The NFT community is buzzing with the rise of open editions. Not everyone is a fan, and some people absolutely love the concept. We’re taking a look at how an open edition NFT can build fandom and create a broad but strong community.
In the world of NFTs, value and rarity go hand in hand. The rise of open editions is bucking this trend. If you’re not sure what this is, allow us to explain!
We’re all familiar with the term “limited edition”. It’s a term that implies exclusivity and scarcity. When something limited edition is released, people flock to get their hands on it. The motivator could be financial, with the goal of reselling the item for a higher price than you bought it for. Or, you could be driven by sheer devotion and love for the brand or person linked to the item.
A lot of people think that prefacing NFTs with limited edition is redundant. Isn’t the whole idea behind an NFT to be rare, and so highly sought after?
Well, yes and no.
There are plenty of things people love that are highly sought after but easy to get hold of. Clothing, prints, records. In this respect, not all NFTs have to be limited and scarce. Learn how less rare NFTs can still be super valuable, and what open editions are.
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What Are NFT Open Editions?
If you take the principle of limited edition, it’s easy to understand open editions. An open edition is an NFT for which any number of editions can be minted. This means that as many versions of the NFT can be created as people like.
An open edition can be infinite, or they can be timed. The creator can decide how long minting can take place, before closing it. Usually, this time frame is 24, 48, or 72 hours.
There are some tactics creators can use to keep numbers somewhat in check. For example, creators can limit the number of mints per wallet. Or, they can implement approximate caps.
An open edition can be a form of a drop. In other words, it’s one way to release and debut an NFT. Generating excitement when dropping NFTs is crucial for drumming up interest, and one cool way to do that is with an open edition.
The Value of an Open Edition NFT
If most open edition NFTs don’t have huge price tags attached to them, where is the value?
Other types of NFT, like 1 of 1 tokens, are infamous for their inaccessible price tags. Of course, this isn’t true for all NFTs, with many creators focussing on making the world of digital collecting open to everyone. But, in many cases lots of drops come with eye-watering numbers next to them. Not everyone is in it for the crazy money, though.
The value of open editions comes in the fanbase and community that are developed as a result. True of NFTs linked to art or music, this also applies to pretty much any sort of NFT you can imagine. Creators who are trying to build a reputation, grow their audience, or engage existing fans can do so using open edition NFTs. Greater exposure is achieved by making NFTs available to a wider audience.
Value is also found in the utility of an open edition NFT. A token could have added usefulness attached to it, like access to exclusive content, or acting as a pass to a fan club, to name just a couple of examples. It’s this utility which helps to attract collectors, creating some sense of urgency and motivation to snap up the NFT while they still can.
Early Open Editions
Open editions are nothing new. In fact, we can largely credit this type of drop for the original popularity and publicity of NFTs and early marketplaces. One of the first major marketplaces, Nifty Gateway, championed the use of open editions. When anything new comes about, lowering the barrier to entry plays a huge part in helping it to become more widespread. It may have felt like NFTs suddenly burst onto the scene and cost loads of money right away, but that’s not the case.
Thanks to Nifty Gateway providing a platform for open edition NFTs, more people were able to get involved in trading. This helped pave the way for the growth of the wider NFT market.
The Return of Open Editions
If open edition NFTs were something that happened at the dawn of time (in NFT world, at least), why are we talking about them now? Well, they’re experiencing somewhat of a resurgence right now, and it’s set the NFT community abuzz.
The big talk in the NFT space for 2023 has been all about OE (open edition) NFTs. Recently, 3D animator and crypto artist, NessGraphics, dropped M0N3Y PR1NT3R G0 BRRRRRR and broke records when they raised over 1,404 ETH ($2 million) in one hour. This isn’t the only case of a creator making significant amounts of money from an OE this year either.
An ongoing debate has sparked within the NFT community about the use of open editions, and the effect they have on the value, supply and utility of NFT works. Both the benefits and potential harm caused by OE drops are being fervently discussed.
The obvious advantage, which we’ve already discussed, is accessibility. For independent artists, attracting a broader audience with a much lower price tag is only a win. It helps grow their reputation and audience, showcasing their work on a broader scale, whilst enabling seasoned collectors and newbies the chance to own great digital art.
Some people believe that open editions are a reliable way to keep the NFT market balanced. The advice that you should drop an OE until your 1 of 1 NFTs have become highly valuable is not uncommon. However, plenty of people disagree with this, preferring the idea that you can begin with an OE, and not focus so much on the price. This ensures that the market offers art at each end of the pricing spectrum, reducing the exclusivity of NFT trading.
There are people in the NFT community right now who aren’t such fans of the OE wave. Largely, this group is made up of serious collectors. They have recognised that OE NFTs to 1 of 1s is what prints are to original pieces of art, but they don’t see it as a good thing.
Collectors have still cited the love of art as a reason to avoid OE NFTs. The fear is that people will try and snap up open editions merely to flip later on, without appreciating the art itself. “Burn” events are often anticipated by people who buy an OE. This is where a number of the minted NFTs are destroyed at a later date by the creator, increasing the scarcity and value of the remaining tokens.
This chasing of profit, however, certainly isn’t limited to open editions. Throughout the NFT space, there will always be an element of people buying up pieces with the intention of making profit off them later on. If coupled with an appreciation and love for the creation, this doesn’t have to be a problem.
Whether you view open edition drops as good or bad, they’re still a useful tool.
Creators have the option to drop collections in whichever way they please. The motivation behind an OE could be financial, or it could be about community. The cool thing is, even if you don’t have loads of crypto, you can still get involved!