NFT Bots Explained: Do You Really Need Them?

    It’s controversial in the NFT space to mention NFT Bots. I’m serious, say the word and you walk a path of people chanting “shame, shame, shame!”. However, it’s pretty naive to ignore the inevitable. NFT bots are born from the same exact hype that long existed for in-demand products like sneakers, event tickets, and collectibles. If there is profit to be made, there will be bots. In 2022, the total sneaker market value was at $72.7 billion and is expected to reach $120 billion by 2026. Do you think that happened without sneaker bots? Debatable. 

    So what’s the deal with non-fungible bots?
    Why does the NFT community hate them so much?
    Should you consider using such a bot?
    How do they work anyway?
    Is it even legal or ethical to use an NFT bot?
    Let’s dive into these thoughts, and by the end, I think you’ll make up your mind about it.

    What Is An NFT Bot?

    To understand NFT bots, you have to be familiar with the nature of a bot: 

    • A bot (short for robot) is a software application programmed to perform tasks through Robotic Process Automation (RPA). 
    • Bots work by automatically going through a set of instructions, and they carry out tasks and processes much faster, more accurately, and at a higher volume than human beings. 
    • You can define a bot by looking at its RPA instructions, called a script. 

    An NFT Bot is tailored specifically for the NFT industry and automates many tasks during minting or buying/selling NFTs on secondary marketplaces. 

    NFT bots are one of the many types of bots that exist. For example, crawl bots are used by search engines (such as Google) to navigate the internet and find information. Spam bots, meanwhile, are designed to send people annoying-automated messages like those “promote it on” Instagram comments.

    Technically Speaking, How Do Bots Work?

    Any kind of Bot must have a predefined trigger to start working. Such a trigger can be, in the case of NFT bots, an order like “start mint”. Once triggered, bots complete the tasks they are scripted to do via automation, computer vision, and machine learning.

    – Automation: The process of doing tasks without human intervention.
    – Computer vision: The attempt to understand and copy the human visual system through digital images and videos.
    – Machine learning: The ability to extrapolate trends from patterns in data and make adaptations accordingly.

    The processes a bot performs must be ruled-based and logical, with well-defined inputs and outputs. So after triggering the bot you have to feed it information on what it has to do. That’s why every bot has its own user interface which you fill out with specific instructions. 

    NFT bots are built using Python or Javascript. They work by interacting with the smart contract of a certain NFT collection using RPC (Remote Procedure Call) nodes.  Curious to know more technical details about how bots communicate with the blockchain via RPC? Got you covered with this venus-mars analogy guide!

    What Can An NFT Bot Do?

    They can pretty much do everything you can do to get NFTs, but better and faster. Ouch. You know every second, especially in the NFT business can be life-changing. That’s why most professional traders use NFT bots to take advantage of every possible opportunity. To sum it up an NFT bot can:

    • Help you get NFTs when the demand is very high.
    • Win at secondary market bidding auctions with the lowest price. 
    • Secure NFTs during WL or public mint.
    • Acquire/Sweep NFTs at a low price.
    • Save on gas fees 
    • Save time and effort.

    Every task requires a specific kind of bot, that’s why there are 5 types of NFT bots in the market (so far).

    Type of NFT Bots: Meet The Bot Gang

    1- Spoofing Bot – The Trickster 

    spoofing bot

    Spoofing means tricking someone, and an NFT spoofing bot manipulates the market. This is what it basically does:

    • create costly illusions over a certain NFT collection. 
    • deviate buyers from realizing the actual worth of the NFT.

    The illusion can work both ways :

    1. Convince that no one wants the NFT so you get it at a lower price 
    2. Convince that everyone wants the NFT to increase its price value.

    Spoofing is illegal across many major markets, including the United States and the United Kingdom. This is the trickster among the bots, and could at a point become illegal in the NFT industry. 

    2- Sniper Bot – The Archer 

    sniper bot

    Sniper NFT bots are like well-trained archers that can get you exactly what you need and always hit the bullseye. These bots mainly work on secondary marketplaces. When an NFT is listed for sale it’s usually in a buy-now or bidding-auction format. 

    • Buy-now:

    This feature requires a lot of setups for the bot. Basically, you have to give it the specifications of the NFTs you want so that it can monitor them 24/7. For example, the price range, gas fees, and traits. Now after you set up the bot, it keeps working and monitoring marketplaces until it snipes the NFT with your specific criteria.

    • Bidding Auctions: 

    Some NFTs are harder to get, especially if they are released in timed auctions. The bidding gets the best prices in auctions in a time frame no human can compete with. This NFT bot waits until the absolute last minute to place a bid so that you can get your NFT at the lowest price. 

    These kinds of bots are more tolerated by the NFT community, especially since this speedy automation is much needed by professional NFT traders. 

    Probably why we see NFTinit talking about their bidding/sniping bots with confidence. As well as market aggregators like Gem and Blurr that incorporate such automation (specifically sweeping) into their interface.

    3- Scalper Bot – Octopus Hands 

    scalper bot

    This type of bot is very mischievous and in bad hands can be manipulative. It works best during an NFT drop, in the minting phase. What it does is buy in bulk as many NFTs until it sells out. Then you can list them at secondary marketplaces for a much higher price. Very unethical, yet unfortunately not illegal (yet). 

    Scalper bots attacked Time Magazine’s NFT launch back in December 2022.
    Time magazine capped its supply at 4,676 NFTs, with a plan to stop NFT bots.
    Scalper bots managed to snatch up the supply in less than 5 minutes.
    These “TimePiece” NFTs worth $310 at mint then got listed for $9,500 on secondary markets. 

    Keep in mind it’s not as easy as it sounds. You can only make this kind of profit if you put in the time and effort to choose the right NFT collection and right marketplaces at the right time. 

    Ethical? No.
    Profitable AF? Yes.

    4- Spinner Bot – The Magician 

    spinner bot

    Spinner bots are sidekicks of NFT Spoofing bots, they also trick and create illusions. This bot’s illusion goes one way on secondary marketplaces : 

    1. Like an NFT but not sure you can sell it at a profitable price later? 
    2. Add it to your cart.
    3. It will look like it doesn’t exist on the market.
    4. List it for sale at a high price before you even buy it(while it’s still in your cart unpurchased).
    5. When a buyer requests it from you (when you listed it), the bot will check out the NFT.
    6. You didn’t lose a penny in this deal thanks to the magician.

    The brilliance of the Spinner NFT bot is that it prevents your shopping cart from timing out. Your potential buyers on the secondary market have all the time to browse for rare NFTs that are in your possession. So nobody’s gonna know what your evil trickster did. 

    Ethical? No.
    Profitable? Yes.

    5- Minting Bots – The Snatcher 

    minting bot

    These type of bots have one job and one job only.
    To get the most amount of NFTs during an NFT drop with the least amount of gas fees paid.

    When an NFT collection drops it comes in a limited supply and defines a specific amount of mints per wallet. This Bot is sneaky as it can snatch as many NFTs as possible and kind of bend the rules by creating several wallets to mint from. Your chances are higher when you use a minting bot vs manual mining.

    Basically, a minting bot is the most useful when:

    So, Do You Really Need Them In 2023?

    Actually, the use of NFT bots is inevitable at this point in the market. Securing NFTs during drops is not easy when you are competing with bot users. You don’t stand a chance against bots, trust me we’ve tried. Despite the NFT community’s rather justified hate for using bots, it’s sort of hypocritical. Look at the sneaker industry, and how much people resented sneaker bots at first. Now, these bots are a cornerstone of any sneaker purchase. Most probably that’s going to be the case with NFTs. So whether the NFT community admits it or not, they are using bots and if not, they will.

    How does the saying go? If you can’t beat them, join them. 

    As far as NFT laws and regulations go, NFT bots are not illegal.
    The big question, however, is are NFT bots ethical?
    Definitely not.
    But this doesn’t stop people from using them.
    So you have to decide your stand on this.
    Do you want to be a wolf or a sheep?

    NFT Bots types


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