Roughly 20 days ago I spoke to a fellow bored ape in the DMs, he mentioned to me that he was building and said “it’s time to make a move with some big players I know- Wagmi”. As with many other projects, I wished him the best of luck, excited to see how his idea would unfold. Fast forward to today, he has garnered a following of over 60,000 followers and is supported by one of the most active Twitter communities. How? He plays games. Namely, the whitelist game.
In this article, we will take a deep dive into the craze of whitelists and how they have taken the NFT collection scene by storm.
So what is a whitelist and how does it work?
Whitelisting is where a wallet address is approved prior to minting, meaning that they will be able to sign in and purchase the said NFT on the set date.
Why is this important?
Whitelists are significant given that they avoid gas wars. For example, collectors that have been whitelisted are able to purchase the NFT across a 24 hour period as opposed to everyone minting all at once which in turn drives the transaction prices up. Subsequently, a whitelist means lower gas prices.
They give equal opportunity, meaning collectors who would be priced out due to gas will get a chance via the whitelist.
Whitelists help to build communities in an organic way where bots cannot hack the system.
How do you get whitelisted?
You can get whitelisted for projects in a number of ways, and it will almost always involve active participation.
To get whitelisted you have to be early, usually through a project’s discord. Projects often set a number where for instance the first 2000 members are whitelisted, anyone who joins following this will not be whitelisted.
Some discords use engagement as a means of rewarding members. Those in the discord will have to achieve a certain rank and once they do, they will be whitelisted.
Some projects make their members earn a whitelist spot by setting them the task of inviting other members, once they invite a certain number, they will be whitelisted.
Projects may even conduct raffles and those who win, receive the whitelist spots.
Each project is different and has its own method of whitelisting, but perhaps the most renowned currently is the whitelist game. This is something that Voltura and the Psychedelics Annonymous team have executed perfectly since they began to tease the project in early November. Not only has it encouraged active participation and excitement for the collection, but it has also seen his personal account grow from 5k followers to over 60k in a matter of weeks.
Voltura has implemented a varying number of tactics for keeping the community engaged in his whitelist game.
As an example, he dropped a tweet asking a question, and following this, he replied that to the same tweet saying everyone who replied had been whitelisted. Meaning that those who directly supported him were rewarded with a whitelist spot. Why is this so effective? This guerilla-style of marketing encourages you to both engage, and turn on your notifications so that you never miss a tweet, given that every tweet could be an opportunity to earn a whitelist spot.
Voltura often plays the notification whitelist game, meaning that the community had to have his notifications on to see the Tweet. The first 50 people to engage would-be whitelisted, and many collections have since followed this same method. Within seconds of his tweets being posted, he receives hundreds of likes, demonstrating the sheer volume of community engagement.
He also used riddles, and in whitelist game #5, the community was tasked with the unscrambling of sentences and the first 20 people to solve would be whitelisted. Furthermore, he has used guessing games such as predicting his screen time, and even dropping hints then deleting tweets. All of which have encouraged the community to be aware at all times! Since then, there have been 13 whitelist games, and he is not stopping until all 9000 people are whitelisted.
So how has the whitelist game impacted the project and the community? Psychedelics Anonymous posted their first tease of the artwork which racked up a total of 439,000 views, 14,000 likes and they have since amassed over 41,000 followers, despite only posting 19 tweets. The sheer volume of eyeballs on the project is unprecedented and is a testament to the promo and marketing from the whitelist game. Where previous projects ensured that collectors were ready on the dot for the mint, the introduction of whitelist games has encouraged collectors to have their eyes peeled at all times.
Not only has the project grown, but the community has also become enthralled, active, and engaging in every tweet. Some have made creative Twitter videos, fan arts, and at the most extreme, even a shrine in support of voltura and the project. The people are putting in the effort, seemingly not just for the whitelist spot, but because they want to be a part of what is happening, which is something special.
Since Voltura began his games, a number of projects have followed in his footsteps, utilizing ambush tweets, notification games, and most importantly, whitelists. He has set the bar with his marketing of the project, his community engagement, and his leadership. Evidently, the community is certainly prepared for his upcoming project.
The space is changing every day, new ideas come and go proving just how innovative, and experimental the NFT world is. But will we see another novel style of NFT drops? Most likely, yes. But only the future will tell!