What is a whitelist?

A whitelist is a list of cryptocurrency addresses allowed to participate in an initial coin offering (ICO) or presale of an NFT project after the address owners have completed some form of KYC or submitted their personal details.

The Long Explanation

The term ‘whitelist’ can take up many forms in the world of cryptocurrency. In its most common form, it is a list of addresses identified and allowed to participate in a token sale ahead of the public – usually for a cheaper price. Entry into such a whitelist may require traders to simply submit their address, or even to submit some personal information.

In many NFT projects, the creators tend to set aside a portion of the total collection for those in a whitelist to purchase first. People can be added into this whitelist in multiple ways and is dependent on the strategy of the founders. Some ways of allocating whitelist spots are:

  • external giveaways on Twitter or Discord with other NFT collections
  • internal giveaways on Twitter or Discord with their current community (ie. fan art contest, Discord rumble game, etc.)
  • handpicking loyal and active members in the Discord community
  • having connections with the project founders

And because those on the whitelist are able to purchase an NFT for cheaper and ahead of the public, getting a spot could mean skipping the gas war during the public sale and see big gains financially for more hyped projects.

But whitelists can take on many other forms in cryptocurrency.

For instance, whitelisted withdrawal addresses are addresses that users deem trustworthy. A user who sets up a withdrawal address whitelist, tells their exchange or wallet service provider that they’re only happy and comfortable withdrawing their crypto assets into those wallet addresses. 

Whitelisting is also requested of you when you join a cryptocurrency project’s mailing list. Although joining this mailing list gives you early access to information from the project, these mails could easily end up in the spam folder except the project’s mailing address is whitelisted.

But a cryptocurrency company may pay the Internet Service Provider to whitelist their mail instead. When this is done, they’d be able to send mails to their mailing list, without these mails ending up in the spam folder.

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