Sugar pretzels is inspired by our teams love for NFTs. We love them a lot. We also love that NFTs require the combination of creativity, design, math. At the same time, coming from beautifully crafted UI/UX experiences of web3, we felt that the NFT experience is still lacking in two areas.
First, the transaction experience (TX) is still rough. Especially for newcomers, gas fees are difficult to comprehend and an easy barrier for onboarding.
Second, we associate exciting moments with memory markers - such as the weather at the time of an event, the people we are with, and on a higher level the state of the world. Right now, the NFT minting experience is disconnected from the real world.
Therefore, we were inspired to reimagine and recreate an NFT experience that is low friction, simple, and most importantly accessible to anyone - so that we can have over 1Bn people experience the same love for NFTs that we have by 2025.
What it does
At Sugar Pretzels, we are building an NFT collection without the gas fee barrier that interacts with the real world.
- Sugar Pretzels is a new way to experience the excitement of NFT minting, especially for newcomers to web3.
- Sugar Pretzels is a guided experience. We've crafted an interactive chatbot so that users are guided, step-by-step, through the minting experience by our very own Robot Baker. This means anyone, even users without a wallet, can successfully mint their first NFT. But that doesn't mean we take shortcuts on the authentic web3 experience. By the end of the Sugar Pretzels experience, everyone will have a web3 wallet and their first NFT.
- Our NFT collection combines the power of decentralization with verifiably randomly assigned traits using Chainlink VRF and Chainlink Oracles (weather in Munich) to select the background trait. We believe this is the first NFT collection to combine both randomizable traits and real-world snapshots in the traits of an NFT.
- For experienced users and new web3 users that are a bit more daring, we have an exclusive Genesis mint experience that also makes use of batch minting to reduce gas fees - another QoL feature that improves the minting experience.
- Most importantly, it's fun and has something for everyone. Next to our free sugar pretzel mint, we also have a Genesis Pretzel for experienced users that can be minted for 0.1 ETH.
How we built it
- We started with a blank slate and asking ourselves how can the NFT minting experience be fun, simple for everyone, and showcase the power of decentralization and web3.
- Initially everything with Figma to do all the brainstorming, mocking, and experimenting.
- The front-end is beautifully crafted in React and TailwindCSS combined with Ethers.js
- Animations and designs with Blender, Figma, and Affinity.
- Backend holding everything up with Render.com, IPFS, and NFT.storage
- Most excitingly - Hardhat, Chainlink Keepers, Chainlink Oracles, and OpenZeppelin for the Smart Contracts.
- Sugar pretzels are hosted on the Polygon blockchain to align with our goal of low-cost NFTs for everyone (and lower gas fees).
- The Genesis tokens are hosted on the Ethereum blockchain.
And lot's of tutorials and learnings from Chainlink, Coffee, and Pretzels to keep us going.
Challenges we ran into
Challenge 1: Creating a trusting, fun, and memorable first minting experience. This includes the challenges of web3 UX - like chain switching, wallet connecting, checking whether users already have pretzels, or simply linking to further educational content.
Solution 1: Through a chatbot experience that guides the user through all steps of minting their first NFT - even for those without a wallet. Our chatbot is also educational - removing the roadblocks most users face being onboarded to web3.
Challenge 2: Verifiable random traits and links to the real world
Solution 2: Chainlink. Chainlink. Chainlink. In particular Chainlink VRF for the random traits and Chainlink Weather Oracle for linking the background with verifiable weather data from Munich.
Challenge 3: Enabling first-time web3 users, that typically have no crypto to start off with, to mint their first NFT without having to pay for gas fees.
Solution 3: Gas-less transactions via Meta Transactions and Open GSN
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We set ourselves quite an ambitious goal with this project - that includes many elements and technologies that need to work together. To summarize:
- We integrated cutting-edge technology with Chainlink VRF and AccuWeather Oracles to create an NFT collection that is verifiably random and linked with the real-world. This is unique!
- We created two minting experiences leveraging two different blockchains - Polygon & Ethereum.
- We built a truly unique frontend experience that is truly welcoming for NFT newcomers.
- A fully functioning chat-bot that guides the users through many different scenarios and is educational.
- We developed a collection of traits and artworks.
We are proud of all this work we have done.
We are proud of having 124 Sugar Pretzels out in the wild already after a few hours of being live.
We are proud to be the first NFT for many of our Sugar Pretzel holders.
What we learned
As with any hackathon, we learned a lot. For some of our team, this meant becoming passionate frontend developers, learning new design tools, and most importantly learning about exciting new functions in web3 and the power of decentralization.
In particular, learning about the intricacies and extensiveness of Chainlink and the various Oracles was super fascinating - especially for our tech-savvy members. This includes the different Oracles, how they are integrated, and also how they can work across multiple chains given that our minting experience happens on both Polygon and Ethereum.
What's next for Sugar Pretzels
Our sugar pretzels are really only the beginning for our team. With the Genesis pretzels, we want to take the plunge into expanding the sugar pretzels love with our PretzelDAO.
We are also working on something really special for our sugar pretzel holders. An on-chain generated Twitter banner from the sugar pretzels in our users' wallets. Stay tuned for those and much more!