We talk a lot about the importance of minting and why artists should pay extra attention to this part of a project.
And there's a good reason for this! Minting is often the first interaction for potential collectors. But while minting is a critical part of launching a collection, many creators still need to learn more about the different methods and how they might affect their projects.
For first-time creators, it's crucial to consider the different aspects of each mint type and which would best suit your art. On the flip side, for those who have already launched a collection, it's always good to have a solid understanding of the latest minting methods to make your next one even more legendary!
Before diving into the different mint types, let's review the basics.
What does it mean to mint an NFT?
Minting is the process of creating a unique, non-fungible token (NFT) on a blockchain network. With minting, a new digital asset is created and assigned a unique identifier, which makes it distinct from all other tokens on the network.
To mint an NFT, an artist or creator will upload their digital collectibles to a platform like OpenSea or another NFT marketplace. Artists must also define the metadata associated with the NFT, including its name, description, and other relevant information.
A snapshot of the Humankind minting experience.
Once minted, the digital token is stored on the blockchain network and can be bought, sold, or traded. Because NFTs are unique and verifiable, they are often used to represent digital art, collectibles, or other one-of-a-kind assets. The minting process ensures that each NFT is unique and cannot be duplicated or counterfeited, giving it inherent value and scarcity.
Creators have options for minting their collections; each minting experience is largely influenced by the type they select. That's why it is one of the most important tasks before releasing artwork into the community.
The most common minting types
Artists will need to consider the goals for their collections and how the minting experience will help achieve certain milestones.
With that in mind, when considering the objectives, here are the most common NFT mint types artists use for their projects.
1. Standard Mint
As the name might suggest, the standard mint was the most common method for digital collectible creators in the last couple of years. Standard mints are announced to the community well before the actual minting day. Usually, teams will make these minting announcements in Discord or on Twitter.
Generally speaking, a standard mint has no trickery or sneaky elements. They are meant to be transparent so the community can easily view the contracts and terms of the mint, which is extremely useful in an industry often associated with scams.
Another significant upside to a standard mint and posting details in advance is that it gives creators time to make last-minute changes while hyping up the collection's launch.
2. Free Mint
Free mints gained a lot of attention in 2022 when a series of projects produced insane amounts of traction for their collections. One prime example is goblintown.wtf, a collection that soared in popularity after launching with a free mint. The collection's success was a big reason other creators turned to free mints in attempts to replicate what goblintown achieved.
While goblintown.wtf and other projects were able to crush the unveiling of their collections with free mints, this type of minting experience has certain risks and issues that can have significant consequences.
The most common of these problems that come with free mints are bots (software programs for collecting NFTs). In short, bots can be detrimental because they can quickly and consecutively snatch up large quantities of a collection and subsequently start to manipulate the value of the collectibles.
So when it comes to free mints, it is essential to do solid research and consider all possible scenarios.
3. Stealth Drop
For creators who want to launch without making any announcements or marketing leading up to the unveiling of a collection, a stealth drop is a solid option. With stealth drops, the minting contracts aren't released beforehand like a standard mint, but instead, the details become available right before or during the launch.
Why is this important? For one, it helps solve the problem we discussed earlier regarding bots. When done correctly, stealth mints can be very effective at preventing software from snatching up huge quantities of tokens and ruining the collection supply.
One of the knocks on this swift minting style is marketing. The announcement must occur at the last moment to correctly do a stealth mint, so running marketing campaigns before launching is basically out of the question.
Even with marketing being a creative puzzle, there are ways to make stealth drops work if you have the right community and whales to hype the collection when it is available.
4. Nounish Auctions
Pioneered by the geniuses over at the Nouns DAO, a Nounish auction consists of generating and releasing one token a day indefinitely. Here's how the Nouns team describes this never-ending release of artwork:
"The Nouns Auction Contract will act as a self-sufficient Noun generation and distribution mechanism, auctioning one Noun every 24 hours, forever. 100% of auction proceeds (ETH) are automatically deposited in the Nouns DAO treasury, where they are governed by Noun owners."
A glimpse at a Nounish Auction.
Apart from being a fascinating technique and a genuinely novel minting experience, it's also an excellent example of decentralization. However, this mint's unique nature requires substantial planning and community building, so doing plenty of research and preparation for a Nounish auction is critical.
5. Dutch Auctions
An NFT Dutch auction begins with a high starting price, then drops over time at a predetermined rate until a designated price floor is hit or a demand equilibrium is reached, and all the NFTs sell out.
This type of auction encourages buyers to act quickly and make a bid while also allowing collectors to sell their NFTs at higher prices than they might receive in a traditional fixed-price sale.
A lot of high-profile collections used dutch auctions with varying degrees of results. For example, Art Blocks gave artists a choice to launch their collections with a dutch auction to support the artists and mitigate gas wars.
However, the drawback to this style of mint is that it favors the wealthier collectors who can afford to bid at the initial price. This will often box out certain members of the community who aren't able to participate in the auction when the bid is high.
The right minting experience for your project
Choosing and creating the ideal minting experience for your project involves internal planning and preparation. While knowing where to start can be complicated, reviewing your favorite NFT projects and the strategies they chose for their mint is a great way to get the thought process going.
It’s important to always put yourself in the place of a potential collector going through the mint experience. Will they find it enjoyable? Is it a user-friendly experience? These questions will be crucial for unveiling your artwork and help you make an excellent mint for your excited community.
Lastly, don’t forget to be creative with your mint experience! A memorable mint will always be something that your collectors can appreciate.