Introducing DropZone

A new approach to NFT launches is dropping soon

4 min readSep 8, 2021

Apes, llamas, starships, and more are traveling through the Solana ecosystem at 65,000 transactions per second. The massive influx of interest in NFT projects is fostering ecosystem-wide growth as new users flock to Solana and experience the network’s low-cost transactions and revolutionary throughput for the first time.

In recent weeks, the Solana community has experienced everything from the excitement of pre-drop hype to the frustration of getting stuck with failed transactions after weeks of anticipating the newest NFT project. At Raydium we’ve watched a lot of this go down, and we understand the huge time and resource costs that teams face when building out their launch infrastructure for a drop.

We have witnessed the launch of secondary marketplaces, but calls for fair and uninterrupted NFT drops still echo across Crypto Twitter and the Discord ether. The Solana Community has spoken. Raydium may just have an answer.

The Launch of DropZone

We are excited to announce the upcoming launch of DropZone — an initiative by Raydium to promote the growth of NFTs on Solana while supporting project teams with the infrastructure needed to launch new collections.

DropZone will serve as a launchpad for the hottest Solana NFT projects to raise capital, seamlessly distribute NFT collections, and build their community. Raydium’s DropZone will deploy flexible smart contracts and one of the largest networks of RPCs on Solana as a foundation for projects to distribute NFTs to one of the most dedicated communities in crypto.

Participation & Launch Details

The “first come, first served” model prevalent in NFT drops today is not perfect. Dedicated community members who supported projects from the start have the cards stacked against them. It is a race determined by sophisticated bots and internet latency.

Initially, Raydium’s DropZone will include the following features:

1) Time-limited Participation: NFT deposits will open at a set date for a short window of time where the community can deposit SOL in exchange for a chance to win the rights to an allocation. The amount of SOL eligible for deposit will be limited per wallet address and determined by the size of the NFT collection.

By keeping the deposit window short, dedicated community members that deposit on time will have a higher probability of winning an allocation than if deposits were longer. Short deposit windows also maintain much of the hype and buzz that’s generated from “first come, first served” NFT project drops.

2) On-chain Lottery: An on-chain lottery will be carried out immediately after pools close. Once the lottery is complete, users will be able to claim their NFT allocation and remove their SOL for any tickets that did not win.

Example: Raydium is launching a collection of 5,000 NFT sunglasses, let’s call them RAY-Bans, for our community to show off at upcoming music festivals this #SolanaSummer. 1 pair of RAY-Bans are 1 SOL and the Raydium team has decided to limit deposits to 3 SOL. Alice is hitting the festival scene this summer and deposits 3 SOL, her maximum. Bob is still saving up for his ticket and only deposits 1 SOL. When the lottery ends, Alice has 2 winning tickets and can claim the NFT allocation for her 2 winning tickets and 1 SOL for her non-winning ticket. Bob does not have a winning NFT allocation and can claim his 1 SOL, better luck next time Bob.

3) Transferable “Drop Box” NFTs:

Once a DropZone lottery concludes:

  • Users with a winning ticket will be able to claim a special Raydium NFT, or “Drop Box”, to their wallet which represents their allocation.
  • This “Drop Box” NFT can then be redeemed on the project’s website to mint one original NFT from the project collection at random.

Each project launch will feature exclusive “Drop Box” NFTs only redeemable for that project’s NFT collection. However, for the relevant NFT launch, the “Drop Box” NFTs will be transferable and interchangeable. Each will also include co-branded artwork between Raydium and the NFT project viewable on Phantom or other Solana NFT platforms.

By managing NFT distribution in this way, the infrastructure needed for an NFT launch, and the traffic and network stress associated with it, will be reduced for projects.

Example: Alice redeemed 1 “Drop Box” token and got an awesome pair of RAY-bans. Alice realizes she is happy with 1 pair. Alice lists her remaining Drop Box on a Serum Market for 1.5 SOL. Bob, who did not win a RAY-ban Drop Box, buys it and redeems it on the project website. Lookin’ good, Bob!

4) Anti-Phishing & Anti-Bot: The Drop Box token can be redeemed on the project website using a project-specific minting tool and prevents fake sites from stealing SOL. At the same time, Raydium will deploy bot prevention measures aimed at ensuring a fair launch.

We’re psyched about these initial features and what they offer for NFT projects building on Solana. However, we will continue to adapt and may adjust and evolve these plans according to changes in the space, requirements from projects, and feedback from the community.

Future Momentum

Raydium’s DropZone aims to help accelerate and simplify the drop process for NFT projects so teams can focus less on the infrastructure of launching and more on building value for their communities. We’re also super excited to be able to provide the Raydium community with access to the biggest NFT drops on Solana. The Raydium team recognizes the role NFTs play in the growth of the Solana ecosystem and we can’t wait to get involved!

Announcements on the first DropZone launch are coming soon! Make sure to follow official Raydium accounts below for updates.

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