Get Started with the Hedera Token Service - Part 1: How to Mint NFTs
Oct 26, 2021
by Ed Marquez
Developer Evangelist

Hedera Token Service (HTS) enables you to configure, mint, and manage tokens on the Hedera network without the need to set up and deploy a smart contract. Tokens are as fast, fair, and secure as hbar and cost a fraction of 1¢ USD to transfer.

Let’s look at some of the functionality available to you with HTS. You will see that the ease-of-use and flexibility this service provides make HTS tokens an excellent alternative to tokens with smart contracts on Ethereum. For those coming from Ethereum, HTS functionality can be mapped to multiple types of ERC token standards including ERC20, ERC721, and ERC1155 – you can learn more about the mapping in this blog post. And starting in early 2022, you will be able to use HTS with smart contracts for those use cases where you need advanced logic and programmability for your tokens.

In this part of the series, you will learn how to:

  • Create a custom fee schedule
  • Configure a non-fungible token (NFT)
  • Mint and burn NFTs
  • Associate and Transfer NFTs

We will configure an NFT art collection for autumn images. Note that with HTS you can also create fungible tokens that can represent anything from a stablecoin pegged to the USD value, or an in-game reward system.

Note: To make sure you have everything you need to follow along, be sure to check out these getting started resources. There, you will see how to create a Hedera testnet account, and then you can configure your development environment. If you want the entire code used, skip to the Code Check section below.

Create a Custom Fee Schedule

Let’s start by defining the custom fees for the NFT. Custom fees are distributed to the specified accounts each time the token is transferred. Depending on the token type (fungible or non-fungible), you can specify a custom fee to be fixed, fractional, or a royalty. An NFT can only have fixed or royalty fees, so in this example we’ll go with a royalty fee. This enables collecting a fraction of the value exchanged for the NFT when ownership is transferred from one person to another.

Code Snippet Background
    let nftCustomFee = await new CustomRoyaltyFee()
        .setFallbackFee(new CustomFixedFee().setHbarAmount(new Hbar(200)));

Note: while most of the following examples are in JavaScript, official SDKs supporting Go and Java are also available and implemented very similarly, alongside community-supported SDKs in .NET and various other frameworks or languages.

Create a Non-Fungible Token (NFT)

These are the images for our NFT collection.

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The images and their metadata live in the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), which provides decentralized storage. We will need the metadata when we start minting NFTs in the next section. For the metadata, we use the standard in this specification

These are the content identifiers (CIDs) for the NFT metadata, which points to the images and below is a sample of the metadata:

Code Snippet Background
CID = [
Code Snippet Background
  "name": "LEAF1.jpg",
  "creator": "Mother Nature",
  "description": "Autumn",
  "type": "image/jpg",
  "format": "none",
  "properties": {
    "city": "Boston",
    "season": "Fall",
    "decade": "20's"
  "image": "ipfs://bafybeig35bheyqpi4qlnuljpok54ud753bnp62fe6jit343hv3oxhgnbfm/LEAF1.jpg"

Now, let’s create the token. Use TokenCreateTransaction() to configure and set the token properties. At a minimum, this constructor requires setting a name, symbol, and treasury account ID. All other fields are optional, so if they’re not specified then default values are used. For instance, not specifying an admin key, makes a token immutable (can’t change or add properties); not specifying a supply key, makes a token supply fixed (can’t mint new or burn existing tokens); not specifying a token type, makes a token fungible; for more info on the defaults check out the documentation.

After submitting the transaction to the Hedera network, you can obtain the new token ID by requesting the receipt. This token ID represents an NFT class.

Code Snippet Background
    let nftCreate = await new TokenCreateTransaction()
        .setTokenName("Fall Collection")

    let nftCreateTxSign = await nftCreate.sign(adminKey);
    let nftCreateSubmit = await nftCreateTxSign.execute(client);
    let nftCreateRx = await nftCreateSubmit.getReceipt(client);
    let tokenId = nftCreateRx.tokenId;
    console.log(`Created NFT with Token ID: ${tokenId} \n`);

    var tokenInfo = await new TokenInfoQuery().setTokenId(tokenId).execute(client);

Console output:

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Mint and Burn NFTs

In the code above for the NFT creation, the decimals and initial supply must be set to zero. Once the token is created, you will have to mint each NFT using the token mint operation. Specifying a supply key during token creation is a requirement to be able to mint and burn tokens.

In terms of use cases, you may want to mint new NFTs to add items to your NFT class, or you may need to burn NFTs to take a specific item out of circulation. Alternatively, if you’re working with a fungible token (like a stablecoin), you may want to mint new tokens every time there is a new deposit and burn tokens anytime that someone converts their tokens back into fiat.

In this case we’re creating a batch of five NFTs for a collection of five images. We’ll use a “token minter” function and a for loop to speed up the batch NFT minting from our array of content identifiers (CID array):

Code Snippet Background
    nftLeaf = [];
    for (var i = 0; i < CID.length; i++) {
        nftLeaf[i] = await tokenMinterFcn(CID[i]);
        console.log(`Created NFT ${tokenId} with serial: ${nftLeaf[i].serials[0].low}`);
Code Snippet Background
    // TOKEN MINTER FUNCTION ==========================================
    async function tokenMinterFcn(CID) {
        mintTx = await new TokenMintTransaction()
        let mintTxSign = await mintTx.sign(supplyKey);
        let mintTxSubmit = await mintTxSign.execute(client);
        let mintRx = await mintTxSubmit.getReceipt(client);
        return mintRx;

Console output:

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If you change your mind and decide that you don’t need the last NFT, then you can burn it as follows:

Code Snippet Background
    let tokenBurnTx = await new TokenBurnTransaction()
    let tokenBurnSubmit = await tokenBurnTx.execute(client);
    let tokenBurnRx = await tokenBurnSubmit.getReceipt(client);
    console.log(`\nBurn NFT with serial ${CID.length}: ${tokenBurnRx.status} \n`);

    var tokenInfo = await new TokenInfoQuery().setTokenId(tokenId).execute(client);
    console.log(`Current NFT supply: ${tokenInfo.totalSupply} \n`);

Console output:

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Auto-Associate and Transfer NFTs

Before an account that is not the treasury for a token can receive or send this specific token ID, they must become “associated” with the token — this helps reduce unwanted spam and other concerns from users that don’t want to be associated with any of the variety of tokens that are created on the Hedera network.

This association between an account and a token ID can be done in two ways, manually or automatically. Note that automatic associations can be done for both existing and newly created accounts. For the purposes of our example, we’ll do both.

  • Alice’s account will be updated to associate with the token automatically
  • Bob’s account will be manually associated with the token ID
Code Snippet Background
    let associateTx = await new AccountUpdateTransaction()
    let associateTxSubmit = await associateTx.execute(client);
    let associateRx = await associateTxSubmit.getReceipt(client);
    console.log(`Alice NFT Auto-Association: ${associateRx.status} \n`);
    let associateBobTx = await new TokenAssociateTransaction()
    let associateBobTxSubmit = await associateBobTx.execute(client);
    let associateBobRx = await associateBobTxSubmit.getReceipt(client);
    console.log(`Bob NFT Manual Association: ${associateBobRx.status} \n`);

Console output:

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Finally, let’s do two transfers of the NFT with serial number 2 and see how the royalty fees are collected. The first transfer will be from the Treasury to Alice, and the second NFT transfer will be from Alice to Bob in exchange for 100 hbar.

NFT Transfer from Treasury to Alice

Now, let’s do the first NFT transfer and check the account balances before and after the send.

Code Snippet Background
    oB = await bCheckerFcn(treasuryId);
    aB = await bCheckerFcn(aliceId);
    bB = await bCheckerFcn(bobId);
    console.log(`- Treasury balance: ${oB[0]} NFTs of ID:${tokenId} and ${oB[1]}`);
    console.log(`- Alice balance: ${aB[0]} NFTs of ID:${tokenId} and ${aB[1]}`);
    console.log(`- Bob balance: ${bB[0]} NFTs of ID:${tokenId} and ${bB[1]}`);

    // 1st TRANSFER NFT Treasury->Alice
    let tokenTransferTx = await new TransferTransaction()
        .addNftTransfer(tokenId, 2, treasuryId, aliceId)
    let tokenTransferSubmit = await tokenTransferTx.execute(client);
    let tokenTransferRx = await tokenTransferSubmit.getReceipt(client);
    console.log(`\n NFT transfer Treasury->Alice status: ${tokenTransferRx.status} \n`);

Code Snippet Background
    // BALANCE CHECKER FUNCTION ==========================================
    async function bCheckerFcn(id) {
        balanceCheckTx = await new AccountBalanceQuery().setAccountId(id).execute(client);
        return [balanceCheckTx.tokens._map.get(tokenId.toString()), balanceCheckTx.hbars];

Console output:

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As you remember from the Custom Token Fees documentation, the treasury account and any fee-collecting accounts for a token are exempt from paying custom transaction fees when the token is transferred. Since the treasury account is also the fee collector for the token, that means there are no royalty fees collected in this first transfer.

NFT Transfer from Alice to Bob

Code Snippet Background
    // 2nd NFT TRANSFER NFT Alice->Bob
    let tokenTransferTx2 = await new TransferTransaction()
        .addNftTransfer(tokenId, 2, aliceId, bobId)
        .addHbarTransfer(aliceId, 100)
        .addHbarTransfer(bobId, -100)
    tokenTransferTx2Sign = await tokenTransferTx2.sign(bobKey);
    let tokenTransferSubmit2 = await tokenTransferTx2Sign.execute(client);
    let tokenTransferRx2 = await tokenTransferSubmit2.getReceipt(client);
    console.log(`\n NFT transfer Alice->Bob status: ${tokenTransferRx2.status} \n`);


Console output:

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Remember from the documentation that royalty fees are paid from the fungible value exchanged, which was 100 hbar in this case. The royalty fee is specified to be 50%, so that’s why the treasury collects 50 hbar and Alice collects the remaining 50 hbar. Keep in mind that when there’s no exchange of fungible value (like hbar or a fungible token), the fallback fee is charged (currently 200 hbar in our custom fee schedule).


You just learned how to create an NFT on the Hedera network at the native layer, without the need to code complex smart contracts! With just a few lines of code in your favorite programming language you can create, mint, burn, associate and transfer NFTs. Continue reading Part 2 to learn how to work with compliance features like know your customer (KYC), update tokens, and schedule transactions. In Part 3, you will see how to pause, freeze, wipe, and delete tokens.

Code Check