Everything You Need to Know About NFT "Allowlists" and "Pre Mints"

Hannah Scherwatzky / ONE37pm

Those who’ve had the pleasure of being in the NFT space understand all the benefits that come with being on an allow list when minting an NFT. 

But, for those who might be new to this concept, this article will explain all the perks that come with being on an allowlist, how to find one, how to get chosen for one, and what you'll have to do to be eligible.

First, What Is ‘Minting’ an NFT?

In essence, minting an NFT means to publish your token to the blockchain. Minting can refer to the creation or buying process. Either way, minting an NFT always results in a transaction on the blockchain.

Let's break down the two minting scenarios: creating and buying.


To create an NFT, you have to go through a publishing process. You can use platforms such as Opensea and Mintable to publish your own NFT creation so that it becomes available for others to buy. This self-publication process is known as minting.

If you are minting on the Ethereum blockchain, then you are also responsible for paying the gas fees to submit the transaction. More on this later, though.

Buying (mint on demand)

Now, let's say I decide to create an NFT project with 5,000 NFTs that I plan to sell. Of course, I don’t want to be stuck paying the gas fee 5,000 times, and I want to keep the NFTs randomized so that no one knows the exact NFT they’re getting.

So instead of minting (publishing) the NFTs myself when I create them, I let the consumers mint the NFTs for me (mint on demand). Without getting too technical, the minting process is done on the backend via the smart contract

Basically, developers can easily create a minting website similar to Amazon, where consumers can come and connect their Web3 wallets and buy as many NFTs as they’re allowed. Since the consumers are the ones initiating the transaction and publishing the NFTs to the blockchain, they are responsible for paying the gas fees.

Whether you are ‘creating’ or ‘buying’ an NFT, technically speaking, the minting process is all the same.

Public Sales and Potential Gas Wars

A public sale refers to NFTs that are listed "for sale" to the public on a first-come-first-serve basis. Although public sales are great because they allow everyone to have a chance to buy an NFT, they often lead to gas wars, especially if there’s a lot of demand for the NFT.

A gas war occurs on the Ethereum blockchain when there’s a large number of consumers submitting transactions to the blockchain at the same time. Since only a limited number of transactions can be approved on the network, consumers repeatedly pay higher fees in an attempt to get a successful transaction.

This results in newer NFT collectors who do not have the principal capital to pay for large gas transactions, getting excluded from the NFT collection, and can result in the loss of valuable community members.

To learn more about gas wars and how you can avoid them, make sure to check out our guide to avoiding gas wars.

Allowlists, Explained

An NFT allowlist (also known as whitelist) is a list of wallet addresses collected that allow certain community members a guaranteed spot for minting (buying) a new NFT collection. Allowlists guarantee that every person on the list will be able to mint a predetermined amount of NFTs during the initial release of an NFT collection.

How to Get on an Allow List

Getting on an NFT allowlist is generally pretty simple. That’s not to say that you don’t have to work for it though. Below are some basic steps to get on an allowlist.

1. Find a good NFT project before it launches

You can only get on an allowlist if the project hasn’t launched yet. That means you need to find a good NFT project ahead of its launch date so that you have time to get on the allowlist. Utilizing social media platforms like Twitter or joining an NFT Discord group (here’s ours) is a great way to find an NFT project before it ever launches.

2. Follow the project on social media and join the Discord

Once you find an NFT project that sparks your interests, make sure to follow it on social media and join its Discord server. Oftentimes, allowlist opportunities are presented to the community via Discord or by announcing it on their social platforms. Following all of a project’s channels ensures that you won’t miss your chance.

3. Complete the eligibility requirements

The time has finally come, the NFT project you’ve been following is ready to offer its community the chance to join the allowlist. So, what do you have to do? Well, It depends on the project. 

Generally, projects will offer allowlist spots to those who are willing to complete a simple task. These tasks can include liking, sharing, and tagging others in the comments on the project’s social media post, or by bringing the most new people into the project’s Discord. Each project differs in the way they give out spots— some tasks can include puzzles, riddles, real life challenges, and more.

Regardless, the only way you will know about these opportunities is if you pay attention. That’s why it’s important to be active on all the platforms the NFT project is active on.

Benefits of an Allowlist

  • You get guaranteed access to mint.
  • You get to buy the NFT for a discounted price (or for free).
  • You avoid high gas fees caused by the public mint gas war.
  • You don’t have to worry about bots buying up all the NFTs.
  • You have the opportunity to flip it for a profit once the public mint begins.
  • You are considered an early supporter

These are some of the most sought after benefits of getting on an allowlist, however, the creator of the project has the power to add any perks they desire to those who are allowlisted. The possibilities are truly endless.

Pre Mints Explained

As a result of gas wars inevitably taking a toll on those who spend their time spreading the word about an NFT project, people end up losing out because of costly transaction fees. Creators are coming up with new ways to allow everyone a fair opportunity at minting their collections.

An NFT pre-sale, otherwise known as a pre mint, enables community members and early supporters the opportunity to mint before the public sale goes live. Pre-mints are generally executed through allowlist or a mint pass.

A mint pass is similar to an allowlist except you have to pay for it. Essentially, you buy a mint pass which then allows you to mint a specified number of NFTs before the public sale. 

You can think of a pre mint like a Black Friday sale. There’s a limited supply, reduced prices, and a better opportunity to profit from buying at such a discounted price. Plus, you will always hold the bragging rights to being one of the earliest supporters.

Ultimately, getting a spot on an NFT list to partake in the pre mint sale is one of the best possible options for buying an NFT: You’re guaranteed a spot to mint, you avoid high gas fees, and you might even have the opportunity to mint at a lower price than the public sale.

If this sounds appealing to you, we highly suggest doing everything you can to get on an allowlist if you are considering buying an unreleased NFT project. It’s worth saving a lot of money for the minimal effort it takes to join an allowlist.

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