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How Much Does It Cost to Develop an NFT Smart Contract?

Long story, but in short, ‘it depends’. Yes, NFT smart contract development cost isn’t set in stone; it’s a bit like a choose-your-own-adventure story. 

However, a basic NFT smart contract cost might range from $500 to $5,000, while if you go with the complex contract structure, it could exceed $10,000.

But, what things get us to this range?

Well, there are several factors that play a role in deciding the cost- the programming language you choose, the development team’s level of expertise, the GAS fee, etc.

You have to team up with a top NFT development company to get a fair quote. Besides, here we’ve 

What is an NFT smart contract?

NFTs and smart contracts together are often referred to as NFT smart contracts or smart contract NFTs. This symbiotic relationship is reshaping the landscape of digital asset ownership and trading. 

Here, NFTs take center stage in the creation of digital art, while smart contracts provide the essential backbone for their management and exchange.

More in brief- 

NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens:

NFTs let the creators design unique digital assets, including digital art, collectibles, and more, each with its distinct identity and value. It brings authenticity, rarity, and ownership to the digital assets. Thus, making it easy for the content creator or artists to have seamless monetization of their work.

Smart Contracts:

We can say smart contracts are the behind-the-scenes technology that powers NFTs.  They are self-executing contracts, residing on blockchain platforms such as Ethereum, Solana, Neo, etc.. 

They are used to define the rules, conditions, and automation for NFT ownership and transactions. With this, there is no need for a middleman or a third party to carry out a transaction that is secured.

Besides, do you know what- the worldwide Smart Contracts market had a worth of US$ 397.8 million in 2022. By 2029, it is predicted to reach US$ 1460.3 million.

Furthermore, together (NFTs and smart contracts) enable creators and collectors to participate in a decentralized, trustless ecosystem, where the ownership and exchange of digital art are governed by code, not by centralized authorities. 

Now, that you know what is NFT smart contract, let’s shift how much will it cost to develop them for your business.

As for the price, we’ve discussed that there are factors that govern the cost. So, let’s see what are they.

Factors Affecting NFT Smart Contract Development Cost

Back in the day, deploying DApps (decentralized applications) was a budget-friendly affair. Cast your mind back to 2017, when the CryptoPunks NFT project was launched for a mere $7.56. 

Fast forward to 2020, and the deployment of the Shiba Inu Token ($SHIB) set you back just $60.

Now, let’s talk about November 30th, 2021. Those very same contracts, CryptoPunks cost $964. And as for $SHIB, you’re looking at a cool $2,026.

In USD terms, it’s a jaw-dropping 30x to 120x increase in deployment costs on Ethereum today compared to just a few years ago. These changes in cost somewhere due to Gas fees for Ethereum.

Similarly, there are many other factors that affect the NFT smart contract costs; among which are listed below.

Factor #1: Programming Language You Choose

When developing an NFT smart contract, it’s important to consider that there are various programming languages to choose from, such as Solidity, Rust, Vyper, and more. It’s worth noting that the cost may vary depending on the language you select.

Factor #2: Development environment:

There are a number of different development environments that you can use to develop and deploy Ethereum smart contracts. Some popular options include Remix, Hardhat, and Truffle. And, of course, each environment will bring a different impact on NFT smart contract cost. 

Factor #3: Blockchain wallet: 

You will need a blockchain wallet to deploy and interact with your smart contract. MetaMask is a popular option for Ethereum wallets. There are other options too, but 

it is important to choose a reputable and secure wallet.

Some factors to consider are the wallet–

  • ease of use
  • security features
  • compatibility with different blockchains

Moreover, whichever wallet you are picking, it is advisable to check the transaction fees associated with it. Some wallets may charge higher transaction fees, which could impact the overall cost of deploying and interacting with your NFT smart contract. 

Factor #4: Gas fees:

Gas fees are the amount of cryptocurrency that users pay to miners to process and validate their transactions on a blockchain. Gas fees are also associated with NFT smart contracts. Every time an NFT smart contract is deployed or executed, it requires gas, which must be paid for by the user.

The amount of gas required for a particular NFT smart contract operation will vary depending on the complexity of the operation and the current state of the blockchain. For example, minting an NFT typically requires more gas than transferring an NFT.

Gas fees are typically paid in the native cryptocurrency of the blockchain on which the NFT smart contract is deployed. For example, gas fees on the Ethereum blockchain are paid in ETH.

Gas fees can fluctuate significantly depending on the demand for blockchain resources. During periods of high demand, gas fees can be very high. 

Factor #5: NFT Marketplace

Once you have deployed your smart contract, you will need to choose an NFT marketplace where you want to sell your NFTs. 

The choice of NFT marketplace can have an impact on the cost of your NFT smart contract. Different marketplaces may have varying fee structures, listing fees, and transaction fees. It is important to research and compare the fees and services offered by different NFT marketplaces before making a decision. Also, have a look for the best NFT Marketplace development company to help you in this process.

Some popular NFT marketplaces include SuperRare, OpenSea, Binance NFT, Rarible, and Enjin Marketplace. These platforms have different fee structures and may cater to different types of artists and collectors. 

Besides, there are other factors that impact the cost of developing NFT smart contracts like:

  • the complexity of smart contracts
  • the size of the development team
  • the location of the NFT developers
  • security audits
  • customization

A Rough Estimation

Feature Cost (USD)
Simple smart contract (e.g., minting and transferring NFTs) $500-$2,000
Smart contract with additional features (e.g., royalties, lazy minting, whitelisting) $2,000-$5,000
Complex smart contract (e.g., a smart contract for an NFT game or marketplace) $5,000+

Closing Words!

If you are new to smart contract development, there are a number of resources available to help you get started. There are also a number of companies that offer NFT smart contract development services. You just have to pick the right one. 

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