Thoughts on NFT Whitelisting: What are the Pros and Cons? Does Ordinals Need a Whitelisting System?

Encrypt KOL wrote a post expressing his thoughts on the current NFT whitelist, covering the birth and pros and cons of the whitelist, the two markets spawned by the whitelist, the community behavior brought by the whitelist issuance, whether Ordinals need a whitelist system, and whether the on-chain user profile can bring a more scientific and accurate distribution mechanism.

Previously, NFT projects were all directly launched on Public Mint until the emergence of The Sevens project. The 1ethshop community of scientists utilized their technological advantage and 7000 NFTs were sold in a matter of seconds, leaving thousands of buyers empty-handed. While the Seven incident was eventually resolved, more and more projects now rely on the whitelist + (PublicMint) issuance method. The advantage of this method is that it can avoid gas wars, making it appear more fair for both scientists and regular NFT players to participate in popular projects. However, it also brings new issues, such as giving project issuers more centralized power. For a highly popular project, the issuer can even rely on whitelist transactions to cash out. The need for a whitelist has also led to strange and varied user behavior manipulation. Some project issuers even sell white lists and then rug pull without actually launching the project.

The whitelist has given rise to two markets: the whitelist OTC trading market and anti-bot witch-hunting solutions. The community behavior brought about by whitelist issuance can be roughly categorized into several types: 1) hardworking project issuers who diligently check studios; 2) lazy project issuers who don’t check studios; 3) some project issuers even encourage/reward community reporting, etc. It’s a strange and bizarre situation.

Does Ordinals need a whitelist system? This cannot be generalized. In fact, the launch of Blockingd on Magic Eden on Bitcoin continues the private mint/public mint system, making the minting process more orderly and controllable. The groundbreaking launch of Bitcoin Punks was exciting, but there have been few imitators. The founder of Bitcoin Pizza admitted that an early fair launch did not bring profit to project issuers, resulting in a lack of follow-up in community building. It is still a very early social experiment and key to its success is having passionate community members and a relatively fair incentive mechanism. Relying on love alone is ultimately difficult to succeed.

Currently, there are many projects that are still popular but rely on members promoting them for free on social media to generate traffic. I classify these as PUA-type projects. They may have novelty at first, but after a while, high-quality users become desensitized, leaving behind an endless stream of studios and dirty flippers.


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