Token gated events, NFTs, and the future

If you’ve been on a flight within the last few years, odds are you’re familiar with QR codes acting as your boarding pass, or have at least seen it near the check-in. In relation to functionality, QR codes and tokens are quite comparable, but tokens take things one step further in relation to security, exclusivity, ownership, and scarcity. Token gating is becoming a popular way to monetize content and access with the help of NFTs and other tokens.

If you’re feeling lost when it comes to tokens and what they have to do with the blockchain or the crypto space in general – don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’re here to clear up what exactly tokens are, and how they’re an important tool that as a society, we’ll all soon be quite familiar with.

What is a token, and how does it work?

Tokens take it one extra step further than QR codes, though, as your wallet holds a unique code required to unlock accessibility. To put it another way, token gating is its own ecosystem of accessibility and unlocking exclusive content. It may appear complicated at first, as everything new does. But, the system was designed to take ownership and governance to the next level. Token-gating provides a new way to engage followers like never before and ensures token holders have control over project governance.

Token gating is the practice of restricting access to specific content, services, or benefits to holders of a specific cryptocurrency token or NFT. Tokens function as a collection of keys stored in a user’s crypto wallet. Simply put, when the user no longer possesses the token, they no longer have access to the content. Instead of simply paying a set fee for access to a specific product, you purchase an NFT linked to a specific smart contract, unlocking utility that the artist or creator set in place via said contract. With these tactics, you can log in to a token-gated URL provided within the smart contract, which is visible on sites like Etherscan, or access a special social channel. You do this by signing in with the wallet your NFT resides in.

NFTs from the World of Women collection.

NFTs & the future of exclusive content

In the future, I think NFTs are going to act as the status quo of members-only, or fan club access. I mean, isn’t that what NFTs seem like they were kind of designed for? Being in charge of what your fans have access to, whether that’s live events, discounted shop merchandise, or even unlocking certain website benefits and subscriptions (and supplanting sites like Patreon).

The best part is, if you decide you don’t want your NFT any more, there’s usually a market for reselling it, unlike regular subscription services. You can simply sell it on the open market (like Expressions Marketplace) like any other asset, which is game-changing for both the customer and the creator.

How will token-gating benefit your project?

Isn’t that what so many of us are searching for in Web3? Autonomy over our content, community and the benefits to follow. Giving the artist or creator the ability to say, for example, “everyone who has my NFT has lifetime access to my Metaverse and real-life events, indefinitely.” Leaving the creator in control of so many more aspects, and endless possibilities. It aligns perks and incentives with what benefits the community and lets you, the fans, have a direct stake in the artists’ success. Say goodbye to sharing a Spotify account with your family, and the musician seeing dimes for their art, and hello to direct communal support and shared benefits.

Plus, for the artist’s sake, it’s completely up to the creator what utility they’d like to token gate, or even make accessible. You can make 3 pieces that grant exclusive access, or 100 – it’s completely up to the artist, something never seen before Web3. Previously, so many other companies and their hands were in the process, leaving the artist to succumb to fees for just trying to monetize themselves, making it extremely difficult to make a decent profit.

Now, fans and communities can benefit by not having to pay subscriptions (that held no value) and instead, own an asset that directly contributes to the creator, and they even have the ability to liquidate it and maybe even make a profit! Obviously, the creators win big by having full access to control and receiving royalties on secondary sales, directly connecting with their community, and aligning incentives with customers. Token gating is only the beginning when it comes to Web3, but it’ll be a pivotal turning point in how we incorporate real-life benefits with seemingly intangible ones from the internet.


Courtney Trethric is a Web3 writer and co-founder of OurLandDAO.org. She is passionate about social good, being an ally to underserved communities, and giving voices to those who feel they may have none.

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