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NFTs as a VIP membership: How does it Work

At the time of writing, the famous festival Coachella is auctioning 10 lifetime festival passes as NFTs.

Most of you have heard of NFTs. But what are so-called “membership NFTs” and what do they mean?

How can a NFT passport be used?

First, we will give an explanation of what a NFT passport basically is.

Second, we talk about what standard makes this innovation possible and how it is different from previously known Ethereum standards.

Third, we explore how NFTs can be used as entrance passes.

Finally, we give a few examples of projects that already use NFT memberships.

If you are not particularly interested in the token standards that make all this possible, you can skip the ERC-parts.

If you still do not exactly know what NFTs are and how NFTs can be used, fear not. You can quickly catch up by reading this article.

What is a NFT Passport / Membership?

Buying this flyfish club nft grants exclusive lifetime access membership to the restaurant.
This Flyfish Club NFT grants you lifetime access to a restaurant.

A NFT Passport or membership is using the token infrastructure to gain access to a club, society, or any other gated collection of products.

How a membership subscription in combination with an NFT is used, is up to the brand’s creativity.

For example, NFTs can be used like digital tickets in a way to gain entry to a (virtual) environment, but with the benefit that these NFTs can also be transferred, bought, sold, and traded.

Or perhaps by owning the token users gain (early) access to NFT drops, limited edition products, and other exclusive privileges.

Lifetime access passes via NFT are a great way for companies and brands to leverage a user-driven approach as opposed to an intermediary-driven structure.

The future is founder to the user directly, without middlemen.

With a new Ethereum proposal (ERC-1155) it is even possible to create semi-fungible tokens. SFTs trade as fungible tokens, but once redeemed, they convert into NFTs.

Take a festival ticket. Before the event takes place it serves as a fungible token: any ticket gives the same kind of entry to the festival.

However, after the event has taken place and the ticket loses its tradable value. It then becomes a unique item of memorabilia: a NFT that might be valuable in itself as well.

What is ERC-721 – The original NFT standard

ERC-721 tokens are the ‘classic’ non-fungible tokens a.k.a. NFTs that started with the CryptoKitties project. Dapper Labs, the company behind CryptoKitties introduced the ERC-721 token through a proposal in 2017.

In short, this standard allows for the creation of unique, custom tokens: a collectible trading card, or a unique personal avatar that can’t be replicated.


CryptoKitties are a set of collectible, randomly generated kittens that can be individually traded. They cannot be replicated and each one of the CryptoKitties is unique.

Its transaction history is being recorded on the immutable blockchain, so everyone exactly knows what address owns a kitty. Always.

In 2020 and 2021 NFTs really took off. They are being hyped everywhere, especially on Twitter and Discord.

Everyone talks about NFTs and in particular the collectibles (i.e. the original CryptoKitties) and single digital art NFTs created by Beeple, PAK, and other influential artists.

Bored Ape Yacht Club was one of the first major NFT collections that comes with a club membership and privileges.

Additional features that come with the ERC-721 are:

  • Transfer NFTs between addresses; allowing NFTS to be traded for other currencies.
  • Query the current and previous owners of a specific asset
  • Identify the total supply of a set of NFTs on het blockchain.

What is ERC-1155: in between ERC-20 and ERC-721

As you know, ERC-20 is the basic token model that provides a basic list of rules and actions all Ethereum-based tokens must follow.

They are fungible (completely interchangeable) by design. Conceptually it functions as a currency such as USDC or the Euro.

ERC-1155 falls in between an ERC-721 token and an ERC-20 token.

The biggest difference is that using this token model one can create semi-fungible tokens. Those SFTs trade as a regular ERC-token, but change into a NFT once it is redeemed.

SFTs enable that type of functionality directly into the code of the ticket itself.

ERC-721 vs ERC-1155: A comparison

Both token standards allow one to be able to mint NFTs. But ERC-1155 will probably be used a lot more than the ERC-721 token standard in the (near) future, thanks to its additional features.

Key differences are:

  • ERC-1155 allows batch transfers of tokens, which can reduce transaction costs and congestion. With ERC-721, if you want to send multiple tokens, it will take a transaction for each on them and thus higher cost.
    • I.e. when a user wants to sell hundreds of items in some game to another user, the user can use the batch token transfer of ERC-1155 to sell them all in one transaction.
  • ERC-1155 supports both semi-fungible tokens ánd non-fungible tokens creation on the same address and contract, whereas ERC-721 permits only the creation of non-fungible tokens.
  • ERC-1155’s smart contracts support an infinite number of tokens. With ERC-721 a new smart contract is needed for each type of token.
  • In ERC-1155, smart contracts are linked to multiple URIs and do not store additional metadata (such as file names). In comparison, ERC-721 only supports static metadata stored directly on the smart contract for each token ID, increasing deployment costs and limiting flexibility.
  • Token transfers on the ERC-1155 standard can be reverted in the event of a mistake. This is not possible for ERC-721: once you send assets to the wrong address, they cannot be reclaimed.

Examples of how NFTs can be used as membership or entrance pass

It is entirely up to the brand, company, or person’s creativity how a NFT membership subscription is used. There are innumerous ways to incorporate NFTs and SFTs to grant access to an exclusive membership community or create (tiered) passport-gated access.

Perhaps you use NFTs like digital tickets as a way to gain entry to a gated collection of your products. Or maybe you use a subscription membership to access gated content, like early access to NFT drops, limited edition products, or exclusive offerings.

Here are some ways one could use access memberships in combination with NFTs:

  • A NFT membership could for example grant you lifetime access to a etablishment in real or virtual life.
  • NFT marketplaces access could be passported by a monthly membership billed on subscription-status for users
  • Access passes in the form of NFTs could be used like digital tickets or proof of membership to unlock access to specific exclusive content
  • Digital art creators could provide early access content to their top tier membership of subscribers, enforced by different tiers of NFTs
  • Brands could provide a combination NFT offering alongside physical world product purchases to exclusive members of their access membership. For example wearing the same shoes you bought in real life life in the metaverse.
  • Think of buying the NFT of some taxi-club gives you access to unlimited rides in some area or constructed in any other way.

Who are doing NFT memberships already?


1 of 10 NFT keys

Built on the Solana blockchain the “Coachella Keys Collection” is created by the famous festival Coachella in collaboration with exchange FTX.

They will be releasing 10 NFTs that offer buyers lifetime festival access for 2 persons and VIP on-site experiences that include front row seats at the Coachella Stage, on-stage access at a specific tent, or a celebrity chef dinner.

The auction winners will get passes for one weekend Coachella event each year and permanent access to “virtual experiences” produced by Coachella. 

Of course, those lifetime access NFTs can also be sold and traded. Furthermore, Coachella is also selling NFTs that come with real items, i.e. photos, books and posters.

The auction started on Friday, Feb. 4, and runs until Feb. 11, 2022.

Other NFTs sold

Flyfish Club

New York is getting a NFT members-only restaurant. The new restaurant will be called Flyfish Club, and it’s being started by Gary Vaynerchuk and his team consisting of David Rodolitz, Josh Capon, and Conor Hanlon.

FFC members will have unlimited access to a private dining room that will span across 10,000+ square feet in an iconic, New York City location.

The space will consist of a bustling cocktail lounge, upscale restaurant, intimate omakase room, and outdoor space.

In order to be a member of the club, you’ll need to buy one of the limited and exclusive Flyfish NFTs. Right now there are two tiers: Flyfish and Flyfish Omakase. The latter also gives access to a special omakase room.

After purchasing a Flyfish NFT on OpenSea, one needs to create a member profile at and connect their wallet to verify ownership of the token.

Of course, members can lease or resell their membership, and there are no annual or recurring fees. You only need to pay for the food and drinks.

The exclusive NFT membership restaurant is planned to open in 2023.
The 7 Omakase designs of higher tier NFT mambership

Steve Aoki’s A0K1VERSE

Steve Aoki is one of the highest grossing electronic dance music DJ’s in the world. And now he launches his own metaverse and NFT platform: A0K1VERSE.

Being a member of the tokenized social club, holders earn exclusive access to physical and digital rewards from Aoki and his network, including free concert tickets and early access to (digital) art.

There is a total supply cap of 30,000. The ERC-1155 NFTs can be also be upgraded for increased reward tiers, including in-person meets.

Watch Steve Aoki at Coindesk TV where he explains more about the NFT passports and ecosystem A0K1VERSE.

Keynote on NFT membership clubs

NFTs will replace typical membership cards, paper festival tickets, or replace other forms of club memberships that we currently use.

Owning a NFT membership card can be more functional, and possibly increase in value over time. It all depends on the creativeness of people and brands that make use of NFT (access) passes.

If you like it or not, NFTs are not going away.


What NFT-Memberships do you know?

And for what are they used? Tell us in the comments

Last Updated on 29/03/2022 by delta

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