Thanks to the increasing popularity of NFTs, whitelisting is now a common practice in the NFT world. It not only ensures that early supporters of a project are rewarded, but also that so-called gas wars are prevented.
In order to obtain a spot on the whitelist, you will usually have to perform a number of actions; this process can take various forms and differs per project.
This blog explains in detail what a whitelist is and tips on how to get on this list for NFT projects.
Here are the 6 steps for how to get on the whitelist for an NFT:
- Fill in Google Forms
- Invite friends
- Be active in the group and on the social media channels
- Design Memes and Fanart Enter
- Other NFTs / Crypto coins you own
Since 2021, when NFTs became more popular, the group of people trying to buy NFTs at the launch of a project has grown enormously. As the buyer of a new NFT, you are the one who mints the NFT. This is the process by which the NFT is created and thus becomes part of the blockchain. In this way, you become the owner of the NFT and you can decide for yourself what you want to do with it afterward: staring at it for hours every day in your wallet, you store the NFT as a long-term investment, rent out the NFT, use the NFT in for example a play-to-earn game, or you can try to sell the NFT in the short term for a profit.
In many NFT projects, only a certain maximum number of NFTs can be minted; often this is around 10,000 NFTs, but smaller amounts are also becoming more common. Although this may sound like a lot, many NFT collections are so popular that they sometimes sell out completely within minutes. This rush ensures that more and more people try to mint an NFT as soon as possible, as soon as the mint opens. One way to get hold of an NFT before they are sold out is to increase the upper limit of the gas fees (the transaction costs) that you are willing to pay. The more gas fees you pay, the faster the transaction is processed, and the better chance you have of actually getting an NFT.
However, the consequence of this is sky-high transaction costs for minting NFTs. This is also referred to as ‘gas wars’. In some cases, these gas wars can lead to transaction costs that are much higher than the price of the NFT itself; sometimes it even runs into the thousands of dollars. I think it needs no further explanation that this is not a desirable situation.
A solution for this has been devised by the end of 2021: the whitelist.
What is an NFT whitelist?
As explained above, many NFT projects have started whitelisting to launch their NFTs.
The term whitelisting comes from the cybersecurity world and generally means a ‘safe list’. . Whitelisting your addresses improves the security of your crypto coins. You indicate that those crypto coins may be transferred to this specific address. We often see this at crypto exchanges, for example. You can then set there that your crypto coins, for example, may only be transferred to the address of your Leather Nano; this is your whitelist address. If your account is hacked, the hackers cannot send your crypto coins to their own wallet, because it is not on the whitelist.
However, in the world of NFTs, a whitelist means something more specific. It means that a specific person’s wallet address is pre-approved to mint a future NFT at a specified time, for example, 1 hour before the public mint of NFTs. You can think of this as a presale, which entitles you to buy an NFT earlier than anyone who is not on the whitelist. For example, if the NFTs are launched on the Ethereum blockchain, your Ethereum wallet address will be whitelisted.
Offering a whitelist has several advantages, both for the NFT project itself and for the buyers of the NFTs.
By working with a whitelist, the people involved early on in the NFT project can be rewarded. Especially because an enormous number of new NFT projects are being added these days, it is important to encourage everyone who is already interested in the project at a joint stage to remain active within the project. This can be done by offering these early supporters a spot on the whitelist for an NFT mint. In some cases, these people also receive a discount on the NFT, for example by offering everyone on the whitelist a reduced rate. For example, you pay 0.2 ETH instead of 0.4 ETH. In this way, you build a close-knit community made up of people who are interested in the project and ensure that it is promoted to a large audience.
When you eventually minted an NFT, you can decide for yourself what you want to do with it. Many people choose to resell the NFT at a higher price in order to make a profit. If NFT projects completely sell out during the whitelist mint, those on the whitelist determine, as it were, how high the price will be for other interested non-whitelisted buyers. So you have a chance to make a profit that way, and you are in a very favorable position. Whether you will make a profit, of course, depends on how popular the project will remain after the mint.
Another important advantage is the prevention of gas wars, as discussed above. The gas fees can be enormous at certain times if the network is overloaded. This often happens with the launch of new popular NFT projects, launching 10,000 NFTs that are trying to be mined by thousands of people. In some cases, these gas fees even amount to several times the price of the NFT itself. After all, the more gas fees you pay, the greater the chance that the transaction will be executed before other transactions, allowing you to mint before all NFTs are sold out. This is (largely) prevented by a whitelist. Depending on the specifics of the whitelist of the NFT project, a certain number of wallet addresses can mint at a certain time, spreading transactions and avoiding crowds. People on the whitelist, therefore, pay lower gas fees.
In addition to the advantages that a whitelist offers, this approach certainly also has disadvantages.
The main drawback is that, with the popularity of NFTs soaring, it can sometimes be very difficult to get whitelisted. The whitelist also leaves a lot fewer places for the public NFT mint. It also regularly happens that the whitelist contains as many spots as there are NFTs available for the mint. So if you are not on the whitelist, you will not be able to mint NFT. This ensures that people will do everything they can to get on the whitelist, which can cause people to try to cheat in all kinds of ways, and thus the process is not fair.
In some projects, the whitelist even has more spots than the number of available NFTs. This was the case, for example, at Botborgs. A whitelist spot is therefore no guarantee of an NFT so the problems we mentioned above (all NFTs are quickly sold out and gas wars) are actually only pushed forward.
All this leads to the question of how to get on the whitelist.
How do you get on an NFT whitelist?
To get on an NFT whitelist, you usually have to go through a number of specific steps set out by the NFT project. Below we explain all the steps.
Searching for projects
Before you can get on the whitelist, you must of course first look for an NFT project whose NFTs have not yet been mined and where the whitelist has not yet been closed.
For example, to find such projects, you can follow NFT influencers, collectors, and launchpads on Twitter so that you are kept informed about everything you need to know about upcoming NFT projects and don’t miss out. Twitter is a popular platform among crypto and NFT traders because it has a huge number of users and information can be shared in an accessible way. You can read more about this in this article.
Join Discord or Telegram
If you’ve found an NFT project, it‘s always a good idea to join their Discord group. If you don’t have a Discord account yet, be sure to become a member! In NFT projects, Discord is usually the most important means of communication, next to Telegram and Twitter.
On Discord, NFT projects provide updates on the project itself, mint date, and price, as well as how to get whitelisted. You can also chat with other interested parties about the project. Please note that scammers are regularly active here, who often send you private messages that you have supposedly won something and try to entice you to click on links so that you run the risk of your wallet being looted. It is, therefore, better to turn off the option to receive private messages.
If the project is not active on Discord, for example, sign up with the project’s Telegram group or Twitter to find information about the whitelist.
So to answer the question of how to get on the whitelist for an NFT, here are 6 easy steps in detail. If you have found an NFT project and have studied how to get whitelisted, in many cases, you will have to perform certain actions. How and what will depend entirely on the type of project, as this process can take various forms. Each NFT project is unique and has its own rules for the whitelist. Below we discuss the most common ways of the moment (February 2022).
Fill out Google Forms
In some cases, you will be asked to fill out a Google Forms. It very much depends on the project what exactly you have to enter here, but it often happens that you have to enter your own name, username from, for example, Discord and/or Twitter, and your wallet address. Sometimes this also requires special joining the project’s Discord, following the Twitter account, liking and retweeting posts, tagging other people in it, etc.
This can also take the form of a raffle where participants are chosen at random.
Many projects ask you to invite a certain number of people to the appropriate Discord group to be whitelisted. Often this is somewhere between 5 and 100 people.
So it can be very useful if you have quite a few friends or people you can invite to this!
Be active in the chat by socializing with others about the project, and asking and answering questions. Some projects require a certain number of (non-spam) messages to be whitelisted.
Memes and fan art
Another way to get whitelisted is to create memes and fan art about the project. This way you show that you are active, which helps you to stand out in the group. With some NFT projects, this immediately gives you a place on the whitelist.
NFT projects often host contests and promotions in the Discord group, which you can participate in to win a spot on the whitelist. For example, you have to make a video, write a story or poem, make a song or solve a puzzle, but something simpler like answering a question or guessing a number sometimes happens.
Owning Other NFTs/Cryptocurrencies
Finally, some projects give whitelist spots to people who own certain NFTs or cryptocurrencies. These can be cryptocurrencies or previous NFTs of the same project, but can also be partner projects. If you have such an NFT or crypto coin, you are guaranteed a place on the whitelist.
What I personally notice is that it has become a lot more difficult in the last few months to get whitelisted for NFT projects. There is a lot of interest, and the requirements for the whitelist seem to be getting higher and higher, depending on the project of course.
For example, where you could previously buy another NFT or certain crypto coins fairly cheaply with which you were guaranteed a place on the whitelist, in many cases, it is now expected to be active daily in the Discord group or to make social media posts on which you like and must get responses if you want to be whitelisted. So it can be useful to follow a few other people on social media with similar interests anyway so that you can at least like and respond to each other’s posts.
What is also striking is that not only being active but also adding something to the group is more often rewarded with a place on the whitelist. For example, don’t just try to say ‘hi’, ‘good morning’, ‘bye’, etc, but ask interesting questions and answer questions from others. Or create fan art and participate in competitions and promotions. Show real interest in the project and the community. This can be very time-consuming, and certainly, not everyone will have time for it. But don’t worry! Fortunately, there are plenty of NFT projects that have less strict requirements to be whitelisted.