On 22nd May, 2022, a relatively unknown NFT project launched a collection of 10,000 NFTs on the ETH blockchain to little fanfare. This project had no roadmap, no utility nor did it have a Discord server for a community to engage. There was seemingly very little effort put into building hype through marketing or collaborations, yet this project now arguably is on its way to reaching ‘blue chip’ status.
If you hadn’t guessed already, I’m talking about Goblintown.wtf, a collection that launched as a free mint and now sits at a floor price of 3.3 ETH on OpenSea. What was it then that led to this moonshot? Considering the fact that goblintown.wtf did more or less everything a project shouldn’t do when heading to the market. One key factor which contributed to its success was the fact that it was free-to-mint (plus gas). It may never have sold out if it had a price attached to it.
Now, as we move into the second half of 2022, we are witnessing a free-to-mint mint meta. It’s no secret that the success rate of projects in the current bear market does not make for good reading. This has forced teams to explore other avenues, and what better avenue than free mints? Everyone loves freebies in both the physical and the digital world.
Reasons To Love
Whenever you mint an NFT, there is always a risk. No matter how hyped the project, no matter how many of those little boxes of yours the project ticks, there is always a risk. For every Azuki, there are another 100 projects that flop, and with that, goes your hard earned ETH. Yes, you could argue that for some degens out there, a few badly invested ETH isn’t the end of the world. But I would argue that a couple of bad calls can begin a steady downward spiral. As we begin to make up the differences, suddenly a few 0.099 losses can add up which can quickly reduce our metamask wallets to zero.
When it comes to free mints, we greatly minimize our financial risk as the only expense is gas. Of course, these fees can vary greatly depending on how busy the network is but regardless, free mints represent significant savings when compared to what we normally see. Still, caution is paramount and we should approach each and every free project as if it were premium by doing our standard checks etc. Also, as the NFT space continues to grow, scams are becoming more rampant and a free mint could provide the platform for such a thing via unsafe smart contracts. Therefore, whilst we do risk far less from a financial standpoint, be sure to maintain your usual levels of due diligence. Please always remember to mint from a burner wallet.
Hopping across to the Solana network for just a moment, objectively, the risk of losing liquidity is significantly reduced. Gas is essentially non-existent on the Solana blockchain, so feel free to mint away to your hearts content. Please continue to exercise caution and ensure the smart contract for each project is legit.
Regardless of whether you’re on Ethereum, Solana or an alternative blockchain, the upside to free mints can be astronomical in comparison to the mitigated financial outlay. Not every free project however, will explode like goblintown.wtf or Cryptopunks did back in 2017. Work through your checklist just as you would any other project and mint safely.
Whether your free mint rises to an amazing 5 ETH floor, or hits an all time high of a ‘lowly’ 0.5 ETH, it’s still profit from no initial investment (excluding gas). If you become efficient in the process of finding and minting these freebies, then you could very quickly find yourself building up a nice amount of capital. Afterall, 10 flips at 0.1 ETH profit is 1 ETH, which would be an astronomical return on your initial investment of 0 ETH + gas.
What this provides is a genuine entry point for those who are new to the NFT space. Also for those who may have lingered in the space for a while, but have lacked the capital to begin their journey. The free mint meta allows these groups to get started without the potential losses that many traders will no doubt have suffered throughout their careers.
How do we go about finding these free NFT collections then? Well, if the free-to-mint meta becomes more dominant, then over time they will become far more prominent. However, as of now, a little research is still required.
As with all upcoming projects, I advise you to use the tools you have readily at your disposal. Google is, of course, the most obvious resource. A search for “upcoming free NFT projects” will bring about a vast number of future collections for you to sift through. As will a search on YouTube, with content creators fighting to provide as much value as they can in order to secure a strong viewership on the platform. Twitter is also, as always, an extremely viable information source so keep an eye on well established influencers who are known for their successful calls.
There is also a Twitter page called Free Mint Alert Bot which notifies people of free NFT mints. Lastly, if you are fortunate enough to be part of an Alpha community, then you’ll have information presented to you on a regular basis.
Reasons To Be Wary
Unfortunately, as with most things, there are negative aspects to a free-to-mint meta. It would be dishonest of me if I was to pretend everything was rosy. As the primary example throughout this article, we’ll look at Goblintown once more. This project essentially represents everything that we would consider wrong with an NFT collection. As alluded to in the intro, there’s no roadmap, utility and we did not have until recently any information on the team. Despite this, it has been so successful that it could potentially set a dangerous precedent where teams or solo creators no longer feel the need to go through the usual marketing cycle. They also may not care about the long term utility as they can simply collect their royalties from secondary market sales.
Many project founders have generated vast levels of wealth through their collections. Most of the time, it’s been through viable community building with the income coming as a payoff to the hard work. Is this something that we’re going to see a shift in forever? This has yet to happen, but if projects continue to succeed with the Goblintown approach, then it won’t be long before it becomes the norm.
I’m incredibly impressed by what Goblintown has managed to achieve and it leaves me excited for the future. However, we do have to look at the dangers such a project could impose.
Why should you care? As long as you’re making some tidy profit flipping free NFTs, then what does it matter what the utility is as long as it sells? Let’s take 10 steps back away from these free mints and look at how the NFT space would be impacted as a whole. If quick and easy free mints become the priority above all else, then others will follow the trend. Eventually, the market could be flooded with poor quality, cash grabbing NFT collections.
We need to maintain the integrity of the wider space. Community has always been the heartbeat of this realm and we must not lose sight of it. Times are incredibly hard, yet the community is still alive and kicking. Paid for projects are surviving, but should we lose the soul of what makes this arena so special to greed, then we may expect to see a huge shift in dynamic.
If we have our finger on the pulse of the market, then it does feel as if a free mint meta is here. This is only natural as we try and navigate through this extremely tough bear market. Projects will need to continue to adapt in order to stay ahead of the curve and climb to the top of relevancy, and offering a free mint is one way of doing this.
The free-to-mint narrative will not be around forever, although how long remains to be seen. It could be a week, a month or even a year. As we’ve seen in the last few years, this space moves fast. Projects climb aboard the train and follow the latest trends before another sets a new one. The only permanent thing is impermanence, nothing lasts forever.
Whilst it’s here, there is enormous potential to make ridiculous profits compared to the level of investment required. Now is the time to act, so stop reading this, and go find some free NFTs to mint!