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NFTs attract plenty of attention. Consequently, there’s a growing demand for NFT apps. How do you create an NFT application? Take the following steps:
1. Familiarize yourself with the NFT landscape
Gain an in-depth understanding of the NFT space.
1a. What are NFTs?
The abbreviation “NFT” stands for “non-fungible tokens”. These are cryptographic tokens similar to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether.
NFTs are created using blockchain technology, and developers use a blockchain platform like the Ethereum network to create them.
NFTs have two distinctive features that set them apart from other cryptocurrencies. These are as follows:
- Every NFT creation is unique. That’s different from other cryptocurrencies since one Bitcoin is always the same as another.
- NFTs are indivisible. You can have a fraction of a Bitcoin or Ether, however, an NFT is always whole.
These distinct features make NFT collections ideal for tokenizing unique entities like digital arts, properties, game assets, etc.
Market observers estimate that the NFT community is expanding and the NFT market will grow by $147.24 billion between 2021 and 2026.
1b. What are NFT marketplaces?
NFT marketplaces are websites/apps where you can buy or sell NFTs. You need to connect your crypto wallet with an NFT marketplace to use it, and several NFT wallets exist.
You can access marketplaces to mint NFTs.
There are various marketplaces to sell or buy NFTs of generic nature. An example is OpenSea. You also have NFT marketplaces like NBA Top Shot that cater to a niche.
1c. What are NFT creator apps?
NFT creator apps make the process of creating NFTs easier for users. You can use these apps on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
These apps allow you to create NFT art, digital assets, or your own custom award cards.
Many of these NFT creator apps provide tools to create art. E.g., you can create NFT artwork from photo portfolios. You can create animations and use different art styles using their graphic design tools.
Many of these apps enable you to use different filters like the Van Gogh filter. Some of them offer customizable backgrounds, while other apps allow you to create cartoon avatars.
The GoArt app is a good example of the NFT creator app.
1d. Important blockchain platforms to create NFTs
You can use the following important blockchain platforms to create NFTs:
The Ethereum blockchain platform
The Ethereum blockchain platform is the best-known blockchain development platform. It’s a public blockchain network with Ether (ETH) as its native cryptocurrency.
The Ethereum platform enables developers to code smart contracts and DApps (decentralized apps). These are key stepping stones to creating NFTs.
The Ethereum project offers the EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine), a runtime environment for smart contracts and DApps.
It also offers development tools, testing tools, and development standards. Ethereum is very popular with developers intending to create NFTs.
Binance Smart Chain
Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is a relatively new blockchain platform offered by Binance. You can develop DApps on BSC. BSC is compatible with Ethereum smart contracts and DApps too.
The native utility token of BSC is Binance Coin (BNB). BSC uses the “Proof-of-Staked-Authority” consensus algorithm.
This platform offers both security and performance, and it represents another option for developing NFTs.
2. Finalize the business requirements and scope of the NFT application development project
Hire a project manager (PM) and architect, furthermore, hire a team of business analysts. Involve your business stakeholder in brainstorming sessions with this team.
You should review other apps in this space too. Finalize the business requirements and scope of the proposed NFT app.
You need to finalize various aspects, e.g.:
- Whether to build web, Android, and iPhone apps;
- Whether to offer features to create NFT artworks, custom award cards, and other digital assets;
- Tools for NFT art creators;
- Whether to build your own NFT marketplace;
- Integration with various marketplaces to buy and sell NFTs;
- Whether to offer editing tools, print support, the ability to create a custom background, etc.;
- Integration with popular Ethereum wallets and other crypto wallets;
- Whether the app offers in-app purchases;
- Tools to mint your own NFTs;
- Whether the app should offer crypto investment advice.
Document the requirements and project scope thoroughly. You need a thorough requirements review, and you need a requirements management process.
3. Plan the project to create an NFT application
Plan your project by focusing on the following:
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3a. Choose a technology stack
While your choice of the technology stack depends on your project requirements and scope, we recommend the following:
- Opt for native Android app development.
- Choose native iOS app development.
- Use the Ethereum blockchain platform for developing smart contracts, DApps, and NFTs.
3b. Prepare a hiring plan
Prepare a plan to hire competent people in the following roles:
- UI designers with web, Android, and iOS app development projects;
- Native Android developers with Java skills;
- Native iOS developers with Swift skills;
- Ethereum blockchain developers with Solidity skills;
- DevOps engineers.
Plan for sufficient hiring lead time for Ethereum blockchain developers. This role involves niche skills.
3c. Complete the other project planning aspects
You can now plan the other aspects of the NFT app development project, e.g.:
- Tasks and dependencies;
- Quality standards;
- Metrics and measurement;
- Risk management;
- Communications management.
Implement review and change management processes for the project plan.
4. Execute the web and mobile development part of the NFT app development project
Hire developers and onboard them effectively in your project. Walk them through the key documents like requirements, technical solutions, etc. Provide them with the necessary access, and set up communication mechanisms.
You can execute the web and mobile development part of the project in parallel with the Ethereum blockchain development. The web and mobile development tracks consist of the following:
- UI design for the web app;
- UI design for the Android and iOS apps;
- Coding the front end of the web app;
- Developing the front end of the native Android app using Android Studio;
- Coding the front end of the native iOS app using Xcode;
- Coding APIs for the non-blockchain parts of the web and mobile back-end;
- Developing the non-blockchain parts of the web and mobile back-end;
- Code review and unit testing.
- Depending on your project requirements, you might have different parts of the back end. One part involves the smart contracts that run on the Ethereum blockchain. The other parts might involve integrating with an NFT marketplace, storing the unique digital artwork created by the users, etc.
- You might need to develop your own APIs if you offer your own marketplace for buying and selling NFTs.
- You can run complete integration testing of the web and mobile apps only after you develop the Ethereum blockchain-based smart contracts and cryptographic tokens.
5. Execute the blockchain development part of the NFT application development project
Take the following steps to execute the blockchain development part:
5a. Install the Ethereum blockchain development tools
Install the following tools by following the respective documentation:
- MetaMask: It’s an Ethereum wallet that’s popular with many Ethereum developers. You can store real Ether as well we dummy Ether in this wallet. You need a dummy Ether to test Ethereum smart contracts.
- Ganache: It’s a well-known blockchain client for Ethereum development that includes a CLI (Command Line Interface).
- The Truffle suite of tools: Ethereum developers use these tools for organizing, testing, and deploying smart contracts.
Note: Your Ethereum blockchain developers will use Remix, an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to code Solidity smart contracts.
They will also use Ropsten. Ropsten is a test network to test smart contracts. You don’t need to install Remix and Ropsten.
5b. Configure the development tools
Configure the development tools by following our guide and the following resources:
- MetaMask documentation on its website;
- Ganache GitHub documentation for Ganache;
- Web3.js “getting started” guide for Web3.js;
- Truffle documentation for the Truffle suite of tools.
Establish a MetaMask connection to Ropsten, which will be needed during smart contract testing.
You also need to connect MetaMask to the Ethereum network by using the “developer mode”. Open a Ganache instance.
5c. Code smart contracts
Code Ethereum smart contracts for creating crypto tokens and other functionalities. Use the Remix IDE and the Solidity programming language for this.
Keep the logic simple and document the code. This will help you to debug smart contracts, furthermore, simple logic will require fewer gas fees.
5d. Review and test smart contracts to create an NFT application successfully
You can’t modify Ethereum smart contracts after you deploy them, furthermore, their execution is irreversible. Unearthing smart contract bugs is very important.
You should have an independent smart contract audit. Look for experienced smart contract reviewers.
The reviewers should focus on unearthing important smart contract vulnerabilities like reentrancy, access control issues, etc. They should also check the functionalities, performance, etc.
Buy dummy Ether using MetaMask. Test your smart contracts on the Ropsten test network with these dummy Ether.
5e. Deploy smart contracts
Do the following to deploy Ethereum smart contracts:
- Buy real Ether from an exchange like Coinbase and store them in the MetaMask wallet.
- Check if the Ganache instance is still running.
- Navigate to the Truffle directory containing your smart contracts.
- Use the “Truffle deploy” command to deploy the smart contracts to the Ethereum blockchain network, and pay the required gas fees.
5f. Connect the smart contracts to the corresponding front-end functions and initialize them
Several functionalities of your NFT app require Ethereum smart contracts in the back end. You have developed, tested, and deployed those smart contracts.
Now, you need to connect these smart contracts with the corresponding front-end functions. You also need to initialize the smart contracts.
Do the following:
- Get the contract ABI (Application Binary Interface) for each contract from the “compile” tab of the Remix IDE.
- Use the JSON minify tool to remove unnecessary spaces from the contract ABI.
- Copy the output of the JSON minify tool.
- Paste it in a variable named the “const contractABI”.
- Get the contract address from the “run” tab of the Remix IDE. Enter it into the “const contractAddress” variable.
- Create a contract instance variable for each of the smart contracts.
- Update the contract instance to reflect the corresponding “const contractABI” and “const contractAddress” values.
- Repeat these steps for all functions with a corresponding Ethereum smart contract.
You have created an NFT application.
Planning to create an NFT application? Reach out to DevTeam.Space to hire blockchain, web, and mobile developers.
FAQs on How to Create an NFT Application
The best NFT marketplaces are OpenSea, Axie Marketplace, NBA Top Shot, Rarible, SuperRare, Foundation, and Nifty Gateway.
The best apps to create an NFT application are Corel Painter, GoArt, PixelChain, Nifty Ink, NightCafe, VoxEdit, and Hotpot.ai.
The best NFT games are Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, Gods Unchained, DeFi Kingdoms, Splinterlands, Sorare – Fantasy Football, Treeverse, Bridgeworld (TreasureDAO), Star Atlus, and Parallel.