The Complete Beginner’s Guide to NFTs on Polygon

Polygon Labs
May 30, 2023
Image source: Dribbble

You are reading this because you’ve probably already dabbled in NFTs. But have you tried non-fungible tokens on Polygon? You don’t have to get this Half Baked reference to appreciate all that the Polygon NFT ecosystem can offer. So buckle in, we are going on a journey! 

Here is a quick table of contents for what we are going to cover:

  • Introduction to Polygon NFTs
  • Getting started with the Polygon blockchain
  • Minting Polygon NFTs
  • Using Polygon NFT marketplaces to buy and sell
  • The environmental impact of Polygon NFTs
  • Polygon NFT use cases

What are Polygon NFTs?

Polygon NFTs are non-fungible tokens that were either minted on the Polygon blockchain or bridged from another chain to the Polygon blockchain. Regardless of their provenance, all Polygon NFTs benefit from the network’s low gas fees and quick transaction times relative to the Ethereum mainnet.

The Polygon NFT ecosystem is home to teams such as y00ts and Hell Cats, marketplaces like OpenSea and Magic Eden, gaming projects like Benji Bananas and Arc8, as well as  countless other dApps. Over 843 million NFTs have been minted on the Polygon blockchain to date, with total NFT volume surpassing $16 billion.

Getting Started With Polygon NFTs

First things first, you will need a wallet and some Polygon’s native MATIC tokens. MetaMask is one of the most popular wallets, but there are lots of other options. If you don’t yet have a MetaMask wallet, here is a step-by-step guide to getting one. 

To use your crypto assets on the Polygon network, you must “bridge” them into the ecosystem. Bridging does just what it sounds like -- connecting two blockchains to work together. The Polygon Bridge will help you transfer your funds across blockchains. You can also bridge actual NFTs from Ethereum to Polygon and the other way around by using the NFT bridge

Minting Polygon NFTs

In Web3, everyone is a creator. On the Polygon protocol, minting your own NFTs is a snap and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Mint is one of the world’s simplest NFT creation tools that lets you go from an idea to an NFT of your own in just 80 seconds! 

Mint’s open-source NFT toolkit also offers APIs that allow developers to create a seamless minting experience for users and integrate MintNFT into their dApps. Gaming projects can leverage Unity SDK to make in-game minting of digital assets possible for titles developed on the Unity platform. Creators can mint a single piece or launch a 10K collection with minimal effort and enhance the NFT user experience with added utilities.

Trading on NFT Marketplaces

Whether you are just starting to build your collection or already have Polygon NFTs to sell, you have a number of options. OpenSea is one of the most popular NFT marketplaces on the Polygon network. Start by connecting your wallet, check out the rankings, activity and upcoming drops. There are detailed guides for selling and buying. Say farewell to sleep!   

There are alternatives to OpenSea: Rarible is a community-centric NFT marketplace; Magic Eden, a cross-chain NFT marketplace that late last year joined the Polygon ecosystem, is home to y00ts and RektDogs collections.

The Environmental impact

One of the best things about Polygon NFTs is that you can do all the collecting you want without worrying about your monkey jpegs contributing to boiling of the oceans. The Polygon network’s carbon emissions, already relatively small, were reduced to infinitesimal with Ethereum’s transition to the proof of stake consensus in late 2022. The Merge, as it is known, wiped out 60,000 tonnes of Polygon’s carbon footprint. 

The network’s green profile and Polygon Labs’ strong commitment to sustainability are some of the reasons why the network has emerged as an epicenter of Regenerative Finance activity with NFTs playing an important role. You can remove real trash from the real ocean by buying trash NFTs with SaveYour.World, a collaborative metaverse project by WWF Deutschland and Savespecies, or plant a tree by minting with the NFTrees project by Coorest. 

Polygon NFT Use Cases

The examples above point to what’s truly exciting about NFTs on the Polygon network - the breadth of adoption. By now everyone has heard about a coffee-shop megachain using NFTs for a loyalty program and a Web2 social network onboarding millions of its users to Web3 with digital collectibles. But there is so much more.

There is PLAY! POP! GO!, a lifestyle omniverse created by visual artist Amber Park, that takes a gamified approach to luxury streetwear, fine art and digital experiences; a marketplace dedicated exclusively to Bollywood stars; National Geographic’s stunning GM: Daybreak Around the World collection featuring works by 16 illustrious photographers; the collaboration between K-pop girl group aespa, Paper Magazine and Web3 fashion marketplace The Dematerialised. And we will save Web3 gaming for another post. 

With that much to explore, what are you waiting for? Start by reading more about the Polygon NFT ecosystem. Then tune into the Polygon Labs Blog and our social channels to stay up to date on the latest from the Polygon protocol.

Together, we can build an equitable future for all through the mass adoption of Web3!

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