It's June 2017. CryptoPunks — digital art pieces from what will become one of the most revered and valuable NFT collections that have just been launched and are being claimed for free by Ethereum users.
Fast forward to 2022 and CryptoPunk #5822, a light blue alien punk with a bandana tied onto its head, is sold for $23.7M.
It would be a dream come true for most people to travel back in time to '17 and claim one of those Punks for free. Claiming potentially valuable NFTs for free is a widespread online practice, but is it all it’s cracked up to be?
Can you actually get free NFTs that may gain value?
Let's explore four good ways to get one online.
Get Free NFTs Via Play-To-Earn Games:
NFT gaming revolves around players earning NFTs that have actual value while having fun. Play-To-Earn (P2E) games help encourage people to buy and trade blockchain assets. Many P2E games run on the WAX blockchain and projects give users free NFTs to promote activity.
If you’re not opposed to a bit of competition, you can earn free NFTs by playing games like Splinterlands and The Sandbox. These games allow players to win in-game items that can be sold for cryptocurrency by participating in daily quests or tournaments.
Most NFT games have a booming marketplace where other players buy or trade in-game items. A game NFT may not be the next CryptoPunk, but it could grow to be of actual worth.
There are several great NFT games to choose from, so it should be reasonably easy to find an NFT game that interests you. Besides free NFTs, NFT gamers can also earn cryptocurrency.
Several NFT projects use giveaways to boost engagement or awareness for their project or express gratitude for their community’s support. These giveaways are most common on Twitter and Discord servers.
Following a project or an NFT influencer on Twitter is a good idea if you want to be aware of giveaways. You may be asked to retweet a post, share your ETH address, or follow specific accounts to win a giveaway. The winners are often chosen using a Twitter picker tool at random.
The downside to Twitter giveaways is that you may come across giveaway scams, where the Twitter user or project is using their giveaway post to gain followers without actually intending to gift an NFT. Do proper research on the user or project, so you don't waste time and effort on these scam tweets.
Another great way to get free NFTs is through giveaways in Discord communities. Projects trying to support their community may gift an NFT to a lucky member or have a process through which members can gain an NFT. To have access to these sorts of giveaways, you’ll have to be a member of the project’s Discord server.
Just like on Twitter, some giveaways on Discord groups choose winners randomly. Projects may also make their Discord giveaways exclusive to members who already own their NFTs.
Fractal, a popular NFT project based on Solana, recently airdropped 100,000 NFTs to members who registered. Several other projects are airdropping free NFTs, as airdrops are a common way projects raise awareness of their coin or NFT.
All you have to do after finding an NFT airdrop is follow the process to register for the drop. Once it occurs, you’ll receive a token in your wallet. Enjin, a popular blockchain platform, sends free NFT airdrops randomly for users to claim. Free to Mint
NFT projects also create free to mint tokens or free mints to boost interest in their projects.
Free mints are NFTs you can claim without paying a minting fee to get the NFT. You’d still have to pay gas fees, which may be cheap or expensive depending on the project's network. For example, Ethereum gas fees are costly compared to Near or Solana gas fees.
NFT airdrops, P2E games, giveaways, or free mints are all great ways to get a free NFT that may gain in value, but you should stay aware of possible scam projects or phishing attacks.
Projects with free mints sometimes get hacked right before mint and there have been situations where user’s wallets were drained of funds after connecting their wallets to malicious links. If you’re interested in getting free NFTs, you should:
- Always do your research.
- Avoid clicking on any link sent by a stranger to your DMs on Discord.
- Do not rush to connect your wallets to mint an NFT until after a reasonable time. Some free mints last for hours or days, so you can usually wait to ensure other collectors are claiming their free mints successfully.
- Keep in mind that no project admin would DM you to participate in a giveaway or free mint .
- Never give your seed phrase to anyone.
- Be part of an Alpha community. Alpha communities are the perfect place to get information on upcoming NFT Projects.
Final Thoughts: Getting NFTs That May Gain In Value
Free NFTs are not hard to come by, but what sort of NFT you claim matters. If you want to get a free NFT that may gain exponentially in value, you need to do your research.
You can learn about an NFT project from its whitepaper, Discord community and social posts. Most projects also publish updates on their timeline, growth or plans on a blog. It's a good sign when a project offering giveaways or airdrops has:
- A strong team. You should be able to find the person or people who are building the NFT project.
- A clear vision or roadmap.
- A growing community.