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NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) have exploded in popularity over the last couple of years. In 2021, the NFT market hit a value of around $40 billion, and by the end of the year, there were approximately 28.6 million wallets trading NFTs.
If you’re one of the many people (like me) who want to get in on the ground floor of this new investment opportunity, then you’ve probably already heard of Solana. Solana or “SOL” NFTs are gaining a lot of attention right now, thanks to their easy accessibility for possible traders.
Solutions like Solana are ensuring that we can buy NFTs without any large transaction fees or huge conversion costs. The question is, how exactly can you buy Sol NFTs safely, effectively, and without any unnecessary stress?
I’ll tell you how.
What Is Solana?
Let’s start by covering the basics: What are Solana NFTs?
To answer this question, you need to know how NFT transactions usually take place. NFTs rely on the use of blockchain technology – the same tech responsible for managing cryptocurrencies. For the most part, Ethereum (Ether, or ETH, is its native cryptocurrency) is the blockchain responsible for the most transactions in the NFT sector.
Solana is a competitor to Ethereum, thus challenging the original blockchain:
It competes with other leading blockchain platforms like Cordano (its native cryptocurrency is ADA) and is fast becoming what people are referring to as the “Ethereum Killer” because:
Solana is a blockchain platform that enables NFT trading without the common issues of Ethereum.
Solana is a layer one blockchain that was founded by Stephen Akridge, Greg Fitzgerald and Anatoly Yakovenko. The group built this blockchain because of the problems Ethereum was facing as an NFT platform, such as:
- billions in trading volume
- skyrocketing transaction fees
- massive issues with congestion
During the summer of 2021, Solana’s native cryptocurrency “SOL” boomed in value, thanks largely to the rising popularity of the NFT collecting opportunities on the platform.
What Are Solanart and SolSea?
Similar to how cryptocurrencies are managed through crypto wallets and special trading platforms called exchanges like Coinbase and Bittrex, NFTs have specific marketplaces of their own. For instance, Ethereum’s most popular marketplace at the moment is OpenSea, which manages around $6.5 billion in trade volume.
Solanart and SolSea are two of the top marketplaces that support Solana NFTs.
SolSea defines itself as the first marketplace that enables creators to choose and embed their licenses when they mint NFTs:
Solanart is another marketplace for finding, collecting and trading NFTs on Solana that launched just before SolSea:
There are a handful of other Solana marketplaces, too, like DigitalEyes.
Both SolSea and Solanart currently charge around 3% per transaction for trading in NFTs, and they both require you to have access to a Solana-based wallet (more on this below).
Learn More: 5 Best NFT Marketplaces for Beginners in 2023
How to Purchase an NFT on Solana
The good news for people who want to get involved with buying NFTs right now is that Solana is making it a lot easier for anyone to jump in. You can avoid the congestion and rising fees of Ethereum-based platforms and still start developing a decent NFT collection.
However, before you dive in to figuring out the technicalities of how to buy SOL NFTs, I think it’s worth considering how you’re going to choose the right products for you. Keep in mind, the guidance I’m giving here isn’t financial advice – it’s just opinion based on my own experiences.
Step 1: Setting Boundaries for Yourself
This is the most important advice I can give to NFT investors right now:
Only invest what you can afford to lose.
If you focus on spending only what you can actually afford to lose, then you’re not going to have to worry as much about what will happen if something goes wrong and your NFT loses value. If the market goes down, you can wait for it to rise back up again.
I’d recommend taking some time to make specific rules you want to follow before you start browsing through the art pieces and NFT options available to you. For instance, your rules might be:
- Only spend up to $X amount per piece
- Only spend $X amount in total
- Only choose pieces I have a direct emotional connection with
It’s up to you what you decide to build your collection around, but you’re going to have a much easier time coping if you’re not spending cash you may desperately need to access at a moment’s notice.
Step 2: Set Up Your Solana-Based Wallet
Next, you’re going to need a Solana-based wallet to start buying. Some of the most popular options are:
- SolFlare (note: you can’t use SolFlare on SolSea)
- Sollet (note: this is an open source wallet for advanced users and developers)
Remember, each of the Solana-supported NFT marketplaces have collections, fees, and terms to consider. With that in mind, make sure you do your research on your platform of choice before you commit your funds and start connecting your wallets.
For the purpose of this guide, let’s assume you’re going to use Phantom for your wallet. Visit the Phantom website and download the browser extension:
Then click Create New Wallet. It’s a very straightforward process.
Once you have your wallet set up, head over to the Solana marketplace you’re going to be using (SolSea, Solanart, etc.) so you can connect your wallet. You’ll need to create an account with the marketplace, but once you do that, the website will walk you through the basics of getting everything connected.
Step 3: Get Your SOL Crypto
Just like Ethereum-based platforms ask you to purchase your NFTs with ETH (the Ethereum currency), Solana-based platforms ask you to use SOL. This means you’re going to need to buy some SOL on one of the various exchanges available online.
Cryptocurrency exchange platforms that offer SOL include:
You’ll need to purchase your required SOL amount, then send it to your wallet address.
To get your SOL ready to buy SOL NFTs, you need to actually withdraw it into your Phantom wallet (or whichever wallet you choose to use). To do this, go to the app and click on the Withdraw screen, then decide where you want to withdraw your SOL to.
Note: I’d definitely recommend withdrawing just a little bit of SOL at first to make sure everything turns up where it’s supposed to be.
You can also just withdraw exactly what you need at any given time. For instance, if you find a piece of NFT art you want for 23 SOL, withdraw just that amount (plus a little extra for the transaction fee).
Step 4: Find Your Solana NFTs
There’s really no one-size-fits-all approach to NFT investment. Ultimately, everyone has their own “strategy.” One thing I have noticed (and it’s backed up by the stats), is that:
People tend to do best when they choose NFTs that resonate with them.
Collectibles are the most popular form of NFT because people are actively investing in artworks, memes and other digital creations which they feel connect with their specific personality or goals in life. This is definitely the case for me.
While I’ve chosen the NFTs in my collection for a number of reasons, the primary factor dictating what I buy is what I actually like. When I look for an NFT on a marketplace like Solanart and SolSea, I’m looking for something I think aligns with me and my personal background. I bought a “Solantasy NFT” because I used to play a lot of games and these SolWarrior NFTs look like pixelated game warriors:
If you need a little inspiration, you can check out the “trending” sections on the Solana marketplaces to see what kind of pieces are gaining the most attention right now. This can give you a good starting point if you’re just browsing to begin with.
Step 5: Buy Your NFTs
Solanart is probably one of the simplest tools to use when you’re buying SOL NFTs because it makes it easy to browse through content pretty much however you choose. You can explore the latest NFTs on the “top” or “trending” NFT collections, or just check out what’s new:
Solanart also gives you the option to search for collections and tokens, so you can search for things that interest you. Since I used to play a lot of RPGs and games throughout most of my life, I was immediately drawn to the game-based NFTs on this marketplace.
If you’re not finding anything that catches your eye, or you want to keep costs super low, you can also look for what’s trading at a very low price.
Once you find something you’re interested in, you just click on the NFT and you can read a little bit more about the piece. You’ll see things like who the art piece is currently owned by, what the price is, and where you can make an offer when your wallet is connected.
Step 6: Update Your Wallet
Actually purchasing the NFT and getting it added to your wallet is a super straightforward process. You literally just click a Buy button and then Approve the purchase when your Phantom wallet pops up. The Phantom browser extension will show you how much you’re going to spend, as well as the price of the transaction fee from Solanart.
Once you’ve made the purchase, you can check your Phantom wallet in the Collection section, and you should be able to see your new purchase sitting there. Simple, right?
Honestly, as soon as you start transferring SOL into your wallet and using it to make purchases on a system like Solanart, you should grasp the process pretty easily. You won’t have to deal with a lot of complicated processes like you would with other crypto and blockchain purchases.
It’s really easy to see why marketplaces like Solanart and SolSea are gaining so much popularity right now. They truly are very simple to use, and it doesn’t take a lot of practice to get to a point where you’re ready to start building your NFT collection.
Make the Most of Your NFT Collection
We’re still in the pretty early stages of the NFT revolution, so there’s a good chance more marketplaces and ETH competitors will show up in the months and years to come. Solana’s marketplaces are still very young, so they could also become a lot more intuitive – they do keep updating with a wider range of features to make your life a little easier.
Remember, once you’ve purchased your NFTs, you can transfer them over to a hardware wallet if you want in order to make sure everything is as secure as possible.
Once you discover how easy it is to purchase Solana NFTs, I think the biggest challenge will be convincing yourself not to just keep adding to your collection! If you’re struggling with temptation, remember to hold yourself to those rules or boundaries you set earlier and you should be fine.
Now that you know how to access Sol NFTs safely and easy, why not learn a little more about using NFTs to your advantage elsewhere? Sign up today for your FREE NFT marketing consultation to see how you can take your NFT strategy to the next level! 👇
This topic originally appeared on our Leveling Up YouTube channel, where you can find tons more videos on all things digital marketing, like NFTs, web3, SEO, content marketing, paid media, email marketing, growing your business, and much more!