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How to Create a Digital Items Marketplace like Mintable?

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Yuri Musienko
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Featured image for How to Create a Digital Items Marketplace like Mintable?

Mintable is one of the most popular marketplaces for digital items. It functions on NFT and blockchain and focuses on visual arts, music, videos, sports goods, and collectible items. This article will tell you how this platform functions and create a Mintable clone. Namely, a marketplace with a similar set of processes and designs.

Digital items marketplaces types

General trading platforms. Mintable allows us to create, sell, buy, and gift various non-fungible tokens. The tokens are not related to a niche, and these can be cyberpunk pixel images, domain names, or code lines. These platforms are general since you can trade any common digital item there.

To create such an NFT marketplace, one will first need to develop a traditional online shop. Next, one will integrate smart contracts that allow regular users to create ERC-721 NFTs on Ethereum. Furthermore, people do not need any programming, cryptography, or NFT knowledge. You can create NFTs from your JPEG, PNG, MP4, PDF, etc., files following straightforward instructions.

Types of NFTs you can mint, sell, and buy on Mintable

Types of NFTs you can mint, sell, and buy on Mintable. Source.

NFT platforms for a niche. However, Mintable clone is not necessarily a general trading platform. You can create a marketplace that will follow a particular niche. This approach is less risky since you can develop personalized design and marketing strategies that will work for your target audience. As various researches show, these designs and methods are more effective. Furthermore, the start-ups suffer less from risks.

NBA Top shot went this way. They trade images, animations, and short clips of epic NBA moments; Valuables exchange famous, funny, sad, and original tweets; Looking Glass Factory trade 3D holograms of items, buildings, plants, animals, people, planets, and other things; Foundation trades works of various photographs, designers, artists, and other creators. Furthermore, there are NFT platforms like Ethernity Chain, where celebrities trade their NFTs to gain funds for charity. 

Developing a Mintable clone focused on a niche starts with creating an online shop and integrating smart contracts. In this case, one will need a creative, unique design for a specific target audience. For example, sports fans, fantasy fans, Tolkien fans, citizens of certain countries, or people aged 18+.

An example of BigFan — a personalized design of a sports NFT marketplace

An example of BigFan — a personalized design of a sports NFT marketplace. Source.

Online galleries of NFT collections. Also, there are trading platforms like galleries where users can show their non-fungible tokens. These platforms do not offer minting or trading NFTs. Hence, these platforms are much cheaper to develop. This is the most affordable clone of Mintable, yet with fewer functions. 

NFT galleries can be general or focused on a niche. For example, Mynt.la is a gallery for everything, while Spatial (an application for 3D workspaces) demonstrates only 3D objects.

The target audience and platform’s niche

Just like for developing software, you will need to know the target audience of your digital items market, the issues it will solve, and the benefits it will bring to the users. To get this information, you will need to decide upon which NFT type you will develop since it will determine the entire market structure and niche.

We advise you first to decide on the niche (sport, music, video games, texts, 3D models, etc.). Next, determine the user’s image to see the demography, goals, needs, user patterns, channels of receiving information, and users’ pains.

An example of a brief description of NFT marketplace users

An example of a brief description of NFT marketplace users. Source.

The business model and the platforms’ monetization

Mintable is a trading platform that offers users free access to posting and viewing NFT art. Mintable earns money on the fee, 2.5% to 10% of the NFT’s price. Moreover, the shop offers marketing instruments to boost the process of trading. 

While developing a Mintable clone, you can choose the same monetization pattern, yet it is not the single solution. Smart contracts allow applying various business models. Here are the most common ones:

Trading fees. This is probably the most common means of NFT platform monetization. It considers taking a fee after successfully selling an item. It can be a regular fee like Mintable, OpenSea (2.5% of the NFT’s price + the gas costs), and Ethernity Chain (10% of each trade). Nifty Gateway takes 30 cents for reselling an item as royalty.

Listing fees. The idea of this monetization model is taking a fee for listing an item in a shop. Rarible employs this method. They accept payment in ETH (40 to 100 dollars) for posting an NFT item on their platform.

I/O fee. NFT-platforms often charge a fee for depositing/withdrawing money. The implication is that this is a fee for the speed and convenience of working with fiat: the platform assumes the difficulties associated with the withdrawal of cryptocurrency into fiat and its transfer to the user's bank account/card.

Promoting and advertising. Usually, these are instruments that help sell items on a platform faster. These are things like changing the color, boosting it to the top of the lists, showing it on the home page. Furthermore, you can create spaces on your platform for advertising banners.

Key function of Mintable

If you happen to be accustomed to digital art and NFT marketplaces, we would like to emphasize that platforms like OpenSea, SuperRare, Rarible, KnownOrigin, and Async Art do not offer enough flexibility to the users since the functions there do not allow maintaining the complete ownership over smart contracts. Mintable managed to solve this issue which later became its main advantage. 

The Mintable team says that their marketplace for digital assets is the first platform where the users can create their NFTs and maintain the ownership rights in smart contracts. They were the first to develop an instrument for packet NFT processing and the first tool to manage the NFTs with any ERC-721. Furthermore, Mintable was the first to offer gas-free minting of non-fungible tokens. Hence, the NFT market became accessible to all creators even if they had no money. 

The list of essential functions for any NFT marketplace:


Blockchain integration. Mintable functions only with Ethereum blockchain (ERC0721 token standard). However, your project can use other solutions. You can develop a Mintable clone on Binance Smart Chain (BSC) blockchain, BEP-721, BEP-1155, TRC-721, dGoods, and other networks. The more NFT standards your marketplace will support, the more prominent the audience.

Minting NFT assets. Mintable does not take fees for minting non-fungible tokens, while other platforms charge 20-100 dollars. The process is straightforward, like posting an item for sale on Craiglist, OLX, or Amazon.

Non-fungible token minting process

Non-fungible token minting process. Source.

Fast access via social networks. NFT platforms are not necessarily anonymous. Artists, photographs, designers, and other creators would gladly tell you about themselves. Hence, for the regular login and password solution, you can add fast registration and access via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other popular social network. 

A showcase for digital goods. A showcase is the face of any online marketplace. This will determine the design and functionality of your project. Hence, while you develop your Mintable clone, dwell on whether you need an exact copy of the original’s interface or it is better for you to build something unique. Launching a project focused on a particular niche and audience is crucial.

Navigation, search engine, filters. The faster the trading process on your platform, the better it is. Ensure that your platform provides a smooth and comfortable experience over the website and the application, and see whether your search engine is straightforward and functions well. 

Mintable marketplace search engine example

Mintable marketplace search engine example.

Effective trading cards. For a token trading card to be sellable, it should have a nice appearance and be as informative as possible. It should contain all the essential information about the NFT: image, name, creator/seller, price, auction terms, etc.

Secure access to the wallet. The best thing you can do for your users is developing a platform that will not have access to their private addresses. But this is not always convenient for users, so perhaps you should implement an internal custodial wallet and achieve maximum protection.

Rating system and reviews. It is necessary for all trading platforms since it helps track the users’ good and bad behavior. Furthermore, it will create a friendly atmosphere in the marketplace, which will fight fraud and unethical behavior. 

Token collection. Mintable and many similar platforms create NFT groups and sell them in a single lot. Do not forget about this function when you develop your Mintable clone. 

Trades/auctions. NFTs are sold traditionally for a fixed price or on an auction like eBay. It can be a first-price auction, a second-price auction (Vickrey auction), a Dutch or English auction.

Here is the complete list of unique Mintable functions and their description

All the market can offer. One-stop NFT store for all ERC-721 standard tokens in the Ethereum network. To view the list of the available tokens or find a necessary one, just visit the mintable.app and use the showcase or the search engine’s filters of category, price, etc. 

Rarity Meter. A special machine learning algorithm will analyze various characteristics of NFTs to determine their rarity qualities. It is possible to estimate the rarity of an asset by summing all the parameters or just specific criteria.

Sales analytics. A tool that uses blockchain data to represent the token’s details. It shows information about the assets, the quantities and value of trades, average price, etc. 

Transaction story. It uses information from the Ethereum blockchain to describe the transaction history of ERC-721 tokens. The token creators will use the data to determine the rating of NFTs similar to their ones and access information on potential customers.

Social chronology. Mintable’s contact history shows when and with whom a specific person interacted with the other one. Also, it shows the price.

Searching via the wallet address. It allows searching NFTs by the owner’s wallet address. It functions with all ERC-721 tokens. 

Royalty percent. This instrument will help the creators charge a royalty for reselling their tokens.

Updates in real-time. It informs the users about the NFTs they created. It said when the NFT was sold, to whom, and at what price.

Platform’s architecture and technological stack

Platform’s architecture. To develop a digital items marketplace like Mintable, you will need to work on the information architecture. You will visualize the platform’s logic, components, and the means of communication between them. This architecture will function as a map for the designers when they work on the user interface design.

BigFan information map. A marketplace for sports-related NFTs

BigFan information map. A marketplace for sports-related NFTs.
This is an example of the technological stack of the server part of an NFT platform. 
  • Blockchain: Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain.
  • Token standard: ERC-721, ERC-1155, BEP-721, BEP-1155.
  • Smart contracts: Ethereum virtual machine or BSC.
  • SQL databases: MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, MS SQL, Oracle.
  • DevOps: GitLab CI, TeamCity, GoCD Jenkins, WS CodeBuild, Terraform.
  • NoSQL databases: MongoDB, Cassandra, DynamoDB.
  • Search systems: Apache Solr, Elasticsearch.
  • Programming languages: Java, PHP, Python.
  • Frameworks: Spring, Symphony, Flask.
  • Cache: Redis, Memcached.
An example of the frontend technological stack for an NFT platform
  • Programming languages for web: Angular.JS, React.JS, Vue.JS.
  • Programming languages for App: Java, Kotlin for Android, and Swift for iOS.
  • Architecture: MVVM for Android, and MVC, MVP, MVVM, and VIPER for iOS
  • IDE: Android Studio and Xcode for iOS.
  • SDK: Android SDK and iOS SDK. 

A Mintable clone development process

An NFT platform is complex software that must be pleasing in appearance, highly functional, user-friendly, and provide a high level of reliability and security. This can only be achieved by creating a product from scratch since off-the-shelf solutions are always templating design and security risks. 

In addition, the development of such software should be developed by an experienced development team specializing in blockchain and NFT, such as Merehead. We have been developing blockchain solutions of various complexity since 2015 - from smart contracts to cryptocurrency exchanges and NFT platforms. Explore our portfolio and find out the terms of cooperation via sales@merehead.com or call +1 206-785-16-88.

The custom development process itself usually consists of six steps:

  1. Goal Determination. The business analysis of the idea is performed, the target niche and audience are studied. A requirements specification is made - a list of features, platform and design requirements, specifications, technology stack.
  2. Development of UI / UX design.  Creation of information architecture, optimization of user flows, creation of brand identity, etc. Development of wireframes and platform prototypes.
  3. Writing program code. Code writing from scratch, updating, extending, refactoring existing projects, and writing smart contracts. Depending on the project, this is handled by the front-end, backend, blockchain, and mobile developers.
  4. Product testing. Debugging and quality assurance of the created product by testing functionality, reliability, usability, and other essential components of the software.
  5. Deploying the release and moving the created product from the working environment to the production environment and providing it to users. Publication of mobile applications in the App Store, Google Play, Microsoft Store, Amazon App Store.
  6. Product support. Training the client's staff to work with the created product, performing technical support and troubleshooting, monitoring and maintaining systems and applications.

Launching costs of a Mintable analog

The cost of NFT-platform development depends on many factors, the main ones being the complexity of the project and the location of the company developer. The complexity of a software product is understood as the number of functions and the depth of their development, and the complexity of design implementation. Location is essential because developers’ wages in different countries may differ several times. So, in the U.S., the hourly rate of the developer - $100 per hour, while in Poland or Ukraine, a specialist of the same level will receive only $30 per hour.

Launching costs of a Mintable analog


How to Create a Digital Items Marketplace like Mintable? key takeaways:
  1. Digital items marketplaces types
  2. The target audience and platform’s niche
  3. The business model and the platforms’ monetization
  4. Key function of Mintable
  5. Here is the complete list of unique Mintable functions and their description
  6. Platform’s architecture and technological stack
  7. A Mintable clone development process
  8. Launching costs of a Mintable analog
Merehead does professional development of develop digital item marketplace. If you have questions, contact us for a free consultation.

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