As a follow-up to my first article on web3 — with those insights from my time “undercover” on Twitter and Discord — it was suggested that I undertake a short cultural “onboarding” for the fast-moving, fast-growing space of NFTs. Here's a quick rundown of just some of the hyper active "web3 terminology".
By: Alan Kittle, Summer Friday
I’m going to subvert marketing’s obsession with lists, by trying to share some helpful (I hope) starting points as “three W’s” for brands embarking on their journey into this undiscovered country … see what I did there?! Here we go.
1) WEN? Not only is “wen” an NFT inside joke (short for “when”), it’s also a symbol of the speed at which web3 moves! It’s safe to say that within a millisecond of news being shared, someone is asking for the next snippet. Common phrases seen across web3 include “Wen Discord?”, “Wen Mint?”, “Wen Reveal?”, and on and on. If a team goes dark for too long, the impatience might boil over, and “FUD” can kick in. “Trustless” has more than one meaning in web3 and project reputations can disintegrate pretty darn quickly in the world of “Wen?”
2) WHITE LIST. Enthusiasts often vie for White Lists, a.k.a. “Mint Lists,” to guarantee they get to buy NFTs at the best price and ahead of other interested community members. Getting whitelisted means you have taken steps, as defined by the NFT project team, and are asked to provide your ETH address and get pre-approved to mint.
The practice rewards early support of an NFT project, with the principles of gamification writ large for all to see. White Lists are highly coveted, and fans will do almost anything to earn one. And the race to “WL” sees people seek the inside track on a project before they launch, join the project's Discord as “OG”, and enter giveaways across Twitter. It’s called “grinding”, and it’s usually the best way to profit from projects.
3) WORD LIST. Here are some of the terms you’ll need to start using in order to blend in.
(I admit this is a bit of a cunning workaround to the limitations of three W’s!)
Alpha. Valuable or insider information about new projects, new intelligence on milestones or collaborations, anything that could affect the success of a project.
Bullish. Ported over from trader talk, anyone who’s bullish on a project is optimistic the value will continue upwards. “Bearish” is opposite. Both also reflect market conditions.
Diamond Hands. Someone determined to hold an NFT despite market volatility. Typically “bullish” on the project and looking for long term “utility” or confident the value will grow. The antonym is “Paper Hands,” for people who panic and sell quickly.
FOMO. Stands for Fear of Missing Out. You’ll see it (and probably feel it) when an NFT project is minting soon and you don’t have a way to buy one, or you don’t own one and have to watch on as it goes up in price. Fear not, FOMO is temporary. There will always be another project launching in the next five minutes.
Fren. Short for a friend and commonplace in every chat on every Discord server. A collective of “Frens” are usually called “Fam.”
GM. Standing for “Good Morning”, NFT Twitter has revived its use, as you’ll see many people tweeting “GM” as a signal they’re online. This is probably the biggest indicator someone you know is in web3 when you see it on their feed.
Hodl. A misspelling of “hold” first coined on Bitcointalk.org in 2013 after a large crash in price. The term caught on and earned the acronym “Hold On for Dear Life.” NFT owners use the term to signal they’re not selling. You’ll see it as a verb too, “hodling”
Moon. A phrase full of optimism that the value will go so high that it will reach the literal moon. “To The Moon” is a rallying cry for holders caught up in the fervor.
Minting. The process of validating information, such as domain ownership, and registering that onto the blockchain. The beauty of any NFT minting is that all of the transactions are viewable on the ledger, so anyone can check that they have minted successfully. In most collections, this is a major moment.
NGMI! Short for “not gonna make it” is the polar opposite of “moon.” It indicates pessimism for a project with a low chance of becoming valuable.
Project. We don’t really have brands, campaigns, or companies in web3. It’s changing, but most of the time we talk about collections as projects, led by project teams.
Reveal. A step in the life cycle of most collections is when the NFTs are revealed for the first time and holders see their “art” for the first time. In most generative art projects, there are multiple traits used to create the variants. At the point of reveal, holders can find out how rare the traits are and, potentially, estimate the value of their token compared to others in the collection.
Roadmap. A document that communicates goals and strategies of an NFT project in order to communicate its long-term value. NFT roadmaps usually include key project milestones, short and long-term goals, and plans for marketing and growth.
Rug. Short for “rug pull” where the NFT community finds out everything is not so rosy in the project garden! Common examples of rug pulls include the creator being outed for lying about their identity or the project shutting down, then taking any ETH and vanishing!
Shill. The act of heavily promoting a project to try to drive up the price. This is usually done via spamming on social media and generally carries a negative connotation, though some Discords set up dedicated channels for such activities.
Utility. When project teams talk about utility, they are referring to the access, perks, and opportunities they provide to token holders. Utility NFTs offer clearly defined intrinsic value in addition to the usual scarcity associated with NFTs. They’re usually mapped out in the project roadmap.
Wallet. A software application (hot) or hardware device (cold) used to store the private keys to blockchain assets — your cryptocurrency and NFTs. Wallets are used to verify ownership of tokens, status for mint lists, and more. This is often job number one for anyone starting their journey in web3.
I hope you find the “three W’s of web3” useful, but this is definitely only an introduction. For anyone who wants to go deeper, here’s a comprehensive NFT dictionary. And I’ll see you all on the moon!
Alan Kittle is the Executive Creative Director at Summer Friday.