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I have a game I would like to integrate with the Cardano blockchain and I want a good way to airdrop tokens and NFTs to the users for that game. The ways I have been able to find are:

  1. Mint directly to users -> many small fees and require to send users ADA?
  2. Mint all tokens and later transfer to users -> I have to also send them ADA every time
  3. Use NFT marketplace -> I can not find any which can do this, at least not that has an API
  4. Write smart contract?

Is there any other way I have missed?

Also, using #2 which was my initial plan seems practically impossible since I do not want to send my users ADA just to be able to airdrop a token to them. Are there any smart contracts for this scenario being developed? An other network that I have worked a bit with does not have this limitation, I can simply transfer NFT or tokens for the normal transaction fee.

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You can also create minting transactions that are payed by the users directly and you mint directly into their wallets. This should be possible if you interact with their wallet using a DApp connector (right now only Nami has one, but Yoroi should relese one soon, and probably other wallets, too). I cannot give you an example, I wish I were able to do it myself.

You can also mint the tokens into your address, and put users send 2 ADA to an address to claim tokens, and send them back the tokens and the rest of about 1.8 ADA back with the tokens.

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  • Both those approaches would work if the user buys something in the game, like an NFT, and is what I meant by #1 and #2 in my question. But #2 adds too much complexity for an airdrop to the users, and they have to pay to get the "free" drop. Mint the token directly to the user seems to be the less bad way but I still don't like it since it can incur a lot of smaller fees that adds up, on the other hand I want to use Cardano and not any other network so it seems im stuck between a rock and a hard place.. Jan 3 at 14:31
  • I've used this technique in practice in a simple dApp I've created (native-asset.com) You could load a nami wallet with some test ada on the cardano test net and see if you think the user experience is good enough. Jan 4 at 14:11
  • @Hampus Weslien I could only see minting tokens not distribute them to users, or did I miss something? Jan 4 at 14:43
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Sending Native Assets does require at least 1 ada to be sent along. This is a protection mechanism.

There is a project called Cardanotales that has done this very same thing in the past. They recurred to a minting platform where, after sending X $ada, then a minting transaction was issued to the wallet that originated the payment.

I would recommend the same approach as it seems to be the trusted standard these days.

They do have a twitter account too https://twitter.com/CardanoTales so you might ask directly.

Last but not the least there was a team called ludotoken (https://www.reddit.com/r/cardano/comments/q4ok83/kaizens_interview_with_the_ludotoken_team_amazing/) I can only find this interview. They are building tools for gaming platform like the one you described.

Hope this was helpful!

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I just wanted to add some more information if anyone comes here looking for the same answer.

As the two answers before me say, the common practice seems to be that users has to pay ADA to release their tokens. Personally I do not like this approach, but the community seem to be fine with it. After digging around more on this topic I found out that almost all native tokens on Cardano use the https://dripdropz.io/ service. So taking a look at this service might be a good starting point.

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