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If you have ever tried minting the NFT of a new project, you need no introduction to the hassles involved. The project may sell out before you can even mint an NFT and/or you may end up spending hundreds of dollars due to gas wars. To solve these issues, projects have introduced something called the NFT whitelist or allowlist. Those on the coveted NFT whitelist get guaranteed access to mint, and may even get to mint for free.
But what exactly is a whitelist? In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about NFT whitelists (or allowlists) and more importantly, how to get NFT whitelisted.  
Essentially, the NFT whitelist (or allowlist) is a list of users that get early and guaranteed access to mint the NFTs of a certain project during a given period of time. Usually, whitelisted users get a chance to mint the NFTs before the public mint. What’s more, often, the users get added perks such as low minting fees or even free mints. All this while avoiding gas wars.
In short, NFT whitelists are akin to much-sought-after golden tickets in the NFT space. For this reason, it is not always easy to get whitelisted. 
There are several reasons why projects use NFT allowlists. Firstly, whitelists are a way for projects to ensure that the drop is democratic and fair. Often, they offer a chance for projects to reward their early backers and most supportive community members. While the specific reward varies from project to project, perks such as low mint price, access to exclusive content, and access to future projects are common.
Secondly, NFT whitelists help projects avoid bots and spam. As the NFT allowlists only allow access to pre-determined wallet addresses, projects can prevent fake and fraudulent accounts from joining the mint. In fact, for hyped drops, some users even register hundreds of accounts. 
Finally, whitelists help avoid gas wars. Gas wars usually happen during the mint of a popular project, where a large number of users try to mint the NFTs at the same time. This demand spikes up the gas fees, sometimes as high as hundreds of dollars. In contrast, whitelisted users can pick their own time to mint the NFTs within the given time period. This way, transactions are spread out, avoiding competition, and in turn, eliminating gas wars.
Needless to say, NFT whitelists are highly coveted and often hard to get into because of competition. Here are some ways in which you can get whitelisted:
Getting a whitelist spot is all about being early. To explain, you have to find good projects before they launch and be an early supporter. Therefore, actively search for new collections on Twitter. And of course, our NFT Evening Calendar is a good place to keep a tab on all the latest drops. Once you have found some interesting projects, sign up to waitlists before the drop.
By the same token, you have to join their Discord servers early. For most NFT projects, Discord is where the most activity and important announcements happen. This way, you can ensure you don’t miss any instructions about joining the NFT allowlist. 
Each NFT project has its own whitelist selection process. Some do this through art contests where creators of the best fan arts get whitelisted. Sometimes, even though there is no specific contest, projects give whitelist spots to appreciate some incredible fan art, So, if you are creative, design something unique to get noticed!
Some projects give allowlist spots to their most active community members. Therefore, make sure you are constantly interacting with the project’s social media posts and are active on their Discord server. Sharing and retweeting their posts, participating in giveaways, and inviting others to Discord are some ways to stay engaged. 
Projects often run a range of competitions to select wallets for their whitelist. These contests range from lore  and art competitions to giveaways and quizzes. Participating in these competitions are great ways to secure allowlist spots.
Most often, NFT projects give whitelist spots to holders of their previous NFTs. Invisible Friends, BAYC, World of Women, and more have done this. Even better, some will just let you mint for free!
As previously mentioned, the primary benefit of getting on the whitelist is early access to NFT drops. Whitelisted users can mint within the given window, avoid gas wars, and sometimes even mint for free. 
That said, there are a few disadvantages to the whitelist process as well. Firstly, getting on an allowlist is a time-consuming process. You may be required to do a number of things to get a spot. Even if you get on the whitelist, there is no guarantee that the project will succeed. 
Then, whitelists have also caused several NFT scams. For instance, fraudsters may offer whitelist spots of popular projects, only to trick you into signing up on a fake website. In such cases, you may even end up losing the assets in your wallet. As a result, it is extremely important to be vigilant at all times.
All things considered, NFT whitelists are a good means to ensure you can mint the NFT you want. However, make sure to do your due diligence to establish the project’s authenticity. In addition, double-check any links before clicking. 
All investment/financial opinions expressed by are not recommendations.
This article is educational material.
As always, make your own research prior to making any kind of investment.
Reethu Ravi is a journalist based in India, covering environment, sustainability, tech and innovation. When not found between the pages of a book, she can be seen catching up on the latest developments in the tech world. A naval architect-turned journalist, she loves bringing stories of change and innovation to the limelight.
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