2

The first step to create NFT on Solana starts with the use of different tools. You would need important tools such as Git, NodeJS, TS-node, and the ‘yarn’ package manager. NodeJS can work as the JavaScript runtime. Yarn package manager could help in installation of required dependencies. Git can help in cloning the repository of code for creating NFTs. On top of it, the TS-node or TypeScript node would work as the execution environment. Once you have set up these tools, you would have to clone and install Metaplex through GitHub. 

  • Creation of Solana Wallet 

In the second step, you would have to focus on the importance of a Solana wallet. Why would you need a Solana wallet for creating NFTs? The wallet is an important requirement for execution of on-chain transactions to facilitate NFT minting. You can use a Solana NFT maker only if you have an adequate amount of SOL coins to cover the transaction fees required for minting NFTs. Interestingly, you can rely on the Solana tool suite for creating a local wallet without any major complications. However, it is important to remember that local wallets are vulnerable to secure threats and should be used only for development purposes. 

Developers can interact with the local Solana wallet by using commands such as

solana –version

solana address

solana balance

Developers must focus on minting dummy NFTs on the Solana devnet without using real SOL tokens. On the contrary, you can utilize ‘test’ SOL tokens. You can get the test SOL tokens by using the command ‘solana airdrop 2’. It is also important to remember that you would need real SOL tokens for using the NFT Candy Machine on Solana mainnet. 

  • Configuration of Candy Machine 

Once you have created the Solana wallet and added two test SOL tokens, you can open the cloned project. You can build NFT marketplace on Solana mainnet by using GitHub repositories for the clone. The ideal place to start would involve finding out the location of the ‘example-candy-machine-upload-config.json’ file. You could also rely on Arweave for storing the NFT files. On the other hand, you can also explore many other options for configuration of Candy Machine. Arweave is only one of the particular configurations that offer easiest approach for creating NFTs. 

  • Preparation of NFT Assets and Metadata for Creating NFTs

Even if you follow the simplest steps to create NFT on Solana, you would have to develop NFT files and metadata. With the right skills and knowledge, you can develop the assets on your own. On the contrary, you can also utilize example assets for creating NFT assets and metadata. You can find JSON files in the metadata of each NFT, and the image files can be represented as JPEGs and PNGs. You must also check the details of the JSON files to learn more about the NFT files and metadata. 

  • Uploading NFT Files and Metadata

The next step in developing Solana NFT projects includes uploading your NFT files and metadata. You would have to utilize the ‘upload’ command to achieve the task of uploading NFT files and metadata. The command helps in uploading NFT images and JSON files in the metadata to the decentralized storage solution of your choice. 

In addition, you can choose the command lines available in the Metaplex documentation with relevant modifications in the paths to suit your project requirements. You can conclude this step by deploying an instance of Candy Machine on the Solana devnet alongside uploading all the assets.

  • Creation of the NFT Collection 

With almost everything ready to create your NFTs on Solana, you need only a specific command line in the Metaplex docs. You can modify the command line to align with the path of your NFT development project. It is important to remember that the ‘Candy Machine Collection’ command could help in preparing a collection of your NFTs. 

You would also have the chance to assign your NFTs to the collection in the minting phase. Finally, you would have to verify the uploading of assets through Metaplex. Even if the upload verification process is not mandatory, you should complete it to ensure proper uploading of all your assets.

  • Minting the NFTs 

The final step in the process of using the Solana NFT maker tools for creating your NFT collection involves NFT minting. You can create NFTs by copying the required command from Metaplex docs and changing it according to your file paths. In addition, it is important to note that you would have two distinct options for minting NFTs with Metaplex. 

First of all, you can go for individual minting of Solana NFTs. On the other hand, you can also opt for batch or bulk minting of NFTs. The facility of batch or bulk minting helps in creating multiple NFTs within a single transaction. Once you have created the NFT collection successfully, you can take a look at them in the Solana devnet or explorer.

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Explore the Possibilities of Creating Compressed NFTs

The most unique highlight of using Solana for creating NFTs is the facility to create compressed NFTs. You can find unique responses to “How do I start an NFT project on Solana?” in the form of compressed NFTs. Compressed NFTs involve the use of Merkle trees and state compression for reducing the storage cost of NFTs. 

Rather than storing the metadata of NFTs in a Solana account, compressed NFTs use the ledger for metadata storage. As a result, the compressed NFTs can capitalize on the benefits of speed and security with the Solana blockchain. At the same time, compressed NFTs also support the reduction of overall storage costs. Most important of all, compressed NFTs follow the same structure for metadata as the uncompressed NFTs. 

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Final Words

The review of steps to create Solana NFT projects shows that you can rely on Metaplex and Candy Machine to achieve your objective. Candy Machine is a promising tool that removes the technical jargon from the NFT development process. On top of it, the Solana blockchain offers multiple advantages for the creation of NFT collections. 

For example, it offers the benefits of low transaction fees and faster transaction finality. You can also explore the chances of creating compressed NFTs for saving costs with Solana NFT development. However, it is important to move beyond example NFTs for creating your own NFT collections with Solana. Learn more about the fundamentals of Solana and its different components to figure out the best practices for creating NFT collections on the Solana blockchain.   

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*Disclaimer: The article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. Claims made in this article do not constitute investment advice and should not be taken as such. 101 Blockchains shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this article. Do your own research!