What is gas-free NFT minting?
“Gas-free” NFT minting refers to the process of creating a non-fungible token (NFT) without incurring any gas fees for the minter. (“Gasless minting” is another term for gas-free minting.) “Gas” refers to the fees that are paid to process transactions on blockchains that run the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
Typically, when an individual is purchasing (minting) an NFT, the purchaser also pays for the gas, or the transaction fee, for that activity. However, when smart contracts are set up to provide gas-free minting, the purchaser does not need to pay for the gas. With gas-free minting, the gas is paid for by either the creator of the smart contract itself or by another entity.
How does gas-free minting work?
In the Unlock Protocol ecosystem, Unlock Labs provides the infrastructure for gas-free minting when the following three conditions are all true:
- The NFT being minted is a free mint (that is, the cost of the NFT itself is free to the purchaser)
- The NFT is being created on either the Polygon or Gnosis blockchains, where gas fees are usually very low
- The purchaser does NOT have any of the native token of that blockchain in their wallet (i.e. MATIC on Polygon or xDai on Gnosis chain)**
If those three conditions are met, Unlock Labs offers a way to make transactions gasless. (Technically, Unlock Labs covers the gas fee.)
** If the purchaser does have either of those tokens in their wallet, the purchaser will pay for gas (usually pennies)