Lazy Minting vs. Gasless Minting, What's the Difference?


Minting an NFT refers to the process of putting a record of the token on the blockchain, in this case, Ethereum. This typically requires the creator to pay a gas fee to the Ethereum network to change the NFT contract's state on-chain.

Popular NFT platforms (OpenSea, Rarible, Mintable, etc.) have different strategies for reducing or removing gas fees for NFT creators. This article will walk through 2 popular approaches:

  1. Lazy Minting 
  2. Gasless Minting

Lazy Minting

Lazy minting means an NFT isn't minted until it's sold or transferred. The gas fees required to mint the NFT will fall on the customer and are added to the purchase price for the NFT. 

This strategy benefits the creator of the NFT by placing the burden of paying the gas fee onto the customer purchasing the NFT. Lazy minting is a useful strategy for NFT sales in larger quantities, such as a generative drop.

Popular NFT marketplaces such as Opensea have implemented lazy minting as it lowers the bar to entry for creators and allows you to create and sell a new NFT without any upfront costs.

Overview of implementation

For lazy minting to work, all of the following steps must not cost the seller of the NFT gas:

  1. Creating the NFT contract
  2. Creating the single NFT
  3. Listing the NFT

1. Creating the NFT Contract

There are several different methods for solving this step. One common solution, and the one we see Opensea implement, is to have a single shared ERC-1155 contract for all the NFTs created via OpenSea. 

Because ERC-1155 are uncapped on the number of tokens they can contain, every new NFT minted can be created using a single contract. This allows Opensea to bypass the gas fee for launching a new smart contract every time a user wants to make a new NFT project. 

2. Creating the NFT

A common way to prevent the seller from paying gas fees at this step is to keep the NFT metadata off-chain, displaying it to the buyer as if it was on-chain metadata. Once the buyer purchases the NFT, this metadata would be passed in to mint the NFT and the gas fees would be included in the purchase.

3. Listing the NFT

One solution to allow the seller to list the NFT without paying gas is to allow sell orders to be signed and kept in an off-chain orderbook. Gas fees are necessary when writing data to the blockchain. In this case, we don’t need to write the sell order to the blockchain, the seller can sign a nonce (random number used once and signed by user) with their wallet authorizing the order, which is stored in an off-chain orderbook and used later to match the order on-chain. 


Overall, there are some off-chain solutions necessary to make lazy minting work as intended. However, these off-chain solutions don’t detract from the project’s integrity when implemented correctly. As we discussed, popular NFT marketplaces doing billions of dollars in volume have implemented lazy minting on their platforms. It can be a great solution to remove the upfront cost making it a lot more approachable for new creators to drop NFTs. 

Gasless Minting

Gasless minting is when you can mint an NFT without incurring a transaction in the process. This means there will be no gas fee associated with minting the NFT but it will still appear on the Ethereum blockchain. 

The options for Gasless minting currently revolve around using a layer 2 solution such as ImmutableX or Polygon. A layer2 on Ethereum is a separate blockchain that lives on top of and extends the Ethereum blockchain. These blockchains often require much less gas than Ethereum allowing for some services such as ImmutableX to offer gasless minting. 

There are some platforms out there, such as Mintable, that claim to offer “Gasless minting on Ethereum”.  However, further investigation into how this gasless minting is implemented will show that it is really just lazy minting with a few extra steps. The customer to make the first transaction after the initial purchase will still take on the burden of paying the gas fees. Learn more about how platforms like Mintable’s “Gasless minting” claims work in our article here.

What should you use?

The biggest question that should be asked in deciding what option to choose is whether you want your NFT to be on the Ethereum blockchain and paid for with ETH, or if you would rather launch it on a Layer2. 

Want to make this whole process easier? Cloud3 Labs makes launching a new NFT project on Ethereum as simple as filling out a form. Currently, all NFT projects created on Cloud3 Labs are built with lazy minting on Ethereum. We are also working on allowing you to launch on a Layer2 if using ETH isn’t a priority and you would prefer gasless minting. Cloud3 Labs makes creating best practice NFTs a whole lot easier. 
Schedule your demo today if you are interested in using Cloud3 Labs for your next NFT project.

Get Access Today!

Get Access

Want our team to help with your next NFT campaign?

Get in touch here!