An increasing number of NFT projects now rely on “whitelists” to give community members the ability to mint tokens before anyone else. This is often at a reduced price and involves rarer NFTs that others don’t yet have access to.
While the concept is relatively simple, familiarity with NFT whitelisting and understanding the procedures involved can confuse those new to the space. In this guide, you will discover exactly what an NFT white list is, what they do for a project, and how to get on future whitelists, so you don’t miss out on opportunities.
What is Whitelisting?
Getting whitelisted is your VIP ticket to the launch party of an NFT.
In the world of IT and online security, whitelisting involves the approval of certain parties while excluding others. This is done via lists of email addresses, application IDs, usernames, IP addresses, MAC addresses, and other means of identification.
This sort of whitelist is used for everything from Minecraft servers to beta testing apps.
When it comes to NFTs, the practice is similar. Instead of the traditional forms of online identification, however, NFT white listing involves an approved list of wallet addresses.
An NFT whitelist is therefore a pre-approved list of cryptographic wallet addresses that have been given permission by the project to mint tokens before anyone else. This list is created using smart contracts and ensures only those approved can mint tokens until a certain time and date.
As it stands, most NFT projects use the Ethereum blockchain. This means an Ethereum wallet address is needed for most whitelists and can be created using tools such as Metamask. Other blockchains now entering the NFT space, however, such as Cardano, Solana, and more. The type of wallet you will need, therefore, will depend on which platform the NFT project is utilizing.
Some may even use more than one blockchain, with rarer tokens using the “gold standard” of Ethereum’s ERC-721 tokens and the bulk of the project using platforms with lower fees.
What is white listing used for?
Whitelisting is a way for NFT development teams to promote their project, drum up buzz, and encourage a sense of community prior to launch. It also prevents unnecessary congestion once the NFTs drop.
Encourages community engagement
Getting added to a whitelist is a way for the project to reward active community members for their support and help give the project exposure through social media, blogs, and internet forums.
With new NFT projects appearing every day, getting noticed is becoming increasingly difficult. Incentivizing your community to promote your project, then, with the promise of a place on a whitelist, benefits both parties.
This is typically organized through the project’s Discord, where the rules and requirements for being approved to a whitelist will be laid out. Projects typically encourage supporters to share information on an NFT public drop date and where they can be minted.
This also has the added benefit of potentially increasing the value of NFTs minted by whitelisted supporters, who likewise want to see the value of their tokens appreciate over time through increased attention.
Reduces network congestion
A whitelist is also a way to prevent congesting a blockchain, driving up gas fees.
With Ethereum’s gas fees now a considerable problem, spikes of increased activity such as a popular NFT drop can exacerbate the issue. If everyone tried to mint NFTs at the same time, the network would become too congested, causing fees to escalate.
A whitelist, therefore, allows a project to drop NFTs in phases. This mitigates the issue of network congestion by limiting the amount of NFTs per wallet and when the tokens can be minted. Meaning, supporters do not have to all rush at once to grab an NFT.
Why should NFT projects white list?
In a nutshell, then, the reason NFT projects should white list is to:
- Give early adopters a sense of community
- Encourage the promotion of an NFT project
- Help appreciate the value of tokens
- Allow people to mint tokens in their own time
- Prevent spikes in network congestion
- Prevent escalating gas fees
Benefits of whitelisting
For those lucky enough to get onto an NFT project’s whitelist, the benefits are significant.
- Early access to a project’s minting process is essentially a chance to get your hands on the rarer tokens in a collection that could be worth many times more than others.
- In a collection of, say, 5000 tokens, there may be 200 ultra-rare tokens with properties that make them significantly more valuable than the other NFTs. Waiting until a project is open for public minting reduces your chance of acquiring one of these rarer tokens. Through being on a pre-approved whitelist, supporters are granted the ability to, perhaps, secure a token they otherwise never would.
- Projects often reward those on a whitelist with discounted minting prices too. Benefitting both the creators and the collector, discounted or even free minting for whitelist members, gives a project initial momentum. If people see a project that has very few tokens minted, faith in it will be low and it is unlikely much interest with be gathered.
- Offering a few hundred whitelist spaces, then, helps get an NFT project off the ground. For the creator, revenue lost from a discounted or free whitelist will often be regained through royalties from resale and the free promotions that whitelisting affords.
How can you get whitelisted in NFT projects?
Getting yourself on whitelists involves a bit of research and some community engagement.
Find upcoming projects and new NFT projects.
The first step in getting yourself on an NFT whitelist is to discover some up-and-coming NFT projects that look promising.
There is no easy way to do this and requires keeping active in the NFT community through Twitter, blogs, news outlets, and Discord communities.
Nobody really knows which projects will prove successful but the hallmarks of a good NFT collection will be:
- Team members with experience with successful past projects
- Good artwork by a respected artist
- Active and engaged community
- Professional approach
You can also get an idea of some significant new projects through the blogs of NFT marketplaces, such as Rarity Tools (https://rarity.tools/upcoming/), and OpenSea (https://opensea.io/blog).
Engage with the project’s Discord
While Twitter is the NFT community’s way to speak to each other outside of individual projects, Discord is how NFT creators engage directly with a project’s community.
Once you’ve discovered a project you like the look of, you’ll want to head on over to its Discord channel, begin looking through discussions, and get a sense of the project’s scope and possibility.
A project’s Discord is also where you’ll find news and information on launch dates, amendments, benefits for whitelist members, and other vital information.
Follow the whitelist instructions
Suitably satisfied that a project is worth investing in, you’ll want to look for information on how to get approved for its whitelist.
This can sometimes be a simple form that lets the project creators know your wallet address and email. Other times it may be a little more involved, requiring you to invite a certain number of people to the Discord, share a post on Twitter, etc.
These requirements will vary depending on the project’s leadership and promotion style.
After completing these goals you will then be approved for the whitelist.
With 2021 proving an explosive year for NFTs, getting on a whitelist is more important than ever. Competition for tokens and congested networks means securing your spot is not only better for your chances of obtaining a rare NFT, but is also financially the better option in reducing gas fees.
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