I have a project underway using private Eth network (zero tx costs) where NFTs transfer ownership very frequently between various owners. I wish to move to Cardano for its completeness and security but am concerned about the TX fees for attempting to accomplish this. Can we presently calculate the price of transferring ownership of an NFT?


A good way to answer your question would be to find a transaction on the Cardano mainnet and see how much it cost.

Cardano Scan has a great lookup tool to see all token transactions

I picked a transaction at random which contained the transfer of a single native asset.

This shows that there were:

  • 16.0 Ada of Inputs
  • A fee of 0.234405
  • "Change" of 14.265595 sent back to the sending address

This means a total transaction "cost" of 1.734405

That cost consists of:

  • The fee of 0.234405
  • A minimum Ada cost of 1.5

There are a few good references to understand how these costs are derived, as it depends on Cardano parameters but hopefully this example gave you an idea of the cost.

If you want to port your application across to Cardano, there is a great Technical Dev Guide you can use specific to minting NFTs.

Maybe the NFT will be worth more now that it is in a stack exchange answer!? :)

  • Ouch, that pretty much halts any hopes I had for moving onto Cardano. I am not saying Cardano is expensive, I was just hoping it would be a little less so. Thank you for your help on this! Aug 27 at 15:58

Note that the minimum ADA cost isn't a fee. You can ask the NFT buyer to send the minADA with his request, and you send him back the NFT + minADA. Costs on Cardano are deterministic, so you should be able to calculate the minADA required for a specific NFT.

  • Thank you for this, I was not aware of this fact. Ok, so the 1,5 ADA can be sent back and forth, and the fee is only 0.23 ADA (in the above use case). However, this unfortunately is still very expensive for using ADA for something like access control, we could hardly expect customers to pay 0,23 ADA for doing something simple like granting vehicle access to others. Then again, this will be even more, as it will be interacting with a smart contract, and the above fees are only for moving NFTs... I wonder how expensive smart contracts will be to use... Thanks again! Aug 27 at 15:59
  • It should be possible to do this for no cost in an hydra head when hydra will be available.
    – regisg
    Aug 28 at 15:59

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