What is lazy minting?
Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) are used by artists, creators, and web3 startups to build community, sell digital art, and create token-gated experiences.
There is a lot of work that goes into creating a successful NFT project, and NFT launches can be damaged by high gas prices, and bots that prevent community members from minting NFTs and unfairly influencing the price by owning a large share of tokens.
NFT developers have launched a lot of interesting solutions to lower NFT costs like the ERC-721A batch minting smart contract, and in the case of lazy minting, defer the cost of minting NFTs to the buy instead of charging the seller who creates the NFT.
What is lazy minting?
Lazy minting lets NFT artists sign “minting authorizations” that allow a user to mint NFTs at a later time. These mint authorization signatures are free to produce, and guarantees no NFTs can be minted without prior approval.
Lazy Minting is a way to defer the minting until right before the NFT is sold. This way, buyers pay the minting fee after their NFT is sold, making NFT creation affordable and equitable for creators. Today, major NFT platforms like OpenSea and Rarible offer lazy minting as an option.
Why is lazy minting important?
Lazy minting is important because it helps artists save money minting NFTs, which is a primary concern when gas prices for transacting on Ethereum are high.
When the Ethereum blockchain is congested, the price of gas can become extremely high, which forces NFT artists to pay large amounts of ETH to list their art for sale on NFT marketplaces.
The cost to mint an NFT can become quite high during hyped NFT launches, bull markets, and as an outcome of market-related news where many people try to conduct on-chain transactions.
How does lazy minting work?
Lazy minting makes use of off-chain NFT creation. This means that the NFTs artists create are not officially on the blockchain until someone buys the NFT. Once the lazy-minted NFT is purchased, it is minted on-chain and the gas costs to mint the NFT is covered by the buyer and not the seller.
We can generalize the process of lazy minting into 3 steps:
- The creator lazy mints an NFT using a smart contract. This contract will mint and sell the NFT on the seller’s behalf.
- The seller provides a private signature detailing a wallet and NFT details (e.g. token ID, price, etc.) to authorize the lazy minting process.
- The buyer purchases the NFT, pays a price that covers the minting cost and the NFT itself. The NFT is then put on-chain and transferred to the buyer’s wallet.
How to Lazy Mint NFTs on OpenSea
If you are a 1-of-1 NFT artist selling art on OpenSea, you can lazy mint NFTs through the OpenSea Account Manager automatically.
- Go to opensea.io and create an account.
- Click create in the upper-right-hand corner
- Upload your NFT content and fill in the necessary information (the only required field is Name!)
- Click the blue “Create” button to create your NFT!
- Click the asset you’ve created, where it will take you to the asset’s page.
- Click “Sell”
- Set the price and duration for your listing.
- Click “Complete Listing”
- Sign the message from your wallet
Just like that, you’ve successfully lazy minted an NFT on OpenSea.
How to Lazy Mint NFTs on Rarible
Lazy minting on Rarible is super quick and easy.
- Go to rarible.com
- Connect your wallet
- Create an account
- Click “create” in the upper-right-hand corner
- Fill in information about your NFT
- Enable “Free Minting” (it should be automatically enabled).
- Click “Create Item”
- Sign all authorizations with your wallet
Congrats, you’ve successfully lazy minted an NFT on Rarible!
How to Lazy Mint NFTs on Solana
Currently there are no lazy minting options for Solana NFT marketplaces. One reason why NFT minting is not as necessary for Solana as it is for Ethereum is because the gas fees to mint NFTs on Solana are extremely low and predictable compared to layer 1 Ethereum.
For example, to mint an NFT on the Solana 1-of-1 NFT marketplace, Exchange.Art, NFT artists pay fractions of a SOL token, on the order of pennies, to mint an NFT through Exchange.Art’s self-serve NFT minting interface.
While lazy minting is not a feature offered on Solana since gas fees are not an issue, there are NFT tools created by Metaplex for running NFT mints that prevent bots, smart contracts to launch a personal NFT storefront, and contracts for running NFT auctions.
Additionally, Strata Protocol launched a dynamic NFT minting price tool that allows NFT projects to set a lower and upper bound on the price of NFTs.
As time passes without NFTs being minted the price decreases to its lower bound, and as NFTs are purchased the mint price increases toward its higher bound. This tool helps to economically dissuade bots from minting out collections before genuine NFT community members can mint.
While these NFT tools don’t add mint authorizations to lower the cost of minting NFTs for 1-of-1 NFT creators on Solana, they help prevent bots from disrupting launches, and improve the NFT user experience like lazy minting improves the UX of minting NFTs with lower mint costs.