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Introducing the Wave Mint Strategy for NFT Launches

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By Anja Prosch
Anja Prosch

6 Min

May 25, 2023

The key to a successful NFT project is attracting the right people. This is where the minting process – the process by which tokens are initially allocated – comes into play. But how do you ensure that your mint is user-friendly, secure, and engaging?

1337 Skulls' fresh strategy entices NFT holders from various communities to partake in a 'wave mint'. This approach targets enthusiasts for CC0, on-chain art, and Internet remix culture, initially engaging with known communities, then expanding into the broader CC0 NFT ecosystem. The waves, targeting larger groups but shorter in duration, pivot to different NFT projects with shared interests. By progressively broadening the scope, wave mint aligns with the project's culture and objectives, avoiding gas wars and bots. In this article, we'll explore how the wave mint works, its benefits, and challenges and share the experiences using this strategy. NFT creators, listen up! The wave mint is a valuable addition to your toolkit.

How a wave mint works

Free NFT mints can challenge project creators, as they can attract botnets and resellers who do not share the project's goals and values. Instead, creators can use a "wave mint" strategy that invites different NFT communities to participate in a series of mints. This approach leverages on-chain data and reputation to find holders well-matched to the project's culture and goals while also driving attention and energy to the project.

During a wave mint, each open minting wave runs for a few minutes to a few days, with each group invited to mint in sequence. The groups invited to mint should be chosen carefully, with an eye toward recruiting holders likely to engage seriously with the new project and support its goals and aspirations. Each wallet should be allowed to mint only once, even if it qualifies for multiple waves, to ensure a broad distribution of holders.

The communities invited to participate should be curated thoughtfully, starting with "trusted ties," where creators have strong personal connections and an established presence and reputation. This helps build faith in the project and provides an opportunity to watch for bugs or anomalies in a controlled environment.

Once a core community with trusted ties has been established, targeting "strong tie" communities with significant overlap in holder numbers with the communities recruited through the earliest waves becomes possible.

Subsequent waves can open up to larger communities with weaker ties, pulling in people who have become excited about the project over the earlier waves. By leveraging close ties to build a core community and establish social proof, creators can use weaker ties to bridge into more distant but still like-minded networks.

The wave mint NFT strategy has several benefits, including:

  1. Attracting the Right Community: By inviting members of various NFT communities in waves, the wave mint mechanism helps to draw in holders who are well-matched to a project's culture and goals. This ensures that the community is composed of individuals who are enthusiastic and committed to the project, which can drive its success.
  2. Avoiding Gas Wars and Bots: The wave mint approach avoids common problems associated with free mints, such as gas wars and bots. By introducing waves, the mechanism distributes the allocation of tokens evenly over time, preventing holders from rushing to the mint all at once and creating congestion.
  3. Generating Attention and Excitement: The wave mint mechanism creates a sense of excitement and anticipation among holders by introducing multiple waves over time. This can help to drive attention and energy to the project, increasing its visibility and potential for success.
  4. Leveraging On-Chain Data and Reputation: The wave mint mechanism utilizes on-chain data and reputation to identify holders who are well-suited to a project's culture and objectives. This ensures that the community is composed of individuals who are likely to be long-term supporters of the project, which can contribute to its stability and growth.
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Image: Wave mint

Evaluating the wave mint strategy

The wave mint strategy has several benefits, starting with its ability to attract token holders who share the project's values and goals. Inviting members from established communities in waves creates a network effect that promotes rapid growth and fosters strong community ties. The staggered release of tokens also builds excitement and provides opportunities to onboard new members in real-time.

Moreover, the wave minting format helps to reduce double-counting, with most people holding NFTs in a limited number of wallets. This limits the mint to one NFT per wallet, ensuring the process is more secure and resistant to gaming. With shorter mint windows, monitoring activity and responding quickly to anomalies is easier, such as someone trying to gain multiple free mints.

In general, the wave mint strategy offers a valuable addition to the toolkit of NFT creators, helping to build strong communities and attract the right kind of participants. By using this approach, creators can ensure that their projects are seen in the best possible light and that their tokens are distributed fairly and securely.

Challenges: Operations and Security

Executing a wave mint from an operations perspective is a complex task that requires synchronization between front- and back-end teams throughout the process. The front-end and social media teams must constantly engage with the community on different platforms and fuel excitement for the project. In contrast, the back-end team manages wallet lists, opens and closes mint waves, and ensures smooth execution.

On the user side, there are security concerns. Participants are induced to mint with the wallets that hold their other digital assets, which may include high-value NFTs. Bad actors may attempt to set up fake wave mints to gain access to these wallets. Therefore, teams must provide clear information and documentation, and smart contracts must be available for examination in advance.

In the long term, delegation solutions optimized explicitly for wave mints could be developed, allowing participants to delegate access so they do not have to mint directly from their vault wallets. Additionally, as wave mints become more popular, more creative criteria may be needed to decide who should participate in each wave.

The wave mint strategy is a powerful solution for building a community of token holders who identify with a project's goals and values. It gradually spreads outward from a dedicated, trusted-tie core, creating a network effect and minimizing the cold-start problem. While more work is needed to explore and experiment with the potential of wave minting, it could become a valuable element of the toolbox for NFT projects.