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In recent months, the NFT market has experienced a decline. Trading volume has decreased, and fewer newcomers are entering the space. But can open source NFTs turn this around?
As a result of the bear market, NFT projects and artists have adapted their strategies to expand the reach of their artwork and attract more attention. Among the methods receiving new attention is the use of NFTs in open editions. Unlike projects that limit their collections to a specific number of NFTs, such as 10,000 editions, open edition projects allow the minting of an unlimited number of artwork editions. This approach provides a refreshing contrast and provides opportunities for greater participation and accessibility in the NFT market.
So in this guide, we’ll dive into what an open edition is, why they’re popular, and even how you can create an open edition collection yourself.
Simply put, an open-issue NFT is an NFT that is not limited to a specific number of copies. So, unlike limited edition NFTs with a predetermined scarcity, open edition NFTs can have an unlimited supply. This means that the creator can continuously mint and sell new copies of the same NFT.
In the world of art and collectibles, open edition NFTs offer a different dynamic. They allow artists and creators to reach a wider audience by making their work more accessible. Essentially, anyone can own a unique digital asset without worrying about missing out due to limited availability.
Limited edition NFTs are the most common and popular method of releasing NFT collections. In this approach, the total number of NFTs that will exist is predetermined and fixed. For example, profile picture recognized NFT projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and Azuki. Both have released collections consisting of exactly 10,000 NFTs. In addition, these limited-edition collections are often priced higher and place a heavy emphasis on selling out. This is to create a feeling of exclusivity and rarity.
In contrast, there is no specific cap on the number of NFTs that can be created with open-issue NFTs. Usually, collectors are given a specific window of time in which to mint an NFT from the open edition collection. Then, when the time limit expires, the number of NFTs in the collection will be limited. For example, if a pool offers NFTs for sale over a 24-hour period and ten NFTs are minted during that time, the pool will be limited to ten.
In addition, creators of open-source collections can choose to limit the number of coins allowed per crypto wallet. The aim is therefore to keep the collection size small and increase scarcity. This approach adds an extra layer of exclusivity and rarity to the NFTs in the collection. Essentially, it makes them even more attractive to collectors.
Open-edition NFTs take advantage of the ERC-1155 multi-token standard, which differs from the common ERC-721 standard used by NFTs.
So what does this mean? The Enjin team created the ERC-1155 smart contract standard as part of the EIP-1155 proposal. It offers a unique and versatile smart contract standard that enables the creation of both ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens within a single contract. This means that with an ERC-1155 contract you can create fungible, non-fungible and semi-fungible tokens. In addition, you can create multiple NFTs, without having to develop a new contract each time.
In the context of open-issue NFTs, when collectors mint artwork, they are mapped to a single contract rather than requiring the creation of a new contract for each coin. Previously, developers had to write new contracts when they wanted to introduce a new type of smart contract token or a variant of an existing token. The ERC-1155 standard simplifies this process. It also offers additional features such as batch transfer of tokens and easy-to-implement atomic swaps. Ultimately, open issues of NFTs benefit from the ERC-1155 standard.
Open-end NFTs have gained popularity for several reasons. First, they promote inclusion. By deviating from the usual protocols followed by limited NFT creators, such as approval lists, an open drop has the potential to attract a diverse community of collectors. This includes those who are not necessarily NFT investors and those who are new to the space.
In addition, the fact that everyone can participate promotes a strong sense of community and engagement. Without FOMO, collectors can focus on appreciating the artwork, understanding the mission of the project and getting to know the artist behind it. This leads to ongoing interaction, discussion and collaboration within the community, creating a lively and supportive environment for the open source NFT project.
Ultimately, open-edition NFTs often appeal to both collectors and creators. Collectors appreciate the ability to acquire works of art or digital objects they admire without the pressure of scarcity. Creators benefit from the potential for increased exposure, sales and engagement as they can continuously offer their creations to interested buyers.
Now let’s take a look at some famous examples of open-source NFTs. First, Beeple released a trio of open-edition NFTs, consisting of Bull Run, Infected, and Into the Ether, with a price tag of $969 each. Surprisingly, Beeple managed to sell 601 of these NFTs, breaking away from the traditional limited-edition approach and setting a new trend among established creators.
The following year, XCOPY, a prominent artist in the crypto space known for his glitchy and dystopian artwork, unveiled a 90-minute open edition of three works: Traitors, Afterburn and Guzzler. This remarkable release grossed over $2 million in sales. However, XCOPY’s later open edition collection, Max Pain, soon surpassed the record in 2022. Remarkably, this managed to collect a staggering $23 million in just 10 minutes with their open edition NFT release.
In addition, visual artist Jack Butcher created Checks, an open edition of the NFT collection inspired by the renowned Twitter brand. Each NFT in this collection displays 80 ticks reminiscent of the Twitter verification logo. In a 24-hour coin held on January 3, 2023, a total of 16,027 NFTs were quickly sold out at a price of $8 each, reflecting the fee Twitter charges for verification.
Finally, let’s look at Drift, a daredevil NFT photographer known for climbing buildings and taking mesmerizing photos of his shoes from dizzying heights. In April 2022, he celebrated his release from prison by minting an open edition of the NFT. Aptly titled First Day Out, this unique collection resonated with audiences, resulting in sales of an astonishing 10,351 copies. With each issue priced at 0.2 ETH, total sales reached a staggering $6.8 million.
The process of creating an open NFT issue is similar to creating any NFT collection – without choosing a collection size, of course. First, you need to choose a platform that supports NFT creation and coining. Some examples include OpenSea, Manifold Studio, Rarible and Mintable. You also need a digital wallet that is compatible with the chosen platform. Popular wallet options include MetaMask, Trust Wallet or Coinbase Wallet.
Next, you need to prepare the digital artwork you want to turn into an NFT. Follow the platform’s guidelines regarding file formats, sizes and quality. You can also add relevant information such as title, description and artist details. Finally, mint NFT! For open-edition NFTs, there is no fixed issue size, so you can skip this step or set a maximum limit depending on the platform chosen.
Finally, while limited-edition NFTs may have a certain prestige due to their scarcity, open-edition NFTs bring inclusivity and flexibility to the NFT space. They allow for continuous creation and distribution, fostering a dynamic and evolving market where artists and collectors can engage with each other on a wider scale.