Minting is a critical part of creating a digital collectable or what is otherwise known as a non-fungible token (NFT). By understanding what minting is and how it works, you can understand the overall process of creating digital collectables from your catalogue of artifacts and artwork.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, minting is making or producing a coin or money out of metal. In the blockchain world, however, it is creating and issuing a new asset, either a cryptocurrency or a non-fungible token (NFT).
It’s called ‘minting’ because back in the earliest forms of currency when physical assets such as gold and silver were minted into coins to establish their value and facilitate trade.
In most cryptocurrencies, the process of minting new coins is closely tied to the process of mining (another “borrowed” term) in which computers compete to solve complex mathematical problems in order to validate transactions and earn rewards in the form of new units of the cryptocurrency.
Mining is a complex process but for the purpose of minting, it’s essentially helping to create cryptocurrencies and be added to circulation.
And while the mining process is important for creating cryptocurrencies, it is not essential to create digital collectables.
Museums have a lot to know about minting and its potential usage. We examine it below.
Minting A Digital Collectable (NFT)
Several factors can influence minted assets' value. These include the perceived rarity or uniqueness of the asset, the demand for the asset, and the overall state of the market. For example, a digital collectable of a rare piece of digital art may be more valuable if it is in high demand and the overall market for NFTs is strong.
Potential uses for minting in the museum industry
Minting can be used for the following purposes in the museum industry:
1. Digital art exhibitions and auctions
Digital art exhibitions and auctions using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have become popular for museums and other cultural institutions to showcase and sell digital artworks. Digital collectables are unique digital assets stored on a blockchain, allowing them to be easily verified and authenticated.
This makes them a secure and trustworthy way to sell and collect digital art, and museums and other organizations have used them to sell a wide range of digital artworks, including digital paintings, sculptures, and even virtual reality experiences.
2. Collectible items
Collectible items such as virtual tickets or merchandise can also be minted as NFTs. For example, a museum could create an NFT for a virtual ticket to an exhibition, which could be bought and sold online. These NFTs could be used for museums to generate revenue from online exhibitions or for collectors to own unique digital memorabilia.
3. Creating educational resources or interactive exhibits utilizing minted assets.
Minting can also be used in the museum industry to create educational resources or interactive exhibits utilizing minted assets. For example, a museum could create an NFT as a virtual tour guide, providing visitors with information about the museum's exhibits and collections.
Alternatively, a museum could create an interactive exhibit that uses NFTs for visitors to engage with the content more effectively.
Minting has the potential to be a powerful tool for museums and other cultural institutions looking to showcase and sell digital art, collectibles, and educational resources.
By using NFTs, museums can create unique and verifiable digital assets that can be bought and sold online and used to create engaging and interactive experiences for visitors.
Challenges and considerations for museums when using minting
There are several technical hurdles and considerations that museums may face when minting assets.
Understanding the tools
Minting assets typically requires having a secure crypto wallet. A crypto wallet sort of acts like the wallet you keep in your pocket. Just as your wallet that you carry with you, a crypto wallet allows you to store, send, and receive cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. It works by storing your private and public keys, which are used to send and receive transactions on the blockchain network.
There are several types of crypto wallets, including:
- Software wallets: These are digital wallets that you can download and install on your computer or mobile device. They offer a high level of security and control, but also require you to take extra steps to protect your keys and keep your wallet safe.
- Hardware wallets: These are physical devices that you can use to store your crypto assets. They offer an extra layer of security by keeping your keys offline and away from the reach of hackers.
- Paper wallets: These are physical wallets that consist of a piece of paper with your private and public keys written on them. They offer a high level of security, but also require you to take extra steps to protect the keys and keep them safe.
- Web wallets: These are online wallets that are accessed through a web browser. They are convenient to use, but also pose a higher risk of being hacked because they are connected to the internet.
Cost and complexity
Creating and managing minted assets can be a complex and time-consuming process. It may require specialized expertise and resources, which can increase the overall cost for the museum.
Compliance with laws and regulations
Minting assets also require compliance with relevant laws and regulations, such as securities, money laundering, and consumer protection. This can be a challenge for museums, as they may need more expertise or resources to ensure compliance.
Minting assets can be challenging and complex, and museums may need to invest significant time, resources, and expertise to implement this technology successfully. Before pursuing this option, museums must carefully consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of minting assets.
How museums can get started with minting
Minting refers to creating and issuing non-fungible tokens (NFTs), digital assets representing ownership of a unique item or piece of content.
Museums and other cultural institutions may be interested in minting to create digital versions of physical objects in their collections or to create new digital assets related to their exhibitions and programs.
To get started with minting, museums can follow these steps:
1. Research and choose a reputable minting platform or marketplace
Many platforms and marketplaces allow users to mint and sell NFTs. It is important to research and compare different options to find a reputable, easy-to-use platform, and aligned with the museum's goals and values.
2. Set up a digital wallet
To mint and manage NFTs, museums must set up a digital wallet. Several options are available, such as software wallets, hardware wallets, and online wallets. Museums should choose a wallet that is secure and easy to use.
3. Train staff on the basics of minting and how to use it in museum exhibits and auctions.
It is important for museum staff to understand the basics of minting and how it can be used in museum exhibits and auctions. This may involve training on specific platforms and tools and best practices for creating and managing NFTs.
4. Consider offering educational resources or events to educate the public on minting and its potential applications.
Museums can play a role in educating the public about minting and its potential applications in the art world and beyond. This could involve offering educational resources. It could also take the form of hosting events, such as talks or workshops, to teach people about NFTs and how they can be used.
Minting offers a unique opportunity for museums to create and manage digital assets in a secure and decentralized way. It also allows them to engage their audience in new and interactive ways.
While there are challenges to using minting, the benefits outweigh the risks for museums willing to embrace this innovative asset creation and management approach.
Museums can get started with minting by researching and choosing a reputable platform or marketplace, setting up a digital wallet, training staff, and offering educational resources.