How to Create an NFT Marketplace: Approaches, Features, Costs

How to Create an NFT Marketplace: Approaches, Features, Costs

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The statistics convincingly show that the NFT marketplace development is promising. The researchers forecast NFT segment revenue in 2023 to be 3,546.00 million USD. If the revenue growth rate matches the forecast figure of 22.82%, there are reasons to believe that the total revenue of the NFT market will reach 8,068.00 million USD by 2027. The expected number of users in the field of NFT by 2027 will be 64.45 million, which also strengthens the optimism of investors and startups. 

It’s time to hurry to choose and take your place in this field. The existence of many similar platforms is only a reason to avoid their shortcomings when you build your own NFT marketplace. This article will help you with this.

We will tell you how the NFT marketplace is designed and operates. Buying and storing NFTs, the ability to make payments in cryptocurrencies, decentralized interaction of people, security of transactions, and data storage – all these main features of NFT marketplace development will also be revealed in this article. You will also learn how to create your own NFT marketplace.

Why Should You Build Yet Another NFT Marketplace?

An NFT marketplace is a platform where non-fungible tokens are sold and bought according to certain rules. Some similar platforms are universal – for any tokens of various categories and authors. However, as experience shows, such global marketplaces, crowded with sellers and items, are not suitable for everyone:

  • Some people are put off by the high fees and other related payments charged to users on large platforms. 
  • Others want to maintain more privacy, and therefore are concerned about the need to share additional personal data when registering an account on a universal marketplace. 
  • NFT owners may be frustrated that their items get lost in the huge listing of non-specialized sites. Sometimes the search in a large marketplace turns into quite a quest, even for a potential buyer who knows what he wants to find. 
  • Add here also incomplete information about NFT, which makes it difficult to decide on its purchase. The ability to 100% verify the authorship of the digital creative work you want to buy is also not provided on all marketplaces. 
  • In addition, large NFT platforms are not immune to fraud and theft. 

Given the above, it is highly likely that new specialized NFT marketplaces which allow convenient and safe buying of NFTs will attract various client audiences.

A popular cyber game, a famous museum, an organizer of regular events, a passionate collector, a sports club with a history, the glorious moments of which every fan keeps in his memory. What do all these very different people and organizations have in common? All of them are parts or even centers of communities. 

Gamers, fans, collectors, and other communities have their own traditions, rituals, and artifacts. Naturally, there is an interest in thematic NFTs among people who have common hobbies. Тrust in the marketplace owners, which could have arisen long before the blockchain era, the completeness and reliability of data on the tokens put up for sale, and the ease of searching in a limited number of item categories are quite obvious advantages.

Creating Niche NFT Marketplaces

It is possible that you would like to create an NFT marketplace that would specialize in a certain area. In this case, such a site will present items of a certain genre or type, or that are dedicated to your favorite topic. If you have your own creative output, you can turn your works into unique digital assets and offer them to fans at a price that you think is fair. 

Or maybe you have been gathering a collection of artifacts for years, and you want to show it to like-minded people from all over the world, offering them the chance to buy its parts. 

The use of NFT opens up ways of supplementary monetization and engagement in many areas. Visitors to festivals, sports, and entertainment events, art fans, and travelers – most of them will be pleased to receive special NFTs besides the usual souvenirs.

Then you should think about building an NFT marketplace focused on a specific topic. At the same time, it may be related to the implementation of a socially significant project. And further, as an illustration, we will show an example of such a marketplace.

Of course, creating an NFT marketplace requires your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). However, quite often, you already have everything needed for its generation.

A domain in which you excel. Understanding the needs of people who share your interests. Your personal Crypto & NFT experience. You can put together an impressive picture from such puzzles. For example, why don’t you make money from your hobby? A niche NFT marketplace could be your USP!

Do not forget that accurate audience targeting will help the success of the NFT marketplace development project. Understanding which connoisseurs are interested in the group of digital assets you are promoting is essential. It will help you at all stages of cooperation with the development company, including functionality, UI / UX design, third-party integrations, etc.

NFT Marketplace: How It Is Arranged, Details and Options

Let’s review the main elements of the platform. This will help you assess which features are crucial. You’ll also see which secondary features you’ll drop and which you’ll add because future users will like them. That way, it will be easier for you to prioritize.

1. The Main Features Your NFT Marketplace Must Have

Let’s make a general description of the basic functionality that should be provided when creating an NFT marketplace:

  • User authentication. 
  • The client’s ability to make payments and obtain ownership of the purchased NFTs. Such features can be implemented in an account created on the marketplace, or by providing integration with a common crypto wallet. 
  • Listing NFTs offered for purchase and providing users with full information about them, including the price. If the bidding takes place in the form of an auction, this price is the starting price.

Minting as the Core of NFT Marketplace 

A prominent point is minting, that is, registration in the blockchain network with the drawing up of a smart contract. The point at which a file being prepared for sale becomes an NFT depends on the type of process being used. This might be done before the item is put up for sale by paying a gas fee. The primary purpose of the gas fee is to cover all the costs associated with the creation and registration of the token. 

Metadata is created and added to each NFT when a smart contract is generated. Such metadata contains the main unique parameters of the token, such as name, authorship, immutability, indivisibility, address/number in the blockchain, etc. From this moment, the NFT becomes a unique part of the blockchain, the path of which can always be traced.

There is also a lazy minting method. Using this method, the issuance of an NFT by making a corresponding entry in the blockchain will occur at the time of purchase. In this case, the marketplace can take care of all the minting hassles. Let’s take, for example, the situation when the item creator wants to sell it in the form of NFT. The creator, in this case, only needs to provide all the data for the NFT asset, like name, description, asset file, and price, then sign it with his own key for anti-tampering validation. In turn, the buyer uses this data to initiate a purchase. Also, in such a case, the buyer pays a fee for the actual minting of this NFT, while the price and all data are verified by the contract on the marketplace.

It is also worth noting that creating NFTs is becoming an increasingly easy and often free process. Public and free instant minting will soon be built into Opera Crypto Browser. Each of the users will be able to convert any media file into NFT by uploading it to this multi-platform Web3 browser. The browser will automatically generate the smart contract and upload the NFT to the blockchain.

Talk to NFT marketplace experts

2. Nice-to-have Features You May Want to Add to Your NFT Marketplace

A wide field for creativity is the building of additional features, which will allow the custom NFT marketplace to become as convenient for users as possible. There are a lot of these options. We will give only a few examples.

If you have a lot of items for sale on your marketplace, then the search and filtering capabilities will come in handy for visitors. With these features, users will be able to find the NFTs they want and sort them by author, category, or collection while considering their purchase decisions. If the marketplace is intended not only for the initial placement but also for the constant turnover of NFTs, then the ability to see, together with the item file, the entire history of previous transactions with it, will also attract users.

Additional features for communicating with users and enhanced customer support capabilities can also come in handy. Interested customers can be notified of new lots and buyer activity via push notifications or email. A help bot or a chat with the NFT marketplace support service will allow you to quickly solve all user issues.

Given the value of assets circulating in the blockchain space, one may wonder if any additional functionality is needed to secure the platform. However, this is rarely necessary. Decentralization, consensus, and cryptography inherent in blockchain ensure adequate protection. In particular, such secure features of blockchain technologies as tamper-proof data storage and “peer-to-peer” verification give a lot.

3. Possible Monetization Models for Your NFT Marketplace

The question of how to make your own NFT marketplace profitable is quite reasonable. We know that it is highly likely that you are creating your NFT marketplace to make money, so here are possible monetization models:

  • Commission fees (or transaction fees) received from transactions that take place on the trading platform.
  • Listing fees. It is possible to introduce seller payments for NFT listings on the platform. 
  • Setup fees. A kind of “entrance ticket” – a fee from sellers for placing their first NFT on the marketplace.
  • Advertising. A popular thematic web resource always attracts the attention of advertisers who want to post information for the target audience.
  • Paid promotion by clients of their items within the platform.

 

The very possibility of selling your creatives and artifacts in the form of non-fungible tokens is also a promising method of implementing your ideas. The ability to generate NFTs for sale on the marketplace exists in many fields. Souvenir products for museums, digital images of products that are iconic for fans of famous brands, awards from games, and items that immortalize impressions, events, and memorable dates will bring positive emotions to many people. Probably everyone reading this article has instantly guessed what NFTs can be created for their company or institution. 

If you are willing to create NFTs regularly or want to bring your collection of art or history to the market, then you should think about how to build your own NFT marketplace. The advantages of such an approach are obvious. First of all, your items will not get lost among the huge number of lots in the global marketplace. 

Secondly, the target audience will be concentrated around your platform, especially if you include a blog and specialized content on the subject. Investors will find it easier to make decisions about a certain category of NFTs, sensing a mass interest in it. Thus, the issue of future liquidity and growth in the market value of purchased assets is always of interest to collectors and crypto-enthusiasts. Ultimately, you can implement your own initial pricing model for your NFTs, gradually bringing them to the site and providing all the full information about them.

However, monetization does not necessarily pursue the goal of making the NFT marketplace profitable. Creating an NFT platform can become a technological basis not only for business but also for humanitarian and social initiatives.

The purpose of selling a collection of digital creative works may be, for example, to finance a socially important activity. See how we have built a platform to sell artwork using blockchain technology.

Case Study: Building a Charity NFT Marketplace to Support Ukraine

A model of such a platform is MobiDev NFT marketplace Art United. It is aimed at the distribution of original works of fine art to raise funds to help Ukraine in the fight against Russian armed aggression. 

The MobiDev design team created a collection of artwork for the platform. Those who appreciate art and, at the same time, want to support Ukraine, and join the historical events happening now, can purchase these pieces of art in the form of NFTs.

All processes taking place on the platform are completely transparent. Funds received from the sale of tokens are directed through verified charitable funds and volunteer organizations to finance Ukraine’s armed struggle against enemy aggression.

Visit the platform to understand why the tokenized images of Art United attract the attention of not only supporters of freedom and democracy, but also crypto-enthusiasts, collectors, and fans of modern visual art. 

Home page of Art United NFT marketplace

Home page of Art United NFT marketplace

Curious to see how the NFT marketplace is organized and operates? Now let’s turn to the technological side of the matter and take a step-by-step look.

Step 1. Creating NFT Collections

The platform sells NFTs of unique works by Ukrainian designers. It is a specialized marketplace, and therefore all the pieces of art presented in it are a collection based on Ukrainian national symbols interpreted in a modern context.

Marketplace customers get access not only to images but also to comprehensive information about them. In the case of Art United, the image is accompanied by a detailed description, information about the author, the history of creation, as well as an explanation of the ideas and symbols embodied in the creative work.

Providing the artwork is the only thing the author has to do. The marketplace takes care of everything else. This approach is convenient for artists who do not always have technical knowledge, and is therefore appropriate for specialized marketplaces.

Step 2. Choosing a Blockchain Platform

One of the reasons for using the Ethereum blockchain was precisely the possibility of integrating the marketplace with a range of advanced technical solutions. It was also taken into consideration that a significant number of NFTs and transactions related to them are concentrated on Ethereum. Accordingly, having purchased a digital asset that is on Ethereum, it is easier to sell it later. 

Ethereum’s compliance with Art United’s requirements for the security of transactions and user data is also essential. In any case, it is difficult to overestimate the possibility for Ethereum users to check the metadata of crypto-assets and their transaction history. The stable operation of Ethereum without large-scale technical failures, financial shocks, and reputational scandals was a substantial factor in the choice of technologies.

The eco-friendliness of this blockchain was also significant for the marketplace project team. Ethereum, due to the transformation of the consensus mechanism from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake, reduced energy consumption by 99.9%.

For a fuller understanding of the marketplace’s technology stack, we add about the use of React.js on the client side and Node.Js on the server side. It should also be noted that the server-side rendering (SSR) technology was applied, which allowed us to ensure high website performance, as well as optimization for search engines.

So, using a relevant example, we highlighted the main points of how the custom NFT marketplace is arranged. And below we will draw your attention to what else is important to know about NFT development when thinking about starting a new project.

Step 3. Choosing A Tech Stack for Building an NFT Marketplace

Continuing to analyze NFT as an object of sale and pondering how to make the NFT marketplace, let’s consider the topic of smart contracts and minting. We have already touched on these issues above. 

How to hire experienced NFT developers

Minting Option

The Art United platform implements a lazy minting option that is convenient for authors. According to this procedure, the entry of an item into the blockchain actually occurs simultaneously with its purchase. This is done using a smart contract. In the case we are considering, this is a smart contract in the Solidity programming language, the runtime environment of which is the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). 

Smart Contracts

The Art United NFT Marketplace is designed in such a way that only two smart contracts are deployed. The Marketplace contract is used for transaction logic. With the help of the NFT contract, one for the entire collection of works of art, the record of the owners of Art_ID is kept. Accordingly, the transfer of NFT ownership to other platform users is specified in this contract.

All metadata about the artwork and its image are contained in a JSON file stored in the IPFS distributed file system. This approach ensures that the NFT data file cannot be changed by any third party.

So, we have already figured out how the marketplace interacts with authors. Let’s see what is required from buyers. 

Cryptocurrency Wallet

The field of blockchain is, on the one hand, recently formed and rapidly developing, but on the other hand, it already has widespread and proven tools. This means that when you plan how to create the NFT marketplace, you can count on the integration of third-party solutions. 

In particular, you don’t necessarily need to think about how to develop an NFT wallet app. Crypto investors usually operate with different asset classes and different marketplaces. So, it is convenient for them to work on different sites with the same tools. Therefore, the Ukrainian charity NFT marketplace has integrated the use of one of the most common virtual crypto wallets, MetaMask.

MetaMask supports many networks. In the case discussed in this article, the transactions take place in the Ethereum (ETH) Mainnet. 

Therefore, to buy NFTs on the Art United platform, all you need is a MetaMask crypto wallet and a balance in Ether (ETH) cryptocurrency. In the context of future trade operations with art objects purchased on Art United, it is significant that MetaMask capabilities allow such NFTs to be automatically pulled up for possible interaction with other marketplaces.

Leap Instead of Steps: White-label NFT Marketplace Development

Now you know how the platform for trading digital assets works and what it has under the hood. Perhaps you are already thinking about how to start an NFT project, and you are wondering how much it could cost to build your own NFT marketplace. The answer is: it depends. Let’s consider three possible options for NFT marketplace development. 

1. Developing an NFT marketplace from scratch

The traditional approach is to build a platform with unique functionality from scratch. If your startup is well-funded and you are ready for a custom software development project which could take up to 9 months, all you have to do now is to find a trusted development company. 

2. Building an NFT marketplace on API of other platforms

It is possible to compromise and act based on API and software modules of a powerful marketplace like OpenSea. The project budget will be smaller, albeit slightly. The same applies to the terms (6+ months). Given that a token platform is unlikely to be your core business, doubts about the feasibility of such approaches may grow. 

3. Buying a white-label NFT marketplace

The answer to these challenges and concerns is the possibility of getting a white-label NFT marketplace. Such a model will significantly shorten the distance from the idea to the platform launch. A ready-made and proven blockchain solution will be yours at a price ten times lower than the cost of development from scratch. The delivery time is from three weeks and may increase slightly only for the additional customization you choose.

Moreover, white-label NFT marketplace development services help avoid the risks inherent in building software from scratch. There will be no gap between expectations and results because you have already seen and tested a similar product, ArtUnited, in action.

NFT marketplace will carry your brand, and its user interface will match the style familiar to your customers. You can fully use the default built-in functionality or additionally order the development of some unique features. It is also possible to integrate with the external third-party solutions you offer, which will enrich the potential of the marketplace. 

As the product team continues development, you’ll be able to upgrade your marketplace to advanced versions. The maintenance provided by the developers will also facilitate the use of the platform.

Thus, there is every reason to be interested in exploring white-label NFT marketplace development services. Solutions of this type make it easier to start using blockchain technologies in your business. Instead of walking a long way step by step, you will overcome this path in one leap. Your own white-label NFT marketplace can be a channel through which your customers and like-minded people will receive additional value in the form of unique digital assets.

Why Choose MobiDev for NFT Marketplace Development

Of course, planning how to create an NFT marketplace in 2023 should focus on choosing the right contractor. Here are the three simple reasons why MobiDev can be your right development company:

Expertise and experience in blockchain projects.

To assess the level of expertise in blockchain technologies, it is worth looking at the projects that the potential contractor has already implemented. After all, everyone can personally evaluate, for instance, the functionality and usability of Art United. It should also be borne in mind that technologies in the field of blockchain are rapidly updated. A kind of race for new ideas and trends is taking place. In this regard, the fact that 30% of MobiDev’s R&D efforts are focused on new technologies is particularly substantive. 

Trust and reliability

First, data-driven trust is at the heart of blockchain. Decentralized registration of transactions and data storage are impossible without it. All blockchain participants follow the same rules, so the data can be trusted. In turn, compliance with the rules can be verified due to the openness of the data. 

Second, it is useful to learn about all aspects of the potential contractor’s activities, not just blockchain technology. The company’s maturity in project management and business process optimization will also significantly affect future cooperation. The list of customers and recognition among industry authorities is a confirmation of quality.  It is worth noting, in particular, that the MobiDev company was recognized as a Top Upwork Agency for several years.

Potential for comprehensive long-term cooperation

MobiDev dives into the specifics of the client’s concept, working it out down to the last detail. Project founders may focus on the creation of values that contain their ideas. At the same time, the contractor undertakes all technological and organizational tasks. The expertise and experience of the NFT development company allow us to cover all the issues that small startup teams do not have the necessary specialists to perform.

Developing and maintaining an NFT marketplace is a long ride with sharp turns. In the fast-growing high-tech area, it is impossible to do otherwise. Even in the not-so-long-ago history of the Art United project, there was already a notable milestone in blockchain technology. The platform was adapted to the transition of the Ethereum network consensus mechanism from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS). 

There will be many more such changes and transformations on the way to the development of blockchain networks. Therefore, long-term cooperation with an NFT marketplace development company is a prerequisite for the operation of any platform that seeks to maintain its position.

Let’s create something cool together!

Well, now you have a better idea for creating your own NFT marketplace. It will be easier for you to choose the right path to build it because you already know how it works under the hood. What you don’t know yet, you can always learn from us. 

We will help you with this and clarify the details. Get in touch with us to launch your NFT marketplace development project.

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