What is an Access NFT?

Access NFTs give their holders access to specific communities, experiences, and items in the metaverse or in reality.

By Iniubong Obonguko on


If you're here, you've most likely heard about Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Interest in the NFT space has snowballed over the years, and as the space evolves and more people join the party, it's easy to lose track of the utility an NFT can provide to its holder, aside from being able to buy and sell them. This is where Access NFTs come into the picture.

This article will discuss Access NFTs, their use cases, benefits, and highlight a number of examples of Access NFTs on the Unlock Protocol platform.

What is an Access NFT?

The value of an NFT can be a function of its utility, which can include the opportunities, perks, or benefits that owning a particular NFT affords. Access NFTs are a quickly growing category in the NFT space.

Access NFTs are NFTs that, as the name implies, give their holders access to specific communities, experiences, and items in the metaverse or in reality.

What are the use cases for Access NFTs?

Access NFTs have myriad use cases. Let's go over some of them.

  • NFT ticketing for live or virtual events:  This is one of the most popular use cases for Access NFTs. In this example, the event is set up so that those looking to attend would need to mint an NFT ticket to attend said event. An example of where access NFTs have been used to grant access to an event was The Buildspace Africa event in January. Live attendees were required to mint their tickets before coming, and it was pretty easy to verify authenticity. Another example is EthCC, which uses Unlock NFTs for its event ticketing.
  • NFTs for token-gated access to a community:  This is another famous use case of access NFTs as NFTs can be the mechanism to provide exclusive access to a community. Some of the most popular NFT projects can boast of having a solid community. NFT holders often have access to a private Discord server or other community area. They also hold community meetups and parties for their members; all these drive up the project's perceived value and make it worth owning.
  • Access to content: Another use case for Access NFTs is offering the holder access to some form of content. It could be access to written content such as a blog or a book. It could also be access to video or audio content. An example of where access NFTs are being used to offer access to content is Julien Genestoux's blog. You can purchase a membership on this blog which gives you access to all the content on his blog alongside a few other perks.

What are the benefits of Access NFTs?

Let's go over some of the benefits of Access NFTs and why they matter.

  • Access NFTs are platform agnostic — The fact that access NFTs can exist on nearly any platform without restriction and are inherently portable is a major benefit of Access NFTs. Creators no longer need to be tied to a particular platform and be beholden to a centralized platform’s business models or seemingly arbitrarily-enforced rules and policies. Similarly, with platform middlemen, creators often give up significant portions of their revenue to the host platform. With Access NFTs, creators can sell NFTs directly to their fans or audience for access to the content they produce however they like.
  • An easier method of value transfer — Access NFTs provide a more straightforward method of transferring value. For instance, if a member of a community holds an Access NFT but no longer feels the need to own access to a particular privilege granted by that access NFT, the holder can typically resell it to someone else at will.
  • Easier access to a global market — Access NFTs make it possible for creators to reach a global audience. Traditional subscription payment methods have limitations in getting to certain areas, as providers tend to neglect certain areas due to governmental policies. Access NFTs work on the blockchain and are decentralized, making it easier for people anywhere to access their favorite creators' content.

Examples of Unlock Protocol Access NFTs

Let's go over a few projects that integrate with Unlock Protocol to create access NFTs.

Token-gated access to Discord or Telegram using Guild.xyz

Guild.xyz creates token-gated access into online communities based on Access NFTs.

Guild is a place for internet communities to come together and form groups to manage these private communities and start working together better. Guild.xyz is a project from Agora which builds essential tools for internet communities.

If you want to join a community that has implemented Guild, you'd need an NFT that signifies you are a fellow member of that community to join.

Members-only content on the LIT AF Podcast

LIT AF is a podcast produced by David Preston. It's all about retelling uncensored versions of classic literary works with plot twists that literary enthusiasts enjoy. The LIT AF podcast uses access NFTs to allow its members to access member-specific content, and in the future will enable NFT-holders to participate in online events and get discounts.

A real-world community with The Willow Tree

The Willow Tree is a decentralized autonomous organization (community) of likeminded ravers with a shared passion for underground electronic music and high-end event production. Their mission is to collectively own and operate a global network of nightclubs, a decentralized home for underground electronic culture. They use access NFTs to provide members some perks such as free tickets to all events, a private discord channel, etc.


From what we've discussed in this article, it's apparent that access NFTs are here to stay and not some internet trend that'll fade into non-existence in a few years.

As more communities and creators continue to find different use cases for access NFTs, there's still potential for so much more to be done.

This blog post is a guest post from Iniubong Obonguko. Iniubong is a frontend web developer & technical writer. You can read his blog here.

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