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What are NFT drops?

Drops can be a great way to get rare and exclusive NFTs.

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An NFT drop is an announcement of a new NFT or NFT collection — similar to a musician “dropping” a new album or single. Unlike an album drop, though, NFTs are bought on NFT marketplaces and every single NFT is unique.

What is an NFT drop?

NFT drops typically refer to a new NFT, NFT project or entire NFT collection a creator releases, with collectors bidding on dropped NFTs through an auction or buying them at a fixed price before they sell out.

A “drop” refers to something being released or delivered, oftentimes as a marketing tactic to bring awareness to the project. There may be emailed advertisements announcing the time, place and price of the upcoming NFTs to build an audience and potential customers.

NFT drops
Image source: Nifty Gateway, Curated Drops

NFT drops are often announced on social media, through drop landing pages on NFT marketplaces or through email campaigns. Many NFT marketplaces host exclusive NFT drops, such as Nifty Gateway, NFT and OpenSea.

In most cases, when you participate in a timed, planned NFT drop, you’re buying the newly-dropped NFTs directly from the creator. If you miss a drop and the collection is sold out, the next best option is buying the NFT(s) from the secondary market.

Types of NFT drops

Most NFT drops are auctioned, timed events. The when and where is typically announced ahead of time to build hype and awareness to the new drop, giving collectors time to sign up for the drop, plan out how to participate and ready their funds.

There have been free NFT drops in the past, where marketplaces release free NFTs to build awareness of an upcoming event or new project. However, these aren’t the norm since traditional NFT drops require collectors to purchase the newly released NFTs.

Where to find upcoming NFT drops

A few of the best places to look for NFT drops include:

  • NFT marketplaces. Artists often release their NFTs or NFT projects with a specific marketplace. Nifty Gateway is an exclusive NFT marketplace well-known for its celebrity NFT collections. If a marketplace features NFT drops, the schedule can typically be found on a landing page labeled NFT Drops, Drops, or Drop Schedule. Some marketplaces feature daily drops, popular with crypto games and metaverses.
  • Email campaigns or newsletters. Many blockchain applications, like crypto games or marketplaces, have free newsletters that share the latest news associated with the platform. These can contain upcoming drops, new collections safelisted, information on upcoming airdrops and more.
  • Creators’ socials. Many NFT creators are on social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit and may even have their own Discord channel for their primary project. Following social accounts or joining online communities can help keep you in the know.

NFT upcomming
Image source:

How to participate in an NFT drop

How you participate in an NFT drop varies depending on the platform hosting the event. Here are the typical steps:

  1. Find an upcoming drop. A few NFT marketplaces known for hosting NFT drops include: Nifty Gateway,, OpenSea, Known Origin and Foundation.
  2. Register for the event. Marketplaces may require you to register your email address or marketplace account. A lot of NFT drops have a maximum number of participants. However, public drops may not require a registration and are instead a first-come-first-serve situation.
  3. Have a crypto wallet and currency. Most NFTs are bought with cryptocurrency, such as ether (ETH) or Bitcoin (BTC), and require a crypto wallet to hold digital assets and process transactions.
  4. Head to the drop on time. When a drop is announced, you’ll know the date and time of the upcoming event. In many cases, you’ll know the exact price of the NFTs being dropped too.
  5. Purchase NFTs. If you made it to the drop on time and there are NFTs available, you can buy one with your crypto wallet and required cryptocurrency (or fiat if allowed on platform).

To buy NFTs, you’re likely to need cryptocurrency. Many NFT marketplaces accept ether (ETH), Etheruem’s native asset. ETH is available on many crypto exchanges.

Compatible exchange: Gemini Cryptocurrency Exchange

Minimum Deposit
Fiat Currencies
  • Wide range of exchangeable currencies
  • User friendly
  • Newcomer incentives
  • Insurance on currency balances up to $250k
  • Balances can earn interest
  • High fees on mobile app
  • Missing some notable top 20 currencies
  • No linked debit cards available
Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange with a simple UI that's user-friendly and accommodating to newcomers and experienced traders.

Gemini's strongest point is its Gemini Earn program, which allows users to earn up to 7.4% interest on specified cryptocurrency balances.

Gemini has a wide selection of cryptos available for exchange on the platform. However, some notable entries from the top 20 by market cap are missing, such as Cardano and Solana.

Deposit Methods Bank transfer (ACH)
Debit card
Apple Pay
Google Pay
Deposit Fees Cryptocurrency: None
Bank transfer (ACH): None, bank fees may apply
Wire Transfer: Determined by your bank
Debit Card: 3.49% + Trading Fees
Paypal: 2.50% of total deposit amount + Trading Fees
Withdrawal Fees Cryptocurrency: None (for 10 withdrawals and below per month)
Others: None (for 10 withdrawals and below per month)
Trading Fees ≤ $10.00: $0.99
> $10.00 but ≤ $25.00: $1.49
> $25.00 but ≤ $50.00: $1.99
> $50.00 but ≤ $200.00: $2.99
> $200.00: 1.49% of your Web Order value

When is an NFT drop worth it?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to judge whether or not an NFT drop is worth your time or money.

If the NFT is cheap at drop and you like the artist, it may be worth it to you. Or if you’re a collector for the sake of collecting, it may also be worth your hard-earned cash. Additionally, if the dropped collection is for a crypto game, the NFTs may have in-game use and may also be worth the investment.

An NFTs value is highly volatile and can change at any time, so there’s no guarantee that if you buy a dropped NFT that you’ll be able to sell it for a profit or that it will appreciate. Use your best judgment, we don’t recommend spending more than you can afford to lose.

How can I get free NFT drops?

There are free NFT drops on some platforms. For example, released limited-edition Finder NFTs in collaboration with Enjin. Users were able to claim free NFTs embedded with Enjin Coin (ENJ).

If you’re on the hunt for cheap or free NFTs, read our guide on how to get free NFTs.

NFT drops vs. airdrops

A typical NFT drop is different from an airdrop. A crypto airdrop is when a company or organization gives away free crypto coins as a publicity stunt. With an NFT drop, users almost always pay for the newly released NFTs.

NFT drops refer to a new collection or single NFT released for sale. An airdrop is the release of free digital assets to users, typically cryptocurrency in very small amounts.

Tips to avoid drop scams

Avoiding crypto scams can be tricky, but here are some good practices and tips when buying NFTs and participating in NFT drops:

  • Use logic and research. Avoid the fear of missing out — or FOMO — meaning the fear or anxiety persuading a buyer to purchase a digital asset so that they don’t “miss out” on an opportunity or supposedly good price. Try not to let peer pressure push you toward buying something; use your own logic, do your research, use best judgment and avoid making purchases on a whim.
  • Airdrops should be free. If you receive an advertisement stating you can get a “free” NFT after an initial investment, that’s a tell-tale sign of a scam. A true airdrop should be free and at most, should only require sharing something on social media, subscribing to a newsletter, or participating in a treasure hunt.
  • Never give out your wallet’s private keys. Your digital wallet is where your crypto assets are held, and the software you can use to make purchases. These software or hardware wallets are protected by private keys, and your wallet has a private address. Never give out your crypto wallet’s information to anyone for any reason, because then they could steal your digital assets.

For more common NFT and crypto scams and how to avoid them, check out our NFT scams guide.

Compare marketplaces to buy NFTs

Name Product Categories Services Blockchains Payment methods
Gala Entertainment
Gala Entertainment
Buy, Sell
Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, GALA
Blockchain gaming platforms where you can earn Gala and NFTs through playing.
Sports, Gaming, Music, Metaverse
Buy, Sell, Mint
Credit card, Cryptocurrency, PayPal
Upland is a blockchain-based game where you can buy, sell and mint NFT properties mapped to the real world. Receive a 4500 UPX bonus for signing up
Collectibles, Gaming, Trading cards
Buy, Sell, Stake
Cryptocurrency, PayPal
Splinterlands is a digital, play-to-earn, collectible card game built on hive blockchain technology.
Binance NFT Marketplace
Sports, Collectibles, Art, Gaming, Music, Trading cards, Domain names, Metaverse (Virtual Worlds), Memes, DeFi, Mixed
Buy, Sell, Mint
Credit card, Debit card, Cryptocurrency, Bank transfer
A peer-to-peer marketplace supported by one of the worlds largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. Not currently available to U.S. residents.

Bottom line

NFT drops are for NFT collectors looking for rare and exclusive NFTs. Celebrities and big-name artists like Grimes, Beeple and Pak have sold NFT using drop events.

In some cases, buying directly from a drop can result in a good deal, since the NFT may appreciate after the drop and you could make a profit. But know that this is never guaranteed and there’s a very good chance you can come out of the transaction in the red.

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