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Blockchain software company Alchemy has launched a new product called Spearmint, which aims to make the allowlist signup and management process easier for creators.
Spearmint is a free product NFT creators can use to automate much of the allowlist creation process using Spearmint’s tools. According to a statement, Alchemy claims users can create an allowlist on Spearmint in under 10 minutes and connect it to a project’s application and smart contract “with a few simple lines of code.”
Why do NFT creators use allowlists? NFTs—unique blockchain tokens that signify ownership over digital assets—have sometimes slowed down networks like Ethereum when “mints” (i.e., primary sales) happen, causing Ethereum gas prices to soar and “gas wars” to occur (the CryptoKitties and Yuga Labs’ Otherside land mint are two good examples of gas wars in NFT history).
The concern around gas wars and a desire to create anticipation and exclusivity cause many NFT creators to create “allowlists,” which essentially are lists of certain wallet addresses, typically limited to the number of NFTs available in a given collection, that are cleared to mint that collection.
“We’ve consistently heard from the thousands of NFT projects we’ve worked with that minting is the most critical and most broken part of building with NFTs,” Alchemy said in a statement on the reason it created Spearmint.
But Spearmint isn’t the first product aimed at NFT creators seeking a simpler allowlist process. Premint is arguably Spearmint’s biggest rival.
Alchemy Product Manager Mike Garland told Decrypt in an interview that Spearmint is more automated than Premint.
“A big differentiator is, we’ve built out what we call Spearmint API, which effectively takes a part of the allowlist process that’s really tough, labor-intensive, and manual right now, and basically automates the entire thing,” Garland said.
For now, creators will need buyers to go through Spearmint’s site to use their allowlists, but Garland said this may evolve over time.
“We’ve been thinking about how we can turn this into a white-label solution,” he said.
When it comes to preventing gas wars, Spearmint’s lead engineer Jay Paik told Decrypt in an interview that in his view, not all gas wars are preventable. But “transparency from the project” can improve the odds.
“We'll provide the tools to provide transparency around how many spots are on the allowlist, and also nudge the creator side to implement reasonable measures,” Paik said of Spearmint, which also offers a “waitlist” feature creators can tweak on the fly.
While Spearmint itself was developed by a multibillion-dollar company with celebrity investors like Jay-Z, Jared Leto, and Will Smith, that doesn’t mean every project that uses Spearmint is guaranteed to be trustworthy. Spearmint wants its platform to be open and accessible to all—so it won’t be vetting the creators that use its tools.
“The general philosophy is open tooling,” Garland said.
But if Spearmint decides to promote or highlight select creators that use its platform, that’s a different story.
“We want to have confidence as a team that they're legit,” Garland said of any featured creators, adding that Spearmint wants to showcase NFT creators “responsibly.”
When asked how Alchemy will profit from Spearmint, Garland said the company has “no plans” to do so.
“No monetization of the products and no plans to in the foreseeable future,” Garland said of Spearmint. “The goal here is to make building with NFTs and building interesting things with NFTs that much easier.”