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Unlock Exclusive Content Based on Any NFT

Using Pinata Submarine and NFTs

One of the main benefits of community is the ability to access and experience things that those who are not part of the community do not get to access and experience. This has been highlighted a lot in the NFT world lately, but there’s nothing new about the concepts. Communities are a construct as old as time, and access to community benefits has been gated just as long.

The big change is how we can gate access to exclusive perks. In the past, it may have been with an account or password. Or it might have been with a physical item, like a ticket. With NFTs, communities can, in a decentralized way, verify if someone should get access to a particular media file, event, Discord channel, or more simply from reading what’s in their wallet. We can now deliver media automatically based on the ownership of that NFT.

This is what we did for NFT.NYC. Watch the video below to see it in action:

We thought a game would be a fun way to show off the potential of Pinata Submarining. As a quick reminder, Submarine is a feature from Pinata that creates a private IPFS network just for a given account. Files that are submarined are hashed the exact same way as public IPFS files, but they are not available on the public IPFS network. Creators, developers, and anyone in between can use this functionality to create time-limited access for specific submarined files.

We found a game that had been created for the JS13K video game hackathon, and we immediately fell in love with it. The game was addictive, fun, and just looked really cool. Knowing we didn’t have time to build our own version, we reached out to one of the developers behind the project, Daniel Marino, and he graciously agreed to open-source the game under an MIT license so we could use it as proof of how this NFT-gated concept could work. Daniel worked on the project with another developer, Brad Dunbar, and I have to say the game is insanely fun and addictive in all the right ways.

We tweaked the main character to be our favorite pinata, Pinnie, and we changed the color scheme to match our brand. But other than that, the game operates exactly as it did when Daniel first built it.

To allow access to the game, we created an ERC721 smart contract and deployed it on the Polygon mainnet. We chose Polygon because we wanted to keep costs low and we are big fans of the ERC721 standard. The idea was that we would mint NFTs specific to the NFT.NYC event for people who came to our table. Those people would then be able to click a button on a site we built, verify ownership of the NFT, and play the game.

If you want to play the game without owning an NFT, you can play it here!

This was a fun experiment that proved the utility of not just NFT-based gating of access but also combining that with serving of media. These two concepts are powerful for creatives. Exclusive access for fans, special behind-the-scenes videos, unreleased audio tracks, books, and more.

The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination, and we can’t wait to see what your imaginations will cook up. Pinata Submarine combined with NFT based access is possible now. Get started today with Pinata, and reach out to tell us what you’re building!

Happy Pinning!



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Justin Hunter

Justin Hunter

Writer. Head of Product at Pinata. Builder.