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A Comprehensive Guide to NFT Smart Contracts

6 months ago
By Liwaa
Written by
Liwaa
20.03.2023

TL;DR

NFTs are unique digital assets that use smart contracts to manage ownership, transferability and any other rules that govern their use.

NFTs are different from fungible tokens such as cryptocurrencies as they cannot be replicated or exchanged for something else.

NFTs are used to represent ownership of unique digital assets such as art, music, and collectibles.

Blockchain is the technology that enables NFTs and allows them to be unique, secure, transparent, and decentralized.

Ethereum was the first blockchain to support NFTs, and it remains the most popular. Other blockchains that support NFTs include Binance Smart Chain, Flow, Polygon, Solana, TRON, Polkadot, Klaytn, Tezos, Cosmos, Avalanche, and Polymath.

NFTs can be created using smart contracts, which are programs that are stored on the blockchain.

There are several types of NFTs, including art, gaming, and collectibles.

While there are risks associated with NFTs, there are also ways to mitigate these risks, such as diversification and taking security measures.

Some popular platforms that allow users to create and sell NFTs easily include OpenSea, Rarible, Mintable, Nifty Gateway, SuperRare, and Foundation.


NFTs are created and managed using smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts that facilitate transactions on the blockchain. In this article, we will discuss NFT smart contracts, the different types of NFTs, and the blockchains that support them. We will also deep dive into different ways to create and mint NFTs based on your requirements. 

Fungible vs. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

Fungible Tokens and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are two different types of digital assets. Fungible tokens, such as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, are interchangeable with one another and have the same value. They can be divided into smaller units and traded without any loss of value. On the other hand, NFTs are unique and cannot be replicated or exchanged for something else. Each NFT is one-of-a-kind and has its unique value, making it more like a traditional collectible than a currency. While fungible tokens are used primarily as a means of exchange or store of value, NFTs are used to represent ownership of unique digital assets such as art, music, and collectibles.

NFT Smart Contracts

NFTs are created using smart contracts, which are programs that are stored on the blockchain. These contracts define the terms and conditions of the NFT, including its ownership, transferability, and any other rules that govern its use. Smart contracts are executed automatically when certain conditions are met, ensuring that the NFT is secure and tamper-proof.

Smart contracts are a significant innovation in the blockchain space that enable the creation, management, and transfer of NFTs. By using smart contracts, developers can ensure that NFTs are secure and transparent, and that transactions involving them are executed automatically without the need for intermediaries. Smart contracts are also self-executing, meaning that they eliminate the need for human intervention in the management of NFTs.

Blockchains that Support NFTs

Blockchain is the technology that enables NFTs and allows them to be unique, secure, transparent, and decentralised. Several blockchains support NFTs, each with their unique advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most popular blockchains that support NFTs include:

Ethereum

Ethereum was the first blockchain to support NFTs, and it remains the most popular. The ERC-721 and ERC-1155 standards are used to create NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum has a large and active developer community, making it easy for developers to create and deploy NFTs.

ERC-721 standard allows you to create a static NFT with a specific digital asset, for example if you are minting your digital art into an NFT then you would use this standard as it will always be the same artwork that you uploaded.

ERC-1155 standard allows you to create dynamic NFT which changes based on specific criteria, for example if you are minting a game related NFT, say a character in a game then using ERC-1155 allows this character to evolve and change shape as you level-up.

Binance Smart Chain

Binance Smart Chain is a newer blockchain that has gained popularity due to its low fees and fast transaction times. It supports the creation of NFTs using the BEP-721 standard. Binance Smart Chain is a good option for developers who want to create NFTs quickly and with low fees.

Flow

Flow is a blockchain that was specifically designed for NFTs and gaming. It uses the Cadence programming language and supports the creation of NFTs using the Fungible Token standard. Flow is a good option for developers who want to create NFTs for gaming or other applications that require a high level of performance.

Polygon

Polygon is a Layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum that supports NFTs. Some of the most successful NFT projects on Polygon include Aavegotchi, a DeFi-powered game where players can own and trade virtual ghosts, and ZED RUN, a digital horse racing game.

Solana

Solana is a high-performance blockchain platform that supports NFTs. Some of the most successful NFT projects on Solana include Solana Monkey Business, a collection of unique digital monkeys, and Grape Protocol, a decentralised social network that allows users to create and trade NFTs.

TRON

TRON is a blockchain platform that supports NFTs through its TRC-721 standard. Some of the most successful NFT projects on TRON include CryptoDungeons, a blockchain-based multiplayer game, and The Sandbox, a virtual world where players can create, share, and monetize their own gaming experiences.

Polkadot

Polkadot is a blockchain platform that supports NFTs through its Substrate framework. One of the most successful NFT projects on Polkadot is Kusama Network, a blockchain-based art auction platform.

Klaytn

Klaytn is a blockchain platform that supports NFTs through its KIP-17 standard. Some of the most successful NFT projects on Klaytn include Axie Infinity, a digital pet game, and Terra Virtua, a virtual reality platform for NFT-based experiences.

Tezos

Tezos is a blockchain platform that supports NFTs through its FA2 standard. Some notable NFT projects on Tezos include Hic et Nunc, a digital art marketplace, and Kalamint, a platform for minting and trading NFTs.

Cosmos

Cosmos is a blockchain platform that supports NFTs through its Inter Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol. Some notable NFT projects on Cosmos include Juno, a DeFi platform that allows users to earn interest on their NFTs, and Cyber, a decentralised social network that allows users to create and trade NFTs.

Avalanche

Avalanche is a blockchain platform that supports NFTs through its X-Chain. Some notable NFT projects on Avalanche include AVAXtars, a collection of unique digital avatars, and VulcanVerse, a virtual world where players can own and trade virtual land.

Polymath

Polymath is a blockchain platform that allows for the creation and management of security tokens, including NFTs. Some notable NFT projects on Polymath include HENI, an art investment platform that allows users to buy and sell shares in valuable art pieces, and CurioInvest, a platform that allows users to invest in collectible cars as NFTs.

Cardano

Cardano is a blockchain platform that is working on supporting NFTs through its Plutus programming language. Some notable NFT projects on Cardano include Cardano Kidz, a collection of unique digital characters.

Advantages of NFT Smart Contracts

Smart contracts offer several advantages over traditional contracts, particularly in the case of NFTs. Some of the benefits of smart contracts include:

Automation: Smart contracts are self-executing, meaning that they can automatically execute the terms of the contract when certain conditions are met. This eliminates the need for intermediaries and reduces the risk of error or fraud.

Security: Smart contracts are stored on the blockchain, making them secure and tamper-proof. This ensures that the terms of the contract are enforced and that the NFT cannot be replicated or tampered with.

Transparency: The terms of the smart contract are visible to all parties involved, ensuring that there is no ambiguity or misunderstanding. This improves transparency and reduces the risk of disputes.

Cost-effective: Smart contracts can be executed automatically, reducing the need for intermediaries and reducing the cost of executing the contract. Different blockchains offer different level of fees and utilities to the NFTs.

Challenges of NFT Smart Contracts

While NFT smart contracts offer several benefits, there are also some challenges associated with them. Some of the challenges include:

Complexity: Creating and deploying smart contracts can be complex, particularly for developers who are new to the technology. This can increase the cost and time required to create NFTs.

Scalability: Some blockchains may not be able to handle the high volume of transactions required for NFTs, particularly in the case of popular games or art pieces. This can lead to slow transaction times and high fees. People started using high scalability blockchain solutions like Polygon to create NFTs at scale, however, it still requires more work to acheive optimal results.

Regulation: The regulatory environment for NFTs is still uncertain, particularly in terms of ownership and transferability. This can create legal challenges for developers and investors.

Future of NFT Smart Contracts

The future of NFT smart contracts looks bright, with more and more developers and investors entering the market. As the technology continues to mature, we can expect to see even more innovation in this space. Some potential areas of growth include:

Interoperability: Developers may create standards that allow NFTs to be transferred between different blockchains, increasing liquidity and value.

Integration: NFTs may be integrated into other applications, such as social media or e-commerce platforms, increasing their visibility and accessibility.

Tokenization: NFTs may be used to represent real-world assets, such as real estate or stocks, creating new opportunities for investment and ownership.

Platforms offering easy NFT minting solutions

These platforms allow users to create their own NFTs without any knowledge of coding or programming. These platforms provide a user-friendly interface for creating and managing NFTs, making it easy for creators and collectors to participate in the NFT market. They offer a range of customizable templates and tools for managing NFTs, making it easy for users to create and sell their own unique digital assets.

OpenSea

OpenSea is one of the largest NFT marketplaces and allows users to create their NFTs without coding. They provide customizable templates for creating NFTs and offer tools for managing royalties and other aspects of the NFT. OpenSea supports a wide range of blockchain platforms, including Ethereum, Polygon, and Binance Smart Chain.

Rarible

Rarible is another popular NFT marketplace that allows users to create their NFTs without coding. They provide customizable templates for creating NFTs and offer tools for managing royalties and other aspects of the NFT. Rarible supports a wide range of blockchain platforms, including Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Flow.

Mintable

Mintable is a platform that allows users to create and sell NFTs without coding. They provide customizable templates for creating NFTs and offer tools for managing royalties and other aspects of the NFT. Mintable supports a wide range of blockchain platforms, including Ethereum, Polygon, and Binance Smart Chain.

Nifty Gateway

Nifty Gateway is a platform that specializes in limited-edition NFT drops by popular artists and brands. They allow users to create and sell NFTs without coding and provide customizable templates for creating NFTs. Nifty Gateway supports the Ethereum blockchain.

SuperRare

SuperRare is a platform that specializes in digital art NFTs and allows users to create and sell NFTs without coding. They provide customizable templates for creating NFTs and offer tools for managing royalties and other aspects of the NFT. SuperRare supports the Ethereum blockchain.

Foundation

Foundation is a platform that allows users to create and sell NFTs without coding. They provide customizable templates for creating NFTs and offer tools for managing royalties and other aspects of the NFT. Foundation supports the Ethereum blockchain.

Non-Fungible Curators (NFC)

At what. we are speciailised in NFT marketing and getting them ready to launch in the market. Our recent initiative Non-Fungible Curators (NFC) enables artists to access a launchpad allowing them to launch their artwork as NFTs with ease. There is no hassle to learn coding or programming, we do all the technical work for them including building their own website and hosting it on their own domain. This allows artists to focus on their work while offering them a platform to monetise their art.

Types of NFTs

There are several types of NFTs, each with their unique characteristics and uses. These are some utilities and use cases for NFTs, however, we are still discovering new possibilities as we continue to grow and evolve the technology.

Art NFTs

Art NFTs are digital art pieces that are unique and cannot be replicated. They are often sold at high prices and are considered a new form of art. Art NFTs have gained significant attention from collectors and investors, with some pieces selling for millions of dollars.

Gaming NFTs

Gaming NFTs are digital assets that can be used in games, such as weapons or characters. They can be traded or sold, and their value can increase as the game becomes more popular. Gaming NFTs have created a new market for game developers, providing a new way to monetize games and increase player engagement.

Collectibles NFTs

Collectibles NFTs are unique digital items that are collected by users, such as trading cards or unique digital items. Collectibles NFTs have gained significant popularity in the past few years, with some pieces selling for millions of dollars. They have created a new market for collectors and investors, providing a new way to own and trade unique digital items.

Potential Risks

While NFTs have the potential to revolutionize the way we own and trade digital assets, there are also some potential risks associated with them.

Volatility: The value of NFTs can be highly volatile, which can lead to significant losses for investors. This is particularly true for NFTs that are not backed by tangible assets.

Lack of liquidity: NFTs can be difficult to sell, particularly if there is no active market for them. This can make it difficult for investors to exit their positions.

Security risks: While smart contracts are designed to be secure, there is always the risk of security breaches or hacks. This can lead to the loss of the NFT or the funds used to purchase it.

Environmental impact: The creation and sale of NFTs can have a significant environmental impact, particularly in terms of energy consumption. This has led to concerns about the sustainability of NFTs.

Mitigating Risks

While there are risks associated with NFTs, there are also ways to mitigate these risks.

Diversification: Investors can reduce their risk by diversifying their NFT holdings, spreading their investments across different types of NFTs and blockchains.

Due diligence: Investors should conduct thorough research before investing in NFTs, including the reputation of the seller, the authenticity of the NFT, and the potential risks associated with the investment.

Security measures: Investors should take steps to secure their NFTs, including using secure wallets and backup systems, and keeping their private keys secure.

Sustainability: Developers and investors can take steps to reduce the environmental impact of NFTs, including using renewable energy sources and offsetting their carbon emissions.

Conclusion

NFTs are a new and exciting development in the blockchain space, offering a unique way to own and trade digital assets. Smart contracts are used to create and manage NFTs, ensuring that they are secure and tamper-proof. There are several types of NFTs, including art, gaming, and collectibles. Several blockchains support NFTs, including Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Flow. As the NFT market continues to grow, we can expect to see even more innovation in this space.

Liwaa