What Is Token Gating?

    Who doesn’t like exclusivity? The ones outside the gate. Nevertheless, it’s an essential touch to any project aiming to elevate itself. We’ve seen our fair share of exclusive parties, content, and events in web2. But, how would you create exclusivity on the blockchain? You do it via NFTs. NFTs aren’t just JPEGs you stack in your wallet. You can use them to access restricted content and even conference tickets! This is the basis of token gating. 

    What is Token Gating?

    Token gating is a verification method via non-fungible tokens. It provides exclusive access to content, events, spaces, merch, etc. For example, if you have a BAYC NFT, you can get their exclusive holders’ merch. This is just an example.

    But, you can think of token gating like the subscription-based model in web2. You subscribe to a streaming service to get access to all the movies and series and watch content before it’s released to the public. 

    However, in web3 you don’t have to pay a subscription fee. You only have to hold the access token. 

    What’s an Access Token?

    It’s just a fancy name for the token you need to hold to access the gated content. It’s just a normal NFT. Let’s say Doodles decide to create an event restricted to holders. Your access NFT is a Doodles NFT. 

    How Is It Used?

    Once you have an access token, how can it be used? Token gating is applied in various forms in web3. 

    Holders Only Discord Channels

    In the general discord, there are channels specified for holders only. You’d have to verify you hold an NFT to access the channel. Some projects even assign Discord roles and access based on the number of NFTs you hold and their rarity. If you don’t hold an NFT, you can simply buy from secondary marketplaces like OpenSea or Rarible

    Token Gated Merch Through Shopify

    Token gating is also used to give access to exclusive merchandise. This, again, allows creators to decide which products are available to their community. Shopify’s gated merch is still in beta. It is open based on invitations only and to specific NFT collections. Brands that are using token gating on Shopify: World of Women, and Doodles. 

    Exclusive Events

    This verification method can be used to give holders access to exclusive events. A great example is VeeCon. Veecon is a multi-day conference with discussions and performances from leading names in business, marketing, innovation, and pop culture. 

    VeeFriends’ creators airdropped holders VeeCon’s 2023 tickets for free. Holders can either hold their tickets to attend the event or sell them. VeeCon 2023 tickets’ floor price stands at 0.0119 ETH on OpenSea with a total volume of 207 ETH

    How Does Token Gating Work?

    As previously mentioned, token gating is based on you holding the access token. But, how does it work? 

    • You need to have a cryptocurrency wallet like Metamask
    • You connect your wallet to the website
    • You sign a verification message 
    • A token gating tool checks if you have the access token in your wallet like Collab.Land
    • If you have it, you’re granted access 

    What Does It Offer In Web3?

    Token gating allows projects in web3 to limit access to some of their content. But, why would anyone want to do that? Well, first, it creates exclusivity for both holders and creators. Exclusivity bumps the project a few points up. 

    It strengthens the project’s community. Holders develop a sense of community when they’re in spaces limited to certain people. For example, holders-only Discord channels, special events, etc. 

    Token gating allows creators to gain more control over who views and interacts with their content. This makes it easier for them to do holders-specific events and drops. Therefore, making it easier for creators to reward their holders. 

    Opening the Gates of Hell

    Indeed token gating offers a plethora of benefits and especially free access to exclusive things. However, it also opens the gate for scams and hacks. In order for you to prove ownership of the access token, you need to connect to a website.

    If you connect to a faulty website, you can lose all your wallet assets. So, before you let excitement take over you, double-check the website you’re connecting to. Even triple-check. Check enough times to make sure it is not a drainer website.  You can also use extensions like Wallet Guard that notify you when you’re connecting to a fishy website. 

    Furthermore, do your own research. We’ve said it countless times in this space and we’re saying it again. If you want to buy an NFT, research. And, if you want to invest in crypto, research. 

    Also, if you want to connect your wallet because a project is giving holders access to some sort of content, research. Go to the project’s official website and social media accounts and make sure the announcement is official. 

    What’s the Final Verdict on Token Gating?

    As previously mentioned, who doesn’t like exclusivity? The ones outside the gate. Token gating allows projects to limit access to their products and content. This might not be up everyone’s alley. Some wish to get constant and free access to everything ta all times. We’re not living in our dreams so that’s not an option. Whether you like token gating or not, you can’t deny it’s a smart use of NFTs. And, more projects are adopting it lately. Ticketmaster is now issuing NFT-gated tickets!


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