Welcome To the Goblin Market
In recent weeks NFTs minted for free have grabbed traders’ attention. While free mints are risky and most quickly become worthless, some such as goblintown.wtf, ShitBeast, and WAGDIE have led to serious gains for those that discovered them early.
Today I will explore what makes the difference between a good and bad free mint, focusing on how to spot in-demand NFTs with a winning formula of free minting, a specific artistic style, and innovative marketing.
The process starts with finding NFTs that are minting for free in high numbers. NFTGo is the tool of choice here. Its analytics page for top mints is one of the best for working with short time frames. It reveals popular free mints almost as they happen.
The below screenshot shows the page, which can be accessed here. To arrive at data like the below, click the ‘Minted’ header to sort that column in descending order. This foregrounds the largest volume of minting, indicating collections that are currently popular.
Secondly, play with timeframes. The lowest time frames will show lower numbers of NFTs being minted, potentially hiding activity. Longer time frames might present opportunities that have passed. The screenshot below shows the balanced and informative 30-minute timeframe, but experiment to see what works.
By sorting the data in this way, a project minting in large numbers can be identified within moments. The ‘Mint Volume’ column suggests these are free mints, too—the total cost is zero ETH. Finally, higher numbers of ‘Minters’ suggests broader interest in the potential candidates.
This is the general approach to spotting potential projects. Before minting anything, though, investigate the style of art. Many styles have proved popular over the last year. However, one style is currently doing especially well.
They do this through the use of twisted, distorted characters, often aiming to create a sense of disgust. Uses of color usually lean toward being dull rather than bright and exciting, and images tend to have a slightly sad atmosphere overall.
This style is part of an old art movement known as grotesque. Characters such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame are classic examples of ‘grotesque’ monsters: horrifying to look at, yet sad. Grotesques are in art, movies, books, and now NFTs.
Crypto, however, adds a humorous twist to this old style. You can see it in the silliness of the goblin, the ShitBeast, and the McDonald’s cap and staff badge the We Are All Unemployed character is wearing above.
Overall, these little touches of humor are drawing crowds and communities together in a difficult time, giving everyone something to enjoy for free. For the NFT trader though, the joy comes in the form of strong demand for the NFTs and low-risk free mints that can lead to profit in a challenging market.
When searching for free mints, look for this style. It is currently popular and probably not too difficult to find. To hit home though, the project has to have decent marketing.
Many teams have moved away from extravagant roadmaps, which they often fail to deliver on. Instead, they are turning to a combination of no promises, surprise, and mystery.
goblintown.wtf’s creators achieved this partly by remaining anonymous (the team has since outed itself as Truth Labs), sparking rumors about their identities to circulate on social media, creating intrigue in the crypto community. Add the new art style into this, and the market has something different to be interested in.
An innovative step they also took was to hold a 3.5 hour Twitter Spaces call during which everyone acted as if they were goblins. Many won’t realize this, but it recalled the radio drama days of old, especially the famed The War of the Worlds broadcast, which seemed so realistic in 1938 that it caused panic as listeners believed Earth was being invaded by Martians.
The community’s dedication to realism was an enjoyable and immersive escape from the doom and gloom of the market. You can listen to it here. Predictably, it has led others to follow suit. The team behind We are All Going to Die created its own event, attended by 8,000 people. Take a look at it here.
The ShitBeast team created a surprise for holders of their free mint Ill Poop NFTs. They revealed that two poop NFTs could be burnt to create a ShitBeast. They withheld the ShitBeast artwork for a while, creating a sense of risk and adventure for an otherwise bored crypto community in a gloomy bear market.
ShitBeast’s floor price has risen to from zero to approximately 0.7 ETH (Source: NFTGo)
The overall purpose of these events is to create value in the project through an enjoyable mystery around its intentions while withholding some information. It’s an old narrative technique known as an active question.
For centuries, writers have used these to keep audiences hooked by causing them to imagine what is possible. In this case, the crypto communities take to social media for discussion, organically growing the project’s online presence.
A key reason this is so effective is that the active questions tend to happen against a background of communities currently being told there will be nothing special happening.
goblintown.wtf’s community has been engaged through mystery (Source: Twitter)
goblintown.wtf made it clear that there would be no Discord, no roadmap, and no utility for the project. Even the rights to the work were given away. The free mints were the final part of the plot to create the impression the project was throwaway worthless garbage.
Discovering this was not the case meant that those who minted free NFTs suddenly had something that everyone else wanted, and many have made unexpectedly great profits.
The subsequent frenzy around the project has lasted for weeks and continues to do so. I think that come the next bear market, those still holding goblintown.wtf NFTs will proudly dig out their profile pictures to use again, and they’ll hold value for decades as 2022 bear market originals.
While many NFT projects continue to be very risky, those minting in large numbers, with the comic-grotesque style of art, creating mystery and surprise through innovative or unusual marketing on their social accounts are worth paying attention to—even if all you care about is a quick flip for profit.
In the months ahead, teams somewhere will evolve goblintown.wtf’s marketing and create projects that go to the next level of popularity. Hopefully, the steps and insight that I have shared with you today will help you to be at the forefront of that opportunity.
Until next time
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Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author held a number of NFTs, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. Read our trading policy to see how SIMETRI protects its members against insider trading.