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Free Mints: How It Started and How It’s Going

Posted August 12, 2022 5:54 pm
6 min
By Deep In The Sesh

We’re so early in the NFT space we can’t even say its in its infancy; it’s in its germination phase. And although in crypto years it feels like millennia ago when CryptoPunks were selling for eight figures, in reality, it’s only been a matter of months.

Because of this, we are in a state of constant experimentation with NFTs. Projects are still making it up as they go along, or as they call it in the corporate world: innovating. The dominant model over the past two years has been to create a collection of NFTs, let’s say 10,000, build as much hype as possible, produce a roadmap, set the mint price, sell out quickly and hope users don’t get too mad about the exorbitant transaction fees. 

However over the past few months, we’ve seen continued iteration in the space with the rise of free mint projects on Avalanche. Traditionally, NFT projects on Avalanche charge anywhere from 2-5 AVAX to mint an NFT, examples include Party Animals and AVAX Apes. These mint fees go to cover the cost of producing the project and maintaining an involved community. 

So what happens when NFT projects start competing on price? Enter free mint projects. The strategy here is to build a community as fast as possible, in a matter of days or even hours. Under this scenario, the NFT project only earns royalty fees from secondary trading volume. Because of this bootstrapped mentality, these projects are often lacking a roadmap, discord group or, in some cases, even a Twitter account. 

NFT buyers are loving this new model as free mints have been surging with many new projects popping up weekly. We’re going to review some of the recent popular free mint projects, including a project overview, volume stats and secondary market sales.   

So let’s dig in.

Beenz on Acid

Beenz on Acid NFT

Beenz on Acid is the brainchild of Joshua Thorsen, also known as Teens On Acid (TOA), a neo-pop artist from Australia. TOA was formed in 2007 with the intention of being a collective of artists but soon turned into a personal brand and the focus of Joshua’s creative output. According to his website his art is “heavily influenced by the 80s and 90s skate scene, manga, anime, Western Saturday morning cartoons and the phenomenon of action figure and trading card culture.”

On June 16, 2022, TOA tweeted it would be dropping Beenz on Acid for free on NFT markeplace Campfire Exchange. The project included 2,222 on Fantom and 3,333 on Avalanche and launched with good hype from crypto Twitter. As of time of writing, the project had total sales of 2,506, total volume at 2,196 AVAX and a floor price of 0.54 AVAX. Depending on the rarity of each NFT, current pricing goes as high as 1,000 AVAX. 

In terms of fees, Campfire’s marketplace fees are 1% and TOA receives a 7.5% royalty for every secondary sale.     

Smol Joes

Smol Joes NFT

Brought to you by the team behind Trader Joe, Smol Joes launched via their NFT marketplace, Joepegs, with no prior announcement or hype and sold out within minutes. The collection includes 100 hand-drawn, pixelated Joes, Trader Joe’s mascot, and has no roadmap. The Trader Joe team showed how valuable their brand is as the current floor price is 179 AVAX with over 11,100 AVAX in total volume. The current highest priced Smol Joe is listed for 3,333 AVAX. 

According to Joepegs website, the collection was hand-drawn by a “neighborhood artists.” The marketplace fees are 2.5% and royalties for the project are listed at 5%. 

Smol Creeps

Smol creeps Free mint NFT

An offshoot of Smol Joes and part of the Kingdom of We-Smol, Smol Creeps has been trending recently. Currently, there isn’t a roadmap and details are sparse as the only real description of the project can be found on Joepegs website: 

“The Kingdom of We-Smol will be consumed. The Creep absorbs all. The Creep is inevitable. No roadmap, only Creeping. Part of the Smol Joe’s ecosystem.”

Smol Creeps was a free mint and consists of 800 original NFTs with a current floor price of 3.5 AVAX and total volume of over 1,000 AVAX. Marketplace fees are 2.5% and the royalty rate for this collection is 6.9%. At the time of writing the most expensive Smol Creep is listed for 999 AVAX. 

Genesis Soulmeleons

Soulemleons Free Mint NFT

Soulmeleons dropped a 500-piece free mint collection on July 25 and it sold out within 24 hours on Jopegs marketplace. The project’s website says the goal of the collection is “to bring attention to soul-bound tokens and inspire others to bring awareness to this way of using tokens and build a community around it to inspire and build.”

If you don’t know what soul-bound tokens are, they’re pretty cutting edge stuff. Soul-bound tokens (SBTs) are non-transferable identity and reputation tokens. They allow individuals to verify all of their information using blockchain technology. The idea was presented by Vitalik Buterin in a whitepaper entitled “Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul,” which details his vision for a fully decentralized society. 

If you’ve minted a soulmeleon you will be able to claim a soul-bound token, which according to their website, “makes you part of this historic movement, forever yours, marked on the public ledger.”

The collection currently has a floor price of 4.5 AVAX with a total volume of 1,816 AVAX. Marketplace fees are 2.5% and royalties are listed at 10%. At the time of writing, the most expensive soulmeleon NFT is listed for 160 AVAX. 

Conclusion

The ERC-721 standard introduced so many new applications, and NFTs that represent art or game items have gained the most traction. The art scene has evolved over time and has been cyclical. The goal of any artists is to share their passion and vision of the world. However, they need to make a living too. Free mints represent a quick way for artists to gain traction, build a community, and generate income from royalty fees. For buyers, it’s a good way to acquire art or even make a profit. Given the floor prices, it seems to be profitable to spend the time getting or buying a free mint NFT.

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