How to Create an NFT Using Coinbase Wallet and Rarible
I’ll spare the general introduction on NFTs, as others have explained this much better before me. I’ve been making digital glitch art (for lack of a better term / category) for over three years now — primarily posted on my Instagram @andreikorchagin. It’s really just a hobby, although I have had people reach out for small commissions here and there. The NFT craze, unbeknownst to me, was born and grew in parallel. Eventually I came across this concept, more recently than I’d like to admit, and saw that a lot of the art styles were quite similar to the kind of work that I had been doing. It was indeed a lot of digital effects and glitchy-type visuals, so naturally I figured I’d try to list one of my works as an NFT. This was mostly for my own experience and as an experiment. Here is the process I took, which I found to be pretty easy, using Coinbase Wallet and Rarible.
Creating and/or selecting the art
What art you make is not within the scope of this guide — it’s up to you, but you’ll want to have something that is really representative of high-quality work. NFTs have been a lot of things — videos, sound files, images, screenshots.
I’m not saying that my NFT here is my absolute favorite image (it’s not) but I thought it was good and fitting for this experiment. It does cost Ether (which has real world value) to mint the NFT, so you can’t just upload a ton of listings for free unfortunately. Technically however, you can “lazy mint” your NFTs for free, but I haven’t tried that just yet.
Once you have it ready, make sure you have a high-quality export (high resolution JPG or MP4 or whatever format is appropriate).
If you don’t already have a wallet, you’ll need one. I chose Coinbase Wallet since I already use Coinbase and it’s easy to integrate both with the exchange and with the NFT marketplace. Just find it in your respective app store and download it to your mobile device. You need to set up the wallet of course, but this is a pretty straightforward process and fairly user-friendly.
Your wallet is essentially your authentication into Rarible and also how you pay for the different blockchain transactions in this process. Rarible was a bit confusing to me at first because I was looking for the classic “register” link, but it turned out you just connected the wallet and it creates a profile. Thereafter, you use your wallet to authenticate any actions, such as updating your profile, liking an NFT, or following a creator.
Into the Ether
As mentioned above, you do need ETH to perform the NFT minting process (and a few other small actions). I use Rarible Analytics to keep an eye on the best time to mint, since gas prices (the bits of ETH you pay to have some transaction processed on the Ethereum blockchain) can fluctuate a lot based on demand and the underlying price of ETH. At the time I minted, I spent about the equivalent of $40 USD on ETH, but I have seen gas prices be both somewhat lower and much higher. So take your time and try not to overspend if possible.
The easiest way is to buy the ETH on Coinbase (the exchange) and then transfer to your Coinbase Wallet. The transfer also eats a bit of ETH so account for that when you make the initial purchase, and the transfer also can be cheaper depending on the demand in the blockchain at the time. Nights tend to be a good time for transactions.
Minting on Rarible
At least for starters, you probably want to use Rarible’s “collection” (creating a new collection is very expensive in gas prices) and to create a single collectible. I highly recommend using a computer rather than your phone for this part. Click “Create” on the upper right hand part of Rarible’s site, and you will see something like the following:
You can change the pricing and auction type later, but you can’t change the name or description. So make sure you’re happy with it. Provide all the necessary info and make it sound appealing!
Once you actually perform the minting process, Rarible will communicate with your wallet several times, and you’ll need to authorize both approving and minting. One thing that happened to me was the flow for minting seemed to get stuck after I approved the ETH to mint the NFT, but opening a new browser tab and checking my account I saw that the NFT was successfully minted. Be careful not to get charged twice on gas fees at this step.
And voila, your NFT is minted and forever in the blockchain¹. I decided to make mine a timed auction with a low bid just to see how it goes (I have no expectation of this selling, it’s more an experiment as described in the intro). You can then follow other creators, like other NFTs, and generally interact with the community to promote the NFT. It’s also vital to mention it on other social channels you may have a following on.
That’s the whole process. The first time around, because of setup, it probably takes around 15–30 minutes. The next time you mint an NFT however, it will take under 5 minutes. Let me know any questions or feedback in the comments!
¹ Since the original publication, I’ve since burned the piece described in this article. Burning means a piece is sent to a null address, effectively erasing it from existence (although, of course, it still lives forever in the blockchain). My Rarible account (linked above) has other pieces created in an identical fashion, and I’ve since been verified on the marketplace!