How we built a 100% Free educational NFT collection

When minting an NFT we have two costs associated with that transaction:

1) The price of the item itself
2)The cost of gas fees

Free collections can make the price of the item free, but since the minting transaction changes the state of the network, the user still needs to pay for the gas fee in order for a miner to register that transaction in the blockchain.

That pesky gas fee is a big hurdle when onboarding a user new to Web 3, because they would need some amount of ETH to pay for the transaction, which means they would need to buy it from an exchange, which would have them go through a KYC process. Imagine convincing a new customer to do all that!

At Inevitable our mission is to onboard millions of users into web3. That friction is unacceptable.

On our newly released course from Inevitable Academy – Non-Fungible Course: Introduction to NFTs, we wanted a novice user to be able to get their certificate as a token on the blockchain as easy as possible.

If we get 10k users to install Metamask, understand how to sign a transaction and just open a Etherscan/Polygonscan page, it will be way easier to convince them to participate in more interesting and possibly complex web3 projects in the future.

That’s where META TRANSACTIONS come in!

Instead of the user directly running the minting, on a meta transaction pattern they request a trustedForwarder to run the transaction on their behalf.

This way the gas cost can be settled between the trustedForwarder and the creator of the contract, independently from the user.

When the gas fees are paid by the owner/creator, its called a gasless transaction, such a transaction does need to pay gas, its just not the user the one who pays it.

That pattern is a beast on scaling solutions such as Polygon and Biconomy, because the user can take advantage of not needing to pay gas and the creator pays fractions of cents on each mint.

This is the only way we were able to afford the onboarding cost of all the students.

Not only that, but in the case of our free certification, since we don’t charge anything for the minting neither for the gas, we are even able to run seamlessly on Polygon, a new user won’t be bothered by needing to add and switch to a new network on their Metamask. Smooth as heck, bby.

Meta transactions are a pattern that allows the creator of a smart contract to handle the gas cost of a transaction in a custom way. It solves the problem of a user needing to buy eth to pay for gas or needing to bridge matic when using Polygon, smoothing out the onboarding process.

Inevitable Academy’s new course offers a certificate minted to the blockchain after completion 100% free of charge. Click here to enroll