Minting NFT on Cardano

Technology 25.01.2023

Minting NFT on Cardano

No smart contract is needed to mint NFT on Cardano. NFT authors must define a minting policy and sign a specially created mint transaction.

NFTs are native assets on Cardano, so they need to be uniquely associated with a policy. The policy defines the name of the asset (NFT), who can mint (and possibly burn) it, and the time constraint for interaction with it. The amount of NFT to be minted is defined in the transaction and not in the policy.

NFTs are specified by name and policy ID. Notice that asset names might not be unique and can be easily duplicated. Cardano NFTs need to be identified by the policy ID. Policy IDs are always unique and attached permanently to NFT. Cardano will not allow anyone to change the policy for an existing asset.

The authors publish the policy ID under which the NFTs were minted so that anyone can easily distinguish duplicate NFTs from the original tokens. It is possible to trace all NFTs minted within the policy.

Try to find the policy ID of the Clay Nation project on its website. You should find the following string: 40fa2aa67258b4ce7b5782f74831d46a84c59a0ff0c28262fab21728

The original form looks like this:

Each NFT is specified through metadata. The policy ID is one of the pieces of information you will find in the metadata. In addition to this information, you will usually also find the NFT name, collection name, NFT storage, and more in the metadata.

Jam on Bread displays the metadata of every NFT. Let’s have a look at NFT with the name Clay Nation #9393. Check the policy ID.

Click on the Full metadata button to see metadata:
(You can find the same information in Cexplorer)

NFTs are usually uploaded to IPFS and there is a link to the image in the metadata.

NFT collectors should search the official NFT collection website (or discord) and find the policy ID. When they buy NFTs, they should make sure that they buy the original through the verification of the policy ID. Every marketplace and NFT explorer display metadata.

The policy can expire if the NFT author wishes. This means that there cannot be minted another NFT under the same policy ID. The authors are not forced to define a date when the policy will be locked. In this case, NFTs can be minted forever. Collectors can see the policy details in the blockchain explorer. Users just need to know the Policy ID and use that to find details. Authors can define the slot (slots determine the time in the Cardano network) after which the policy locks. If the policy expires, the NFT cannot be burned and will exist forever.

If you enter the policy ID of the Clay nation project into Cexplorer, you can see the date when the policy expired. You can find this information at the top right, or click on Timelock.

NFT can only be burned if it is owned by whoever holds the private keys associated with the policy. If you have the NFT in your wallet, no one, not even the author, can burn it or otherwise take it from you.