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Understanding NFT storage costs

Understanding NFT storage costs

January 5, 2024

Understanding NFT storage costs

When someone buys an NFT, they assume it’s theirs to enjoy forever. This means that when deploying the NFT, you must ensure the proper technical infrastructure is in place to support serving it for hundreds or even thousands of years. Key considerations include:

  • Initial upload expenses
  • Storage costs over time
  • Charges for data access
  • Scalability of NFT storage infrastructure

When you deploy an NFT using Irys, you pay a one-time fee during upload, with no recurring storage expenses. Irys also eliminates costs for data retrieval, as there are no rate limits when using our gateway to download your NFTs.

This contrasts with cloud-based hosting like Amazon AWS or IPFS/Pinata, where you pay monthly fees for both ongoing storage and serving data.

How are storage fees calculated?

The cost to upload data to Irys is based on the number of bytes you’ll upload. The easiest way to figure this out is to use our fee calculator. You can enter a fixed number of bytes or add your assets, and the calculator will compute their size for you. The calculator displays upload costs in any of our supported tokens and USD.

For reference, this table shows the real-time cost of uploading data in AR, SOL, ETH, and USD.

0.5 MB0.000000000.000000000.00000000≈ $0.00000000
1 MB0.000000000.000000000.00000000≈ $0.00000000
Refreshing in 5...

The Arweave endowment

To understand how Irys can guarantee permanence with a single upload fee, it’s helpful to understand how the Arweave endowment works. When you upload data to Irys, it’s stored permanently on Arweave. You pay a single up-front fee, of which 5% is paid to the miner who includes your transaction in a winning block, and 95% is reserved for future storage funding via the Arweave endowment.

The Arweave endowment uses the current cost of storage combined with a conservative estimate of how much storage costs decline year on year to ensure enough funds are always available to pay miners for continued storage.

In short, there are ongoing financial incentives that pay Arweave miners to store your data forever. This differs from other storage providers that either don’t guarantee permanence or require you to fund monthly ongoing costs. You ensure the data is stored forever by ensuring sufficient funds to pay for storage in perpetuity.

For more information on how the Arweave endowment works, see our technical FAQ.


A final point to consider when deploying your collection is how scalable the underlying architecture is. Users expect to be able to view their NFTs whenever they want, which means it needs to be served by an architecture capable of scaling to meet any demand. When you deploy with Irys, there are no limits. Both its upload nodes and gateway support upwards of a million transactions per second.

No matter how popular your collection becomes, Irys will always be able to support it.

Getting started

Ready to get started deploying your collection? The best place to start is in our docs, and our fee calculator, you can also check out How to store NFTs on Arweave, and this tutorial on how to build a Solana NFT marketplace.

If you have any questions, just hit us up in Discord.

Interested in learning more?

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