NFTs on Hedera: A growing community of projects, applications, and ecosystem tools
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Apr 27, 2022
by Brady Gentile
Product Marketing at Hedera Hashgraph

The organic growth and adoption of NFTs on Hedera has been explosive. Since the launch of NFTs (HIP-17), configurable royalties (HIP-18), and standards (HIP-412 replacing HIP-10) for the Hedera Token Service* in September of 2021, the Hedera network started to see the beginnings of exponential usage of NFT use cases.

It takes a village to kick-start the flywheel needed to lift an entire ecosystem off the ground — and in web3 it’s the rule, not the exception. In less than 5 months, NFT collectors, project creators, and ecosystem devs have banded together organically to breathe life into the NFT ecosystem on Hedera.

In this blog posting, we’ll dive into both on-ledger and marketplace-specific adoption metrics for NFTs (transfers, mints, accounts, and HBAR volume), why people are choosing Hedera for NFT use cases, and how to get started with NFTs as a collector, creator, or ecosystem developer.

  1. Strong, organic growth of the NFT ecosystem on Hedera

  2. Why Hedera: Low Fees, Carbon Negative, Scalable, and Ease of Development

  3. Get started with NFTs: Collectors, creators, and ecosystem developers

*HTS is a native tokenization service built on Hedera — it offers 10,000 transactions per second, easily configurable custom token royalties, the lowest carbon footprint of any public ledger, and incredibly low, predictable fees. And today, it integrates directly into Hedera’s Solidity-based smart contracts to take advantage of full programmability for your application.

Strong, organic growth of the NFT ecosystem on Hedera

Being a public, distributed ledger, the Hedera network’s on-ledger data is transparently available. Explorers, such as DragonGlass.me and Kabuto, enable querying of specific accounts and transactions, while integrations such as 1-click deploy of Hedera mirror nodes on Google Cloud Compute, combined with Hedera ETL, enables more complex querying of data and surfacing of insights.

Hedera is currently using an internally-facing tool called Metrika to query network data, which is from where this data has been pulled. Long term, I would personally like to see this data surfaced in an easily accessible and queryable way for the community to surface these insights.

Found below are metrics related to NFT adoption and growth on the Hedera network. If you have your own questions about NFT data on Hedera, we recommend checking out the resources listed above or reaching out to @bmgentile on Twitter with your questions — we’re a curious group and always looking out for good questions to ask about network data.

Cumulative & monthly average NFT transfers

This metric is defined as 1) the total number of NFT transfers on the Hedera network over time and 2) on average per month. This is a TokenTransfer transaction and costs a fixed fee of $0.001 USD paid in $HBAR.

Example
I own an NFT and place it on a secondary market, such as Zuse — the NFT is transferred from my account to its new owner (please take good care of it!). That counts as a single token transfer and is added to the total.

Why it’s important
The growth of NFT transfers on Hedera, in accompaniment with the metrics below, acts as a health indicator of secondary market sales of NFTs on Hedera and retail sentiment.

Cumulative NFT Transfers

Cumulative NFT transfers on the Hedera mainnet as of 4/26/2022. April data is partial.

Average NFT Transfers

Average NFT transfers per month on the Hedera mainnet as of 4/26/2022. April data is partial.

Cumulative NFTs minted on Hedera

This metric is defined as the cumulative number of NFTs minted on the Hedera network over time. This is a TokenMint transaction and costs a fixed fee of $0.05 USD paid in $HBAR.

Example
I’m an NFT creator using Turtle Moon to launch my NFT project to the public. An NFT collector goes to Turtle Moon and mints an NFT from my project into their account. The minting transaction which occurs counts as a single non-fungible token mint.

Why it’s important
NFTs minted on Hedera proves healthy adoption of the NFT use case through 1) new NFT projects and 2) the continuation of existing projects (subsequent NFT generations) on the Hedera network.

We recognize that NFT use cases extend far beyond digital art — they have the capability to represent physical and digital assets, financial instruments, and more. We anticipate the metric of assets under management (AUM) on Hedera to be just as important in the coming years.

Cumulative NF Ts Minted

Cumulative NFTs minted on the Hedera mainnet as of 4/26/2022. April data is partial.

Accounts on Hedera associating and holding NFTs

This metric is defined as the number of Hedera accounts holding NFTs and have associated* at least 1 NFT. For token associations, it is a TokenAssociate transaction and costs a fixed fee of $0.05 USD paid in $HBAR.

Example
I’m an NFT collector visiting the secondary marketplace HashAxis; prior to my purchase and subsequent transfer of an NFT, I’m required to associate the NFT’s token ID with my account in 1 click using the HashPack wallet. Having my account associated with an NFT and my account holding 1 (or more) NFTs counts towards the metrics below.

Why it’s important
The number of accounts associating NFT token IDs and holding NFTs indicates healthy retail adoption of NFT application use cases on Hedera.

*Hedera core contributors made a decision early on (to prevent token spamming seen on alternative ledgers) to require accounts on the network to either 1) associate a specific token ID with the account in order to receive it or 2) configure auto token association on an account to receive any type of token without having to associate it first.

≥1 NFT associated

Holding 1 - 5 NFTs

Holding 5 - 10 NFTs

Holding 10+ NFTs

Total # of Hedera accounts

32,036

24,377

2,966

2,148

% of Hedera accounts with >10 HBAR

7.0%

5.3%

0.06%

0.05%


NFT marketplaces: HBAR volume transacted

Marketplaces driving the Hedera NFT flywheel on Hedera include HashAxis, Zuse Market, and Turtle Moon. Connecting to these marketplaces requires the HashPack wallet, the leading browser wallet for the Hedera ecosystem.

Each individual marketplace is responsible for exposing their own metrics to the community; we were provided a volume of HBAR transacted metric by each of them and aggregated it into the table below.

Volume of HBAR Transacted

Aggregate of marketplaces

~7,956,242 ℏ


Why Hedera: Low Fees, Carbon Negative, Scalable, and Ease of Development

The open source, public Hedera network is the best place to get started with NFTs. In talking with projects 1-1 through interviews, meetups, Discord channels, and more, there were three consistent themes which emerged to explain why they chose Hedera: Fees, Carbon, Scalability, and Ease of Development.

Low, Predictable Fees

Fees on Hedera are fixed, denominated in USD, and paid in $HBAR. Consistently we hear that NFT projects are choosing Hedera for its low, fixed fees. Found below is the fee schedule for NFT related transactions.

Hedera Transaction

Fixed Fee (USD paid in $HBAR)

Create a non-fungible token collection

$1.00

Mint a non-fungible token in a collection

$0.05

Associating an account with a token

$0.05

Transferring any sum of token(s)

$0.001


Found below is a fee comparison for minting a collection of 10,000 NFTs across various L1 networks. Please note that these figures are based on network token prices as of 4/26/2022.

Hedera

Avalanche

Algorand

Solana

Tezos

Minting a 10k NFT collection

$76.80 USD

(Fixed)

$682 USD

(@ $68.13)

$657 USD

(@ $0.65)

$1,614 USD

(@ $96.58)

$2,008 USD

(@ $2.73)


Sources: Hedera (link | TokenCreate + TokenMint @ 10 NFT mints per txn limit), Avalanche (link | Create Asset + Mint Asset), Algorand (Create ASA 0.1 ALGO + Mint Asset 0.001 ALGO txn fee), Solana (link), Tezos (link)

Negative Carbon Footprint

The NFT community across web3 has taken issue with the carbon footprint of public blockchain networks. For example, minting (creation) of an Ethereum based (Proof-of-Work) NFT uses over 142 kWh of energy.

Due to the efficiencies of hashgraph consensus, the Hedera network is the most sustainable public distributed ledger based on average energy consumed per transaction (0.00017 kWh), according to a recent study conducted by University College London.

That was not enough for the Hedera Governing Council — in addition, Hedera has committed to being a carbon negative public network through the purchase of quarterly carbon credits to offset emissions from all public facing infrastructure found at https://status.hedera.com/. Certificates and details for the carbon offset program can be found here.

Scalable Performance

The Hedera Token Service is a native tokenization service built on Hedera — because the service runs at the speed of hashgraph consensus, it can scale to 10,000 transactions per second with finality of those transactions occurring in 2 - 3 seconds.

Performance measurements for every version of the Hedera Services Code can be found in the release notes documentation: https://docs.hedera.com/guides/docs/release-notes/services

Ease of Development

The Hedera Token Service makes it incredibly easy for developers of NFT-focused ecosystem tools, applications, and projects to get started without the need to configure complex smart contracts — it’s all native to the Hedera API.

Additionally, tokens are mapped to ERC-20, 721, and 1155 standards, ensuring the appropriate standards for interoperability with other Solidity-based smart contract networks.

Let’s take a look at a simple example of creating an NFT on Hedera with a custom royalty fee:

Code Snippet Background
// CREATE NFT WITH CUSTOM FEE
    let nftCreate = await new TokenCreateTransaction()
        .setTokenName("Fall Collection")
        .setTokenSymbol("LEAF")
        .setTokenType(TokenType.NonFungibleUnique)
        .setDecimals(0)
        .setInitialSupply(0)
        .setTreasuryAccountId(treasuryId)
        .setSupplyType(TokenSupplyType.Finite)
        .setMaxSupply(CID.length)
        .setCustomFees([nftCustomFee])
        .setAdminKey(adminKey)
        .setSupplyKey(supplyKey)
        .setPauseKey(pauseKey)
        .setFreezeKey(freezeKey)
        .setWipeKey(wipeKey)
        .freezeWith(client)
        .sign(treasuryKey);

    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`);

Get started with NFTs: Collectors, creators, and ecosystem developers

Whether you’re an NFT collector, developer looking to build a marketplace or NFT-focused ecosystem tool, or project looking for a home network, the NFT ecosystem on Hedera is ready and waiting for you.

NFT Collectors

For NFT collectors, there are hundreds of projects minted on Hedera and accessible across multiple Hedera-specific marketplaces and minting launchpads. Follow the instructions below to get started:

Browser Wallet

You’ll want to begin your journey by installing the HashPack browser wallet in the Chrome web store — you can find it on their official website https://www.hashpack.app/.

Marketplaces & Collections

You can view collections across marketplaces compatible with the HashPack wallet by visiting the links below; in addition, if you’re a Twitter user, you can follow a growing list of NFT projects here.

NFT Creators

As an NFT project creator, Hedera is your network for minting the most sustainable NFTs on the planet — along with incredibly low and predictable fees, scalable transactions (10k tps), native custom royalty configurations, and full programmability when combined with Solidity-based Hedera smart contracts.

To get started building the next big NFT project on Hedera, we suggest starting with the following resources:

For Artists

You can easily mint NFTs into a collection through HashAxis or create a launchpad on Turtle Moon using the HashPack wallet to pay for the associated transaction fees:

For Developers

Get started with the Hedera Token Service by checking out these step-by-step tutorials and resources:

  • Official HTS Documentation (link)

  • Get Started with the Hedera Token Service - Part 1: How to Mint NFTs (link)

  • Get Started with the Hedera Token Service - Part 2: KYC, Update, and Scheduled Transactions (link)

  • NFT Standards HIP-412 (link)

Ecosystem Developers

For developers looking to build NFT marketplaces, wallets, ecosystem tools, and more, you’re just in time and we’re excited to have you on board. Here are some resources to help you get started:

  • Get Started with the Hedera Token Service - Part 1: How to Mint NFTs (link)

  • Get Started with the Hedera Token Service - Part 2: KYC, Update, and Scheduled Transactions (link)

  • NFT Standards HIP-412 (link)

  • Official HTS Documentation (link)