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Mobile NFT Minter Tutorial

In this tutorial, you will learn how to build a React Native dApp that can mint NFTs from your phone photos.

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View or download the complete open-source program on Github, or follow this tutorial to build the application from scratch.

What you will learn

  • Integrate the Metaplex JS in a React Native project.
  • Use an MWA Identity Signer with Metaplex.
  • How to read image files from the OS file system.
  • How to upload image and metadata files to IPFS, through
  • Create and mint a Metaplex NFT on-chain.


  • Complete prerequisite setup for a ready dev environment.
  • An Android device/emulator to build and launch a React Native app
  • An MWA-compatible wallet installed on the same device/emulator.
  • Basic understanding of MWA.

Project Setup

1. Initialize Scaffold

This tutorial builds off the dApp Scaffold template. This template comes setup with the essential packages like MWA and web3.js.

Initialize the scaffold using the following command:

npx react-native init MobileNFTMinter --template @solana-mobile/solana-mobile-dapp-scaffold --npm
cd MobileNFTMinter

The --npm flag is only necessary if you're using newer versions of Yarn (Yarn 2 or Yarn 3). After running the command, you can simply delete the package-lock.json generated and continue using Yarn.

Next, install the dependencies:

rm package-lock.json
yarn install

2. Install Metaplex JS SDK

The next step is to install the @metaplex-foundation/js package. This is the Metaplex JS SDK that provides a developer friendly API to interact with onchain programs.

Carefully follow the Metaplex installation steps here to make sure you install the package along with all the necessary polyfill libraries.

3. Install dependencies

In addition to the Metaplex JS SDK, the app will use several other libraries that handle other usecases, like file reading, IPFS, and others. Some of these are opinionated, so feel free to swap out a library with one of your choice.

A brief overview of each dependency:
yarn install \
rn-fetch-blob \
react-native-image-picker \
react-native-config \

4. Launch the app

npx react-native run-android

At this point, your app should build, install into your device, and launch automatically. If you are seeing errors about missing/undefined methods, double check you installed the polyfills correctly.

How does minting work?

The end to end procedure of minting a photo NFT roughly follows these steps:

  1. Select a photo and upload it to a storage provider.
  2. Upload a JSON object containing metadata that conforms to the Metaplex NFT Standard, to a storage provider.
  3. Submit a transaction to the network that creates your NFT on chain.

Uploading to IPFS with

In this tutorial, we choose IPFS, a decentralized storage provider, to host the selected photo and the metadata object.

We'll also be using to help upload directly to IPFS, through their HTTP API. You can sign up for a free API key on their website.

Selecting the photo

You need to select an existing photo from our gallery. To present a picker UI and retrieve the file path, use launchImageLibrary from the react-native-image-picker library.


In the example app, this is done within the NftMinter component where handleSelectImage is called on a button press.

We save the image path as state, to be used in the next step.

import {launchImageLibrary} from 'react-native-image-picker';

const photo = await launchImageLibrary({
selectionLimit: 1,
mediaType: 'photo',
const selectedPhoto = photo?.assets?.[0];
if (!selectedPhoto?.uri) {
console.warn('Selected photo not found');
const imagePath = selectedPhoto.uri;

Upload the photo

Now that we have the image path, we need to upload the raw bytes of the file to IPFS, using the /upload endpoint.

The steps:

  1. Use the rn-fetch-blob library to read the image file into a Base 64 string.
  2. Convert to raw bytes by decoding the Base64 string with Buffer.
  3. Use fetch to send a request containing the image bytes to the upload endpoint.

In the example app, this is handled in a separate helper function uploadToIPFS, which is called later within the larger the mintNft function.


During this step, you'll need to provide your own API key from In the example app, the NFT_STORAGE_API_KEY value is set through an environment variable config, using the react-native-config library.

// Read the image file and get the base64 string.
const imageBytesInBase64: string = await RNFetchBlob.fs.readFile(

// Convert base64 into raw bytes.
const bytes = Buffer.from(imageBytesInBase64, 'base64');

// Upload the image to IPFS by sending a POST request to the upload endpoint.
const headers = {
Accept: 'application/json',
Authorization: `Bearer ${Config.NFT_STORAGE_API_KEY}`,
const imageUpload = await fetch('', {
method: 'POST',
headers: {
'Content-Type': 'image/jpg',
body: bytes,

const imageData = await imageUpload.json();

If successful, the imageData.value.cid will contain a valid CID (Content Identifier). This is a string that uniquely identifies your uploaded asset.

You can view your uploaded asset on an IPFS gateway by passing in the CID in the URL (e.g:<cid>). View an example of an uploaded photo on

Uploading the metadata

Next, we need to construct a metadata object that conforms to the Metaplex NFT Standard, then upload it to the same /upload endpoint.

Metadata fields:

  • Name: The name of the NFT.
  • Description: A description of the NFT.
  • Image: A URL that hosts the photo. In this case, we use an URL with the CID of the uploaded photo.

In the example app, the metadata upload step is also handled within the uploadToIPFS function.

There is a slight difference that should be noted. The image field uses a precomputed CID for the photo, rather than waiting for the photo upload to finish. This is an optimization that is explained in the next section.

// Construct the metadata fields.
const metadata = JSON.stringify({
image: `${imageData.value.cid}`,
// Upload to IPFS
const metadataUpload = await fetch('', {
method: 'POST',
headers: {
'Content-Type': 'application/json',
body: metadata,

const metadataData = await metadataUpload.json();

If successful, metadataData.value.cid will now contain a CID that points to a JSON object representing the NFT metadata. View an example of an uploaded metadata object.

To recap, we now have two CIDs that are viewable on IPFS. First, the CID of our uploaded photo, and second, the CID of JSON Metadata (which has a reference to the photo CID in the image field).

Precomputing the CID

You may notice in the example app, that during the upload step in uploadToIPFS we're able to precompute the CID of the photo asset before actually uploading it to IPFS. This is an optimization that allows us to construct and upload the metadata object, without waiting for the photo upload to complete and return the CID.

We take advantage of this by uploading both the photo and metadata asynchronously.

// Fire off both uploads aysnc
return Promise.all([
imageUpload.then(response => response.json()),
metadataUpload.then(response => response.json()),

This is made possible because CIDs are generated deterministically from the binary data of any given asset. This mean we can compute the CID of an asset before uploading it to IPFS.

To compute the CID from the bytes of a given asset, see the getCid function.

import {CID, hasher} from 'multiformats';
const crypto = require('crypto-browserify');

const SHA_256_CODE = 0x12;
const IPLD_RAW_BINARY_CODE = 0x55;

const getCid = async (bytes: Buffer) => {
const sha256 = hasher.from({
// As per multiformats table
name: 'sha2-256',
code: SHA_256_CODE,
encode: input =>
new Uint8Array(crypto.createHash('sha256').update(input).digest()),
const hash = await sha256.digest(bytes);
const cid = await CID.create(1, IPLD_RAW_BINARY_CODE, hash);

return cid;

Minting the NFT

At this point we have completed the IPFS uploading steps and all that is left is to mint the NFT on chain. To do so, we'll use the Metaplex JS SDK.

Create a Metaplex Instance

To interact with Metaplex onchain programs, instantiate a Metaplex instance provided by the SDK.

Follow this section in the Metaplex guide, to create an MWA Identity Signer plugin. We'll need this so that the Metaplex instance will be able to request wallet signing through MWA.


In the example app, this is handled in two files:

  • mwaPlugin: A helper file that installs a MetaplexPlugin using MWA as an identity signer.
  • useMetaplex: A React hook that vends a Metaplex instance with the mobileWalletAdapterIdentity installed.

Like in the example app, create the Metaplex instance with the useMetaplex hook.

import useMetaplex from '../metaplex-util/useMetaplex';

const {metaplex} = useMetaplex(connection, selectedAccount, authorizeSession);

Create the NFT

With the metaplex instance, we can now access the nfts() module that provides a collection of functions that make it simple to interact with on chain programs and submit transactions.

To mint an NFT, call the create function which takes in a JSON object corresponding to the Token Metadata Standard.

This will prompt the user to sign a transaction using MWA, then submit the transaction to the specified RPC.


In the example app, this step happens at the end of mintNft. We return the NFT address and present a clickable explorer link.

const {nft, response} = await metaplex.nfts().create({
name: nftName,
uri: `${metadataUploadData.value.cid}`,
sellerFeeBasisPoints: 0,
tokenOwner: selectedAccount?.publicKey,



Your NFT should now be minted and viewable on chain! You can view it on a block explorer by pasting in the String from nft.address.toBase58().