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How to make money with NFTs

Top 6 ways to earn money with NFTs.

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Let’s be clear: There’s no guarantee that you’ll earn money with NFTs. There are a few ways to predict an NFT’s value — or at least try to narrow it down — but it’s not a perfect science. However, you could attempt to create your NFTs to sell, flip, rent or even stake them.

How much are NFTs worth?

NFTs are unique and nonfungible — meaning one NFT can’t be swapped for another without the possibility of a loss or gain in value. Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, is fungible — all units of Bitcoin are equal to one another.

Since NFTs are one-of-a-kind, their value varies. Some NFTs have sold for millions, while others are worth only a few pennies or don’t sell at all. What gives one NFT more value than another largely depends on its scarcity, historical significance, utility and consumer demand.

With many people collecting NFTs for collecting-sake, and an NFT’s value hinging on consumer interest and demand, there’s no way to be 100% sure that an NFT you own will hold it’s value long-term or even short-term.

6 ways to make money with NFTs

The NFT market is relatively new, but there are multiple ways to earn from NFTs that are worth exploring. As with any investment, there’s risk involved.

Buy and sell NFTs

Because an NFT’s value isn’t static, you can earn by buying an NFT and selling it for profit when it appreciates. Flipping NFTs is a common earning method: Buy low, sell high.

A close eye on the market, access to exclusive NFT drops and scooping out rare NFTs increases your odds of earning a profit. This can include following NFT marketplaces on social media, joining Discord servers for upcoming projects and staying up to date on trends.

  • What you need: A crypto wallet, an account with an NFT marketplace(s) and cryptocurrency. May require a large investment up front if you intend on collecting valuable NFTs to sell later.
  • How to start: Once you’ve done your research, log into the marketplace of your choice, connect your wallet and purchase an NFT in a collection. Most NFTs are bought with Ether (ETH), but some marketplaces allow for NFTs to be purchased with fiat currencies. List the NFT for sale as the collection’s value peaks on a secondary marketplace.
  • How much can I make? It’s difficult to estimate how much you can earn from flipping NFTs, since values fluctuate by the second. However, paying attention to trends, following NFT creators on social media and participating in exclusive NFT drops to obtain rare NFTs may help increase your chances of earning.

Invest and rent out NFTs

Renting out NFTs is referred to as scholarships. This tactic is popular with gaming NFTs, where users rent out valuable NFT characters or items to players and earn a cut of the profits earned.

People may also rent an NFT to use as a profile picture or to enter an exclusive event in a metaverse or blockchain game. And, if you own an NFT parcel in a virtual reality metaverse, such as Decentraland, you could rent out your land for events.

A great example of the scholarship method is Axie Infinity, a blockchain game. Players team up in guilds to maximize earnings by splitting the Smooth Love Potions (SLP) tokens earned in-game. The users who own the NFT assets are called managers, and the players who rent the NFTs are called scholars.

  • What you need: A crypto wallet, a blockchain game account, an NFT marketplace account, an NFT and someone willing to rent it.
  • How to start: Have a crypto wallet and purchase an NFT that’s worth renting. Popular gaming NFTs, such as Splinterlands’ cards, Axies, or CryptoKitties, is a good place to start. NFT marketplaces may offer peer-to-peer renting services, such as reNFT.io, or a renting option may be located in a blockchain game’s proprietary marketplace.
  • How much can I make? If you join a guild in Axie, the guild spells out the earnings. For example, you could earn a fixed amount of SLP or 60% to 70% of SLP earnings, depending on the guild terms. If you use an NFT marketplace to rent, the terms may be spelled out by the marketplace with some flexibility.

Create NFTs and earn royalties

NFTs have smart contracts that are built into blockchains. These contracts allow for the original creator of an NFT to automatically earn a percentage of the NFT’s price on subsequent sales in perpetuity. The ownership history and smart contract on an NFT can never be altered.

  • What you need: A unique digital file, crypto wallet, an account with a marketplace that allows for minting, and some cryptocurrency for transaction fees.
  • How to start: Create a unique digital file and follow the steps to mint the digital file on the marketplace of your choice. Pay the transaction fee with cryptocurrency, which is the fee for interacting with the blockchain. Then, list the NFT for sale.
  • How much can I make? The royalty percentage you can earn depends on the marketplace where you mint the NFT. Often, it’s between 5% to 15%. Keep in mind that NFT marketplaces also take a cut of the final sale of an NFT, often around 2.5% to 5%.

P2E games

A crypto play-to-earn (P2E) game allows players to earn cryptocurrency or NFTs by playing the game. How you earn in a P2E game depends on the game, and getting started often requires an initial investment — buying the NFTs required to play.

Bomb Crypto, for example, requires players to purchase the NFT heroes to play the game modes, and once the modes are complete, players are paid in the game’s native cryptocurrency. Some games pay players the game’s native cryptocurrency with each winning match, like Thetan Arena or Splinterlands.

Some users sign up for crypto P2E games to collect the in-game NFTs and sell them on the secondary market.

  • What you need: A browser to play a game or mobile app, crypto wallet and cryptocurrency.
  • How to start: Choose a blockchain P2E game and create an account. Check out our crypto game list if you’re not sure what game you want to play. From there, set up the game and participate in the play-to-earn aspects, or collect the in-game NFTs to sell.
  • How much can I make? It varies depending on how much you play, how many accounts you have and the value of the in-game currency you earn. Reports say new Axie Infinity players can start earning around 75 SLP to 300 SLP per day, which is roughly $1.31 to $5.24 a day, at the time of writing.

NFT staking

Staking is when you lock up your token or coin for a set amount of time — called a vesting period — in a staking pool, in exchange for rewards or interest every cycle. When you stake an NFT you’re investing in a project for possible reward.

Staking an NFT means you can withdraw only once the vesting period is up — if you withdraw early, you miss out on rewards. However, while it’s locked, you still maintain ownership.

The locked assets help with a blockchain’s consensus mechanism. In return, the owners of the tokens earn rewards, which vary.

A pool is a collection of assets that are secured by a smart contract. Rewards from the pool can be divided between the participants, managed by a blockchain. Users add their tokens to the pool for a chance to add a new block to the blockchain for rewards.

Staking is a passive earning and long-term strategy. It’s similar to placing assets in a savings account and earning interest. However, if the value of the staked assets depreciates, the earned interest may not outweigh the loss. The rewards you can earn vary by project.

Before staking, read the blockchain game or platform’s rules and lock cycles, as they widely vary. Platforms that support staking may also have staking guidelines and how-to’s on their site or Discord server.

  • What you need: Crypto wallet, NFT to stake and a platform that allows you to stake.
  • How to start: Staking NFTs is primarily done in play-to-earn games at the time of writing, often called “farming.”
  • How much can I make? The platform you use largely determines the amount you earn from staking. It’s often expressed as a percentage per cycle, like an annual percentage yield (APY). You may earn anywhere between 5% to 20% APY, depending on the pool. In some cases, you may be compensated with exclusive access to airdrops or in-game rewards.

NFT liquidity pool

A liquidity pool is a collection of coins or tokens that are locked in by a smart contract that controls the exchange and price. It’s a pool of paired crypto assets that lets users swap assets for the other without needing a market order trade. Users pool the paired assets together so they’re available to swap.

Users that invest the paired tokens are called liquidity providers (LPs). LPs can participate in decision-making protocol, using their tokens to vote.

The funds in these pools can be used for NFT trading and crypto lending. LPs can earn from yield farming (lending assets to earn rewards), and liquidity mining (lending or staking and earning rewards in the form of transaction fees). Earnings stay in the pool, which allow them to compound.

Putting your assets in a liquidity pool can earn rewards, though it’s not entirely risk-free. There’s a chance you could lose money if assets in the pool yield less income than holding the assets normally, this is called impermanent loss.

Be sure to read the rules and protocol surrounding the platform’s liquidity pool before investing.

  • What you need: A crypto wallet, the token pair required to join a pool and account with the platform you want to use.
  • How to start: Log on to the platform with the pool you want to join and deposit the tokens required, using your crypto wallet.
  • How much can I make? It varies. On the Ethereum-USDC liquidity pool on Uniswap, LPs can earn the equivalent of 25% APY at the time of writing, as reported by Benzinga.

Bottom line

Earnings aren’t guaranteed with any tactic. However, the less risky investment methods include P2E games and creating your own NFTs.

No matter which method you choose — if you choose one at all — invest only what you can afford to lose. Cryptocurrency and tokens are under decentralized finance (DeFi) meaning there isn’t a large entity governing transactions. If your assets are stolen or you lose out on a trade, there’s no recourse.

Compare marketplaces to buy NFTs

Name Product Categories Blockchains Payment methods Platform Genre
Gala Entertainment
Gala Entertainment
Gaming
Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, GALA
Cryptocurrency
Browser
Blockchain games
Blockchain gaming platforms where you can earn Gala and NFTs through playing.
Splinterlands
Splinterlands
Collectibles, Gaming, Trading cards
Hive
Cryptocurrency, PayPal
Browser, mobile
Trading card game (TCG)
Splinterlands is a digital, play-to-earn, collectible card game built on hive blockchain technology.
SoRare
SoRare
Sports, Collectibles, Gaming, Trading cards
Ethereum
Credit card, Debit card, Cryptocurrency, Bank transfer
Browser
Trading card and fantasy sports app
A fantasy football game with collectible NFT cards, officially supported by the biggest soccer leagues in the world.
Binance NFT Marketplace
Sports, Collectibles, Art, Gaming, Music, Trading cards, Domain names, Metaverse (Virtual Worlds), Memes, DeFi, Mixed
Ethereum
Credit card, Debit card, Cryptocurrency, Bank transfer
Browser
NFT marketplace
A peer-to-peer marketplace supported by one of the worlds largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. Not currently available to U.S. residents.
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