Topics NFT
Bybit Learn
Bybit Learn
Beginner
Jun 7, 2022

NFT Whitelist: The Key to Exclusivity & How to Get On One

Buying non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as soon as they’re minted is a great way to maximize potential gains. Every trader wants to buy low and sell high, and popular NFTs are often available at the lowest prices immediately after launching. Unfortunately, the fierce competition for these newly minted tokens can drive up prices and send transaction fees through the roof.

NFT providers have alleviated these problems by creating whitelists for early supporters. In this article, you’ll learn how NFT whitelists work and how you can use them to your advantage.

What Is an NFT Whitelist?

An NFT Whitelist is a database of people who are guaranteed early access to mint NFTs at a certain date and time. Being on such a list helps buyers avoid exorbitant secondary prices and hefty transaction fees for popular NFTs.

NFTs launch, or “drop,” on a specific, predetermined day. If you’ve been whitelisted for that NFT, you’ll have a certain amount of time to buy a newly minted token before it’s made available to outside buyers. 

As you wait for your time slot, your crypto wallet will sit on the NFT whitelist. This mechanism makes NFT launches more democratic, ensuring early access for true supporters and avoiding the competition and gas wars often associated with popular NFT projects.

Why Are There NFT Whitelists?

We’ve answered the question, “What is an NFT whitelist?” But we haven’t learned exactly why they exist. This question is central to the entire concept. Whitelists didn’t enter the NFT universe all of a sudden. They were developed in direct response to a few key issues that were plaguing NFT projects.

Whitelists haven’t solved every issue with NFT project launches, but they’ve made the process much smoother and fairer. The notable improvements stem from successfully solving these central issues. Following are some of the primary reasons for using whitelists.

Avoid Fierce Competition

NFTs, by their very design, are exclusive goods with a limited supply. This means the tokens are often exhausted as soon as they’re minted — especially for popular NFT projects. Many hopeful buyers are left out in the cold with empty hands. Once they find themselves in this situation, they must either resign themselves to missing out or buy the tokens at elevated prices on a secondary market.

Many NFT projects would rather avoid this type of fierce, relentless competition. After all, the idea is to build a community where people interact online and unite over a shared set of values or beliefs. The implementation of an NFT whitelist keeps pure speculators at bay, limiting the competition and making it easier for certain people to get their hands on the vaunted tokens.

Reward Early Supporters

NFT projects are often slow in developing, and they need a lot of early hype to build momentum and guarantee a successful launch. In the ideation stage, when a project exists only in the minds of creators, social media allows for early marketing and community-building. The first supporters of a project are often the ones responsible for really helping the idea take off.

Unfortunately, the fierce competition described above can keep these true fans from getting their hands on tokens once they’re actually minted. This is a fundamentally unfair situation. Not only are early supporters often the people most excited to buy the tokens, but they’ve also put in considerable amounts of work on the project’s behalf. They’ve likely shared the idea with friends, hyped it on social media, and engaged directly with creators about how to carry the project forward. To miss out on the fruits of all this labor is a crushing blow, and it disincentivizes people from supporting similar NFT projects in the future.

Driving these fans away was harmful to NFT providers because it eliminated the enthusiastic base they counted on for early support. Whitelists gave them a workable solution. Now, creators could add early supporters to an NFT whitelist, thereby guaranteeing them early access to the NFTs they’ve helped create. 

Everyone wins in this scenario. The NFT projects establish an enthusiastic base of loyal followers. Traders, meanwhile, can engage with NFT projects in the earliest stages of development knowing that they’ll receive their warranted part of the project in the form of newly minted tokens.

Prevent Gas Wars

Transaction fees on blockchains like Ethereum aren’t static. They become higher when congestion increases — and nothing clogs up a network faster than the launch of a popular NFT. As thousands of buyers bid for tokens, many people, including early supporters of the project, end up being priced out.

Transaction fees on blockchains rise in direct proportion to the demand for a particular digital product. In the case of freshly minted NFTs, buyers express their willingness to pay more for the transaction. The buyers who put up a higher fee are more likely to see their transactions go through first. When time is ticking and a new NFT is soon to sell out, buyers are willing to pay more for a quicker transaction. The transaction fees can become much more expensive than the NFTs themselves. In essence, this dynamic produces a type of digital auction that’s commonly referred to as a gas war.

NFT whitelists eliminate this problem by giving buyers a certain time window to purchase their NFTs. This removes the sense of competition from the equation, meaning people no longer have to outbid each other with higher transaction fees. The end result is a fairer, more democratic system in which people don’t have to waste their cryptocurrency simply to complete the purchase.

Stop Spam

While thousands of genuinely interested buyers can complicate a new launch, spam accounts bring the problem to another level. Many projects are inundated with presale requests from fake crypto wallets and fraudulent accounts. Some nefarious actors will even register hundreds of accounts at once. Whitelists keep this type of behavior from seriously affecting the minting process.

An NFT whitelist will typically prevent mass registrations. It also blocks spam that comes from non-whitelisted addresses. This creates a cleaner, healthier digital environment, allowing the NFT project to focus on actual buyers who are genuinely enthusiastic about the tokens being minted.

How Does an NFT Whitelist Work?

An NFT whitelist works by gathering digital wallets or crypto addresses and then giving those addresses early access to newly minted NFTs. Many NFT projects exist on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning your ETH address is what will ultimately end up on the list.

The first step as a potential buyer is to get your address approved for whitelisting. Most projects want their NFTs to be available for authentic fans and early supporters. They want to avoid mere investors and, especially, spam accounts. During the approval phase, the project will assess your account and decide whether it’s worth adding to the whitelist.

Once your account has been placed on the NFT whitelist, you’ll be assigned a date and time for minting a new token. The length of the time slot varies by project, but many whitelists grant a two-day window. Since you're already on the list, all you’ll have to do is wait for the assigned date to arrive. At the appointed time, you’ll be able to log in to your account and mint an NFT as promised.

Pros and Cons of an NFT Whitelist

Getting on an NFT whitelist brings all sorts of benefits for an investor or fan, but it’s not without its drawbacks. Like any mechanism, NFT whitelists have both pros and cons. Your job is to decide which way the scale tips for you as an investor.

NFT Whitelist Pros

The most obvious benefit of getting on a whitelist is that it guarantees you access to a certain NFT. When a soon-to-launch token is in extremely high demand, you might fear that you’ll miss out on the initial minting process, and be forced to pay at a higher rate on the secondary market. A whitelist eliminates this risk.

Another main advantage is that whitelists save you from having to participate in a gas war. The open time slot to make your purchase means you won’t have to pay extra for faster transactions. Saving on fees allows you to put more money toward actual NFT purchases.

A final benefit is a bit less obvious. The process of pursuing placement on NFT whitelists will help you get much more involved in the general NFT community. You’ll learn a lot about how basic systems operate, and you’ll become a better, wiser investor.

NFT Whitelist Cons

The principal drawback of getting on whitelists is that it’s a time-consuming process. Making sure your address is on a popular list requires hours of online engagement. You need to publicly tout the token on social media, and discuss key issues with other fans on the project’s Discord server. This can be a lot of work — and you still might not end up on the whitelist.

Another issue with the whitelist approach is that there’s no guarantee a project will pan out. You could gain early access to an NFT that ultimately fails to gain any traction. When this happens, you can lose both time and money for no real tangible benefit.

A final concern is that scammers sometimes take advantage of would-be investors who are hoping to be placed on a whitelist. You can protect yourself from this risk by remaining wary of sudden offers that come from unknown sources. Scammers might send you direct messages, or encourage you to follow random links. Exercise extreme caution — and engage only with people who are verifiably connected to a known project.

NFT whitelists are important mechanisms, but they don’t create a perfect investing scenario. Of course, a perfect investing scenario can never exist. Staking your money in a project will always require effort and involve a certain amount of risk. All the same, whitelists offer considerable benefits with only a few drawbacks. Countless investors have used them to successfully mint NFTs. Now that you know the pros and cons of the system, you can decide whether the whitelist method is right for you.

Basic Steps to Get on an NFT Whitelist

Getting on an NFT whitelist isn’t always easy, but there’s a specific playbook that most traders follow that can give you your best chance of succeeding. From identifying the right project to engaging with the creators online, you’ll have to put in some work during every step. It’s not without reason that getting on whitelists is said to be a “grind.”

The good news is that you’ll eventually get on some whitelists if you put in the time — and stay at it. Once you succeed, you’ll realize why this has become such a prominent strategy in the NFT ecosystem. Here are the four steps to follow if you want your efforts to prove successful.

Find a Good Pre-Launch Project

To get on a project’s whitelist, you need to engage well before an NFT has launched. Pre-launch projects don’t get the same publicity as NFTs that are already on the market, so you’ll have to do a bit more digging to find them. As you look at planned projects, you’ll have to trust your judgment and decide which ones are likely to take off in the future.

There are all sorts of places to look for pre-launch projects online. Rarity.tools is a platform designed to help traders identify NFT projects for investing. You can also use classic social media platforms to stay up-to-date with all the latest trends and upcoming projects. 

Try following NFT experts on Twitter, and subscribing to YouTube channels that focus on NFTs. Just by checking these platforms regularly and staying in the loop, you’ll hear about many exciting projects in the early stages of development. You’ll also learn a lot more about NFT trading in general, making you a wiser investor moving forward.

Join the Project’s Discord Server

Discord is a social platform where people or groups can host special communities called “servers.” It’s also the main online space for NFT planning and organizing. If a project is in the works, you can expect its founders and developers to be discussing their plans on Discord.

Once you’ve identified a project you’re interested in, the next step is to join that project’s Discord server. There’s no better way to stay up-to-date on the latest developments, interact with other members of the nascent community, and, eventually, land on the project’s NFT whitelist than this. You should be able to find a link to the server from the project’s public Twitter page.

The NFT project’s server will likely have all sorts of useful information, including the project’s road map, the background of founding team members and all the latest announcements. You can use the space to learn more about the project before making a commitment. Then, you can probably ask to join the whitelist from within the server.

Check for instructions on joining the whitelist in the “announcements” sections of the site. If you can’t find any information on your own, start up a chat and ask other members of the group. People should be happy to steer you in the right direction.

Follow the Project’s Twitter

It always helps to know as much as possible about an NFT as you go about applying for a position on its whitelist. That’s why following the project on Twitter is such a good idea. There’s no easier way to stay on top of the latest developments, since all you have to do is check your feed and see what the founders are posting.

While Discord is the central planning center for most NFTs, Twitter acts as an additional outlet for news and updates. You wouldn’t want to miss anything important that the founders tweet out to their followers. 

If you don’t have a Twitter account, establish one as soon as possible. The platform is truly indispensable for a committed NFT trader. If you have an account but rarely use it, you may want to up your game. The best investors take advantage of all the informational resources at their disposal.

Meet the Eligibility Requirements

Joining an NFT whitelist isn’t usually as simple as just clicking a button to “join now.” In most cases, you’ll have to apply to join, proving you meet certain eligibility requirements in the process. You may also have to make some changes or act on some basic instructions to meet the criteria.

Every NFT has different standards, and each project will have its own application process. In some cases, all you’ll have to do is fill out a simple online form. Other projects will ask you to invite other users to the Discord server, turning you into a sort of marketer for the token. Whatever is asked of you, the instructions should be clear enough for you to easily follow them.

Once you’ve met the eligibility requirements, you’ll be asked to provide your crypto wallet’s details. Assuming your crypto address is approved, you’ll be placed on the whitelist and given a time slot for minting your token. From there, all you have to do is wait for the appointed day to arrive.

How to Increase Your Chances of Getting on an NFT Whitelist

Even if you follow all the steps outlined above, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get on a project’s whitelist. Popular tokens are often in high demand, and you’re competing with other supporters who covet a spot. To increase your chances of landing on the list and earning early access to the tokens, you’ll have to demonstrate your support for the group.

In essence, you need to show the founders that you’re contributing to the overall well-being of the project. This requires engaging with other users and hyping the upcoming tokens in prominent digital spaces. With the right set of tactics, you can prove your value to a project and improve your chances of landing on the NFT whitelist of your dreams.

Stay Actively Engaged

Many NTF projects are meant to create a vibrant online community. If you want to catch the attention of the founders, then contribute to this nascent in-group as much as you can. 

Chat with other users on the Discord server. Tweet about the latest developments on your personal account. Ask meaningful questions that show your genuine interest in the project. These types of actions will get noticed, and the founders will appreciate the time you're putting into the project.

Garner More Supporters

Every NFT founder dreams of attracting more supporters and buyers to their project. If you can help with these efforts, you’re bound to gain the appreciation of the people in charge. 

Take some time to promote the token in question on other Discord servers, always placing your promotions in the “shill” chat room that’s designated for this purpose. While this type of direct marketing might take some getting used to, it will go a long way toward endearing you to the decision-makers of the NFT’s ecosystem.

Advertise Through Fan Art

Nothing shows your enthusiasm for a project like creating fan art. When you produce your own designs based on the idea of the token, you show just how much time and energy you’re willing to devote to the project. You also help promote the token through your own work. 

If you’re a creative person, consider putting your artistic chops to the test. Not only will creating the fan art help you get on the NFT whitelist, but it could also be a lot of fun.

Participate in Giveaways

Many projects promote themselves on social media with giveaways, offering places on their whitelists in exchange for free promotion. All it takes to participate in these giveaways is to retweet or share information as instructed. You might not actually get on the whitelists, but you can increase your odds by participating in as many giveaways as possible.

Join Early

When an NFT project is first getting off the ground, founders are desperate to attract attention to the tokens and create a bit of hype. This makes them more willing to offer easy access to the NFT whitelist. 

As the project gets off the ground, the demand for whitelist spots increases, making it harder to earn a spot. Therefore, it behooves you as an investor to discover exciting projects in the earliest possible stages. If you find a project that’s just beginning its online existence, you can probably secure a spot on the whitelist and guarantee yourself early access to tokens.

Is an NFT Whitelist Worth Trying to Get On?

Getting on an NFT whitelist is a lot of work. You have to invest considerable time in finding and investigating pre-launch projects. Then, you need to engage with the existing community to demonstrate your value to the central mission. For many traders, this process requires hours of work every week.

Despite the depth and breadth of the commitment, trying to get on NFT whitelists is usually worth the effort. It’s true that you won’t get on all the whitelists you try for, and even when you succeed, the token you receive might eventually fail. Still, the ability to get early access to exciting projects is generally worth the effort.

When you’re on an NFT whitelist, you can get a new token for a fraction of the cost that other buyers will have to pay. You’ll dodge costly gas wars, and you’ll avoid the expensive secondary market altogether. These benefits make NFT whitelists a worthwhile use of time for the majority of serious NFT traders.

The Bottom Line

NFT whitelists give traders early access to the tokens they’re most excited about. You can use this simple mechanism to avoid gas wars and obtain tokens at a lower total cost. 

If you’re serious about investing in NFTs, there’s no better way to maximize your potential earnings and become more involved in the world of non-fungible tokens than by getting on a whitelist. With the right strategy and a bit of commitment, you can use whitelists to strengthen your investment portfolio.