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21 September 2022

How to Develop an NFT Marketplace on Solana?

Are you looking to do the nft marketplace on solana?
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Solana is a blockchain that allows initiating smart contracts, dApps, and NFTs in an open, decentralized environment. Despite launching the network in 2020, it became one of the main Ethereum alternatives due to its colossal bandwidth and extra-low transaction fees. This article will tell you about blockchain’s advantages for creating an NFT marketplace on Solana and its development price.

Solana blockchain advantages

Solana blockchain advantages. Source.

Sixty-five thousand transactions per second (TPS). During the potential bandwidth test, Solana blockchain proved that it could process up to 65 000 TPS while average load and 190 000 TPS during high peak load. The project team claims that as the network develops, the capability will grow to 700 000 transactions per second.

The result of testing Solana’s blockchain bandwidth under laboratory conditions. Source.

Transaction cost is as little as $0,00025. Thanks to the extra-low transaction fees, Solana is one of the most cost-efficient blockchains thanks to the extra-low transaction fees. The costs are low both in terms of crypto transactions and initializing smart contracts. It’s essential if you plan to develop an NFT platform since creating NFTs employs smart contracts, costing more than regular transactions.

Minting an NFT on Solana costs $0,0004. For comparison, minting NFT on Ethereum costs $18 to $150, depending on the current rate.

Solana is more straightforward and cheap to cost. This network employs Rust programming language. It is much easier and more popular that Solidity, the programming language for Ethereum smart contracts. It makes finding experienced professionals easier, and the development price will be significantly lower. Furthermore, Solana has a special protocol called LLVM. The protocol allows transferring smart contracts and dApps from WASM networks (Ethereum 2.0, Polkadot, Dfinity, and EOS) to Solana.

Solana has no mempool issues. Mempool is the wait zone where initiated yet not approved transactions stay. In slow networks like Ethereum and Bitcoin, the load on the blockchain is often higher than its bandwidth. As a result, there is a queue in the mempool. The users have to pay higher transaction fees to move in the line. Hence, the fees on Ethereum in the recent year were often above $40. In May 2022, it skyrocketed to $196 per transaction.

Transaction fee on Ethereum in the first half of 2022. Source.

Solana vs. other blockchains comparisons

How to develop an NFT marketplace on Solana

As a rule, NFT marketplaces follow a similar process. First, a user creates an account and links their cryptocurrency wallet used for storing NFTs and as an authorization key on the website. Next, the users can mint their NFTs and attach files (videos, images, GIFs, audios, texts, etc.) they want to tokenize.

The next step in the process s selling the NFTs on the marketplace. A user can pick their sales type (fixed price or auction), preferred payment methods (crypto, fiat), duration (an hour, day, or week), and lot description. The lot must pass a moderation process, namely verifying the correspondence to marketplace rules and then listing it. After it, anyone can buy the asset and at it to their wallet.

Here is a step-by-step instruction for creating an NFT marketplace on Solana:

Step 1: Define your niche

General NFT market. All NFT platforms are typical of two types: general and specialized. General marketplaces offer various NFTs: art, sports, collectibles, video games, music, etc. You can create an NFT marketplace and provide a platform for numerous kinds of NFTs. It will broaden your target audience, yet the promotion will be more complicated since you will have to compete with market leaders like OpenSea, Rarible, and Mintable.

Specialized NFT platform. Another solution is to launch a niche platform like Valuables that sells famous people's tweets. Using this approach, you can create a personalized design and increase the marketing strategy efficiency.

Here are several promising niches you can pick for your NFT platform:

Step 2: Select a blockchain developer

As you define the niche, the next step is searching for and hiring a developer that will make your business idea become a secure and functional piece of software. We at Merehead have provided extensive technical support since 2015. We offer software development services in blockchain, cryptocurrency, and NFT industries. Not only that, but we will be happy to help you launch an NFT marketplace in your preferred niche.

Step 3: Select a project monetization model

The next step of developing an NFT platform requires determining the monetization model. In other words, stating the method, you will use to earn money. There are several models, namely:

Step 4: Specify the marketplace function

The showcase. This page will attract the users to your NFT platform and nudge them to register and buy assets. For this reason, the showcase must be as appealing as possible and have a typical design so the users can figure out how to use it at first glance. Furthermore, the NFTs on the platform must contain all info: price, owner, description, and preferred payment method.

The showcase on the Rarible NFT marketplace.

Integration with wallets. Wallets are dedicated applications that allow managing cryptocurrency assets, including NFTs. You must have several integrations with cryptocurrency wallets at your marketplace so that the users can pick their preferred option. Metamask, Coinbase Wallet are popular solutions. Also, wallets like AlphaWallet, Enjin, TrustWallet, PillarWallet, MathWallet, and Binance Chain Wallet are common.

Minting NFT assets. Your NFT marketplace must also offer to create new tokens. The process must be fast and straightforward since the NFT market brings mostly newbies without experience in using blockchain, smart contracts, and NFTs. In a perfect case, the process must be as simple as publishing advertisements on Craiglist, OLX, or Amazon.

NFT minting process scheme. Source.

Listing items. Creating an NFT doesn’t list it automatically on the marketplace. It requires the user to do the following steps: writing a description and stating a payment and sale method. Next, the moderator will verify the lot, and if it corresponds to the platform rules, it is listed on the marketplace.

Creating and selling an NFT on the OpenSea.

Smart search function. NFT platform should allow recording, storing, and displaying users’ history, including trading data, transaction history, created, listed, and sold NFTs. Apparently, the platform must have a search system to allow users to find the information they need.

Search filters. Developing an NFT marketplace with advanced filtering options will help users find the right NFT of their choice quickly. This will make your marketplace more attractive to all users and increase the speed of selling NFTs.

Ratings and feedback. It’s not a necessary function, yet today it is essential. Users are used to looking at other people's reactions, and when they don't see it, they start looking elsewhere. This creates conditions for traffic leakage from the site, which is worth avoiding. It's also helpful in building trust and preventing fraud on your trading platform.

Most popular NFT assets on the OpenSea.

Auction system.  In addition to selling NFTs at a fixed price, you should also offer your users the option to sell the item through an auction. This will be an added advantage for users when determining the cost of an NFT. Also, an auction makes bidding more interesting.

Notifications. Based on a user's transactions and search history, the platform may be able to send alerts and messages to users. For example, if their favorite artist's token appears on the market or some obscure activity occurs with their account.

NFT Royalty. This function can bring more users since it allows NFT creators to gain income on the resale of their tokens.

Support. All NFT trading floors should include a comprehensive customer support system via text chat, live call, or Knowledge Center to ensure that all user concerns are addressed and all their queries are adequately answered.

Step 5: Designing an excellent interface

The next stage of the NFT marketplace development is to decide what its user interface will look like. Optimally, if it will be both similar to the design of other popular NFT platforms and at the same time somehow stand out.

Technical stack of the NFT-marketplace interface:

Step 6: Develop smart contracts

The logic of how your NFT platform interacts with the Solana blockchain will be set up in smart contracts (Solana calls them "programs"). They will be responsible for minting NFTs and buying and selling them on your trading platform. The Solana network uses C, C++, and Rust for smart contracts.

 Step 7: Develop the server part

Despite smart contracts, your platform requires a backend development that will be responsible for storing and processing massive data volume outside the blockchain.
Technical stack for the server part of an NFT marketplace:

Step 8: Test your product

This step helps developers identify and fix critical bugs, security issues, or glitches. In addition, it is imperative to verify the correct operation and security of smart contracts, as they are the main target of hackers who want to steal your users' money and NFTs.
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