NFTs get a lot of hate for some being the status symbols they are and most of the time, for just being scams, cash grabs, and get-rich-quick tactics most projects aim for.
Bill Gates called out on NFTs saying they are based on the greater fool theory (and I kind of agree with him).
Yes, 99% of NFTs are trash. And so being skeptical about NFT projects should probably be a very normal thing.
But what most don’t see is the technology that exists behind a Non-fungible token and what it can do.
Yes, I am referring to blockchain technology. The place where anyone from any part of the world can do a trade without having to trust the other party.
Now, what if I say that this tech is helping create better communities and bringing people closer for a better good?
And that’s when ‘Token Gating’ with NFTs comes into place. And that’s what this article is all about.
What is NFT Token Gating
Token Gating basically refers to creating a walled garden where only the token holders (NFT owners) are allowed. In other words, it’s a method of restricting access to something based on the possession of certain NFTs.
Access of what? It can be access to experiences, use of the product or services, unlock community events, etc.
Note: Token Gating can also be done with fungible tokens (aka crypto tokens) too.
Let me give you a real-world example to understand token gating – you can watch a movie in a theatre only if you purchase a movie ticket. In other words, only if you are the owner of that movie ticket.
Similarly, if you can prove that you hold an NFT, you can have access to something (whatever the utility of that NFT project is).
The common theme here is ‘Exclusivity’ and ‘Access’. By holding an NFT, you might have access to discounts, party invites, memberships, etc. that other people don’t have.
Can Token Gating Help Buidl Communities?
I bought a bildr studio pass and that gave me lifetime access to that tool.
If in the near future, I no longer want to use the tool, I can sell the NFT for some value because there are only a limited number of passes.
Having 10 different NFTs in your Metamask wallet will give you access to 10 different experiences.
Your wallet is your identity. And your NFT is the ticket that gives you access to that experience.
Now, the key strategy here is to give the token holders something in return for trusting you or being loyal to your brand. Token Gating is what gives meaning to your NFTs.
But how does this form a community?
Let’s say a fitness brand wants to launch a limited-edition workout program that provides personalized coaching and guidance from a celebrity fitness trainer. The brand can use Token Gating to make sure only the owners of the limited edition program can access personalized coaching.
To do this, the brand creates an NFT that represents the ownership of the limited edition workout program. They then distribute the NFTs to customers who purchase the program.
Once the customer owns the NFT, they can use it to access personalized coaching and guidance from the celebrity fitness trainer. And that also creates a sense of exclusivity and value around the program, as only the holders will have access to that.
Moreover, the NFT can also serve as a collectible item that represents the customer’s ownership of the program, adding to its perceived value.
Ultimately, the key thing is to come up with token-gating ideas that add value to your customers or audience upon the purchase of the NFT
How Does Token Gating Work
Once you connect your wallet (only you can do that – because only you know your seed phrase aka private key) to the smart contract, it can check if you hold the NFT or not.
A smart contract here is a code that devs create based on the if/else conditions”If he holds the picture of a big smoking a cigar, he can get access to the party in Miami”. Not literally, but you get the idea.
You can use a tool like Collab Land to token-gate your community. It is easy to assign permissions to certain users based on their token ownership, thereby you can automate the process of allowing/not allowing them into Discord/telegram.
The Benefits Of Token Gating
Token Gating is not only cool, but it does also come with a lot of benefits.
Because of the immutable nature of blockchain, it’s impossible to forge data. And hence, nobody can get the utility with your NFT, as long as it stays in your wallet and your wallet isn’t hacked.
– Skin in the game:
If you hold an NFT, you don’t necessarily have to use it. You can always resell it.
And when it comes to creators, they earn a commission (referred to as ‘NFT Royalties’) every time the NFT gets resold. This is a great way for creators to get paid, while at the same time, you as an NFT holder can cash in on the sale amount.
– Reward Holders:
Unlike the traditional social media game, where creators put content and fans reward them with likes, NFTs take that one step ahead. A creator puts an NFT in a fan’s wallet (or the fan buys from the creator), and that means any time the creator can reward his or her fans.
The tech makes it easy to reward the holders aka fans. Want to run a 10% discount for the holders? Wanna give holders a free consultation? Easy..peasy..
– Simplifies Login Experience:
This is simple. Imagine you have 10 NFTs and each of them offers different utilities on different sites, all you have to do is log in via your web3 wallet and give the website read-only access.
The tech takes care of everything.
Examples/Applications Of Token Gating
Many brands and creators have released NFTs, and with the concept of Token Gating, they’re trying to build deep connections with customers and fans by rewarding them.
– Exclusive Products | Tifanny & Co
Tiffany & Co, the world-famous luxury jeweler released an NFT collection called NFTiff, which represents a collection of 250 digital passes, which can only be minted (purchased) by CryptoPunks holders.
That means, wallets that have a crypto punk only can access the digital pass. That’s token gating.
The whole idea behind this collection is to offer the clients the opportunity to turn CrypoPunks into custom Tiffany & Co. jewelry designs with a fully digital experience.
The holders are eligible to redeem their NFTs (or passes) for digital art based on their Punk and a corresponding fine jewelry pendant.
“Only the Pass holders got this exclusive product”
– Access to Service/Product | Bildr
Bildr is a no-code tool. Similar to any other Saas products, they have price ranges for their subscription. But along with that, they had an option for a lifetime pass. And that pass was an NFT.
That means, people who hold those passes called ‘Studio Pass‘ (I got one), can only use the tool, for a lifetime.
“Only the studio pass holders can access the tool”
– Memberships | FlyFish
FlyFish Club is a private dining experience in New York, created by Gary Vee. Owning an FFC NFT grants you access to this restaurant.
The last I checked the price, it was around $4,500. Holy… I know.
They actually have two memberships: The first type was sold for $8,400 and the second type was sold for $14,300. And these prices don’t cover any food or beverage costs.
Yes, you have to pay them, and these memberships only give you access to the restaurant.
Well, then why pay such a premium? I’d say “Status”. People bought those memberships.
Anyways, my point is NFTs can be used as memberships. Maybe, GaryVee’s restaurant is not a great example of how to create valuable memberships. But… back to our point:
“Only the membership NFT holders can have access to the restaurant”
NFT Tickets are a thing now. Instead of physical tickets or digital tickets, we can now use tokens as tickets.
Ok, but why?
Well, because everything that happens on the blockchain is quite transparent, you can easily track the total number of tickets, how much they are getting sold for, and more details.
This ticketing method can avoid high ticket prices and moreover, the ticket stays in your wallet forever as a collectible or memory.
I believe that Token Gating can build this close relationship between the companies and customers or creators and fans, without the need for any middlemen operating the interactions, thereby giving more