Dynamic pricing, explained

Hello hello! This post delves into one of Alt Nouns’ in-built mechanisms, dynamic pricing. It is also a call for feedback, so please do read it in detail! For more information about Alt Nouns – check out @onChainCo on twitter, or occ.xyz/discord.

Observations so far

As we cross Noun 100, we wanted to explain a little bit about one of Alt Nouns' less talked about mechanism – dynamic pricing. This gets a bit wordy & technical, but since occ is as much about art as it is about the tech behind the art – we wanted to go into the details.

We realised almost immediately after we started working on Alt Nouns that as a result of their flat pricing, they are susceptible to people/bots minting it for a quick flip on the secondary market. (If they are indeed something people deem as valuable as we thought they might be).

While it's too early to tell for a project that goes on forever, since an Alt Noun is born at the rate of 1 per day – the fact that every possible Alt Noun has been minted within 3 minutes of its corresponding Noun being born does say something.

Before we continue – we want to say that we are not in a position to comment on what someone does with something they purchase. It is their right, and their choice and people are free to do what they want with something they own.

Having said that – Most collectors are human. But some, we suspect, are not interested in this in the ways we intended. Art for art's sake, as we like to say. We have used this past weeks data as an experiment of sorts, to analyse how things play out in the open market. It may be too early to tell, but over the 17 Alts which have sold so far, the average price has been a fairly steady 0.420 eth (nice lol), with a slight upward trend. And I'm glad to say that we anticipated the aforementioned behaviour.

Enter, dynamic pricing.

Dynamic pricing

Built into the Alt Nouns contract is a function that decides how much an Alt Noun costs to mint. As long as there are fewer than 100 Alt Nouns, the price remains a flat 0.15eth. This sets the baseline for the initial drop. But when the 100th Alt Noun has been created dynamic pricing goes into effect. And what this means is that from that moment forward, the price of an Alt Noun is dictated by the priceIncrement variable set in the contract. And every 100 Alt Nouns following this, the price goes up by priceIncrement. The following guide shows what this would look like with a priceIncrement value of 0.25Ξ (as an example):

Example of a 0.25Ξ priceIncrement
Example of a 0.25Ξ priceIncrement

Note: priceIncrement is not added to price, it is simply a term used for the starting point of dynamic pricing. In the following example, the price is 0.15Ξ and priceIncrement is 0.25Ξ. The reason this works in this way was to allow for more flexibility and separation of these two modes of payment, especially since this was planned to be set after the launch of Alt Nouns.

For context, this is the function in the contract that decides what the current price of an Alt Nouns is :

Have a look for yourself on etherscan.


  1. Infinite supply’s effects on the secondary market:

    ♾️ An infinite supply and a minting price lower than the cost to acquire one on the secondary market discourages trading and secondary sales (for folks with Alt Nouns who'd like to sell, as is their right)

    And consequently:

    📉 Alt Nouns should have a deflationary supply. Over a long enough time period, Alt Nouns as a 'token' will become more and more expensive to acquire (much like with other more traditional, deflationary defi mechanics like burning tokens, or Bitcoin halving).

  2. Discouraging flipping:

    🤖 While we don't have any evidence of people (by themselves or using bots) to mint Alt Nouns for quick flips at this time – it's still a very real likelihood. And if our thesis is correct, having a mint price closer to the secondary prices could deter this behaviour.

    And consequently:

    👤 More humans™️ who want their own Alt Noun, have a chance to mint a new one than would have otherwise been able to. Minting an Alt Noun becomes less of a race, and more of a considered act of collecting something you want to.


  1. Unminted Alt Nouns:

    😔 Maybe not right now, and maybe not until the next increment – but there is a chance that at some point – people stop minting Alt Nouns. Maybe because they don’t want to, maybe because they’re priced out of it.

    And consequently:

    The perceived value of an Alt Noun on secondary markets could be lower. Emphasis on could.

    But, it’s also important to note that:

    As it stands, this is not necessarily different from how things are right now – or were, at the time of launch. People chose to mint their Alt Nouns, and worked in order to do so. Roughly a third of Alt Nouns are up for sale, and the distribution is >67%. People, it’d appear, are holding. Markets are cyclical in nature, and we’re not thinking in the scale of a few weeks here. We’re talking about forever. And so, in conclusion, these unminted Alt Nouns will be available to mint – so who’s to say they remain like that forever ¯\(ツ)

Other thoughts

We realise that this is a new mechanism, especially in the context of what is a project that is built on top of new mechanisms and concepts.

Our (tldr-ed) hope is that this promotes a healthy aftermarket for people who have an Alt Noun – while at the same time, discouraging bot minting of Alt Nouns & enabling more humans™️ interested in this experiment to get one of their own.

With all these details, please keep in mind that Alt Nouns is not a 10k pfp project. While 91 exist right now, it'll take a little over 27 years for there to be 10000 Alt Nouns. They are, and will continue to be, very rare – as far as NFT projects go.

They are, will continue to be, an experiment as well. Since the popularity & future of Alt Nouns is so closely tied with that of Nouns – only time will tell how things go.


  1. Why 0.25Ξ? The number 0.25Ξ is just an example. Theoretically, it can be anything. But we committed to keeping it above 0.15Ξ during the launch
  2. Will you keep changing this forever? All pricing changes can be permanently locked – and once we arrive at a conclusion, we’d love to lock it down for good
  3. How would one know what the price is? In order to make price look-ups easier, there is a read function in the contract called getCurrentPrice which returns the current price of an Alt Noun (in WEI, which can be easily converted eth using many online convertors)
  4. Can you disable dynamic pricing? Yes. If we decided to, we can easily disable it and make it so that the flat price remains that way
  5. Can you change the interval for when these increments happen? Unfortunately, we can’t. The every 100th Alt Noun trigger is hardcoded into the contract. We could manually change the price at certain points, theoretically – but that’s both operationally heavy (considering this is a forever project)
  6. Can you delay when this goes into effect? Yes, we can. As long as pricing changes are not locked. Once they are, there is no turning back.

So.. How do we plan on using these funds?

Another good question. We’ve not forgotten our commitment to make a continued contribution to the NounsDAO – and as part of that, we have started talks with some members of the NounsDAO who helped in the creation of Alt Nouns for feedback on some of our proposed ideas. They involve a mix of charitable donations, as well as contributions towards furthering other Nouns derivatives by means of donations to their Small grants and retro funding treasury. We’re awaiting feedback from these members at this time, but if some of them come to fruition – we may see some Nouns minting reserved Alt Nouns. It’s too early to tell, but that’d be pretty great to see that!

We also realise that this only focuses on proliferation of Nouns, and not Alt Nouns per se. We are discussing internally on how we could do both at the same time – but we’re calling on you for ideas and feedback on how we may use a portion* of the treasury and royalties to benefit Alt Nouns, Flowers and other related endeavours. Nothing is off the table, and all ideas are welcome 🎊 MicroDAOs, charity, raffles for holders, our own grants for arts (& on-chain) proliferation, burn-minting unclaimed Alt Nouns, funding the development of Alt Noun/Flower/other OCC tools etc. Ideally, things that are in-line with our ethos.

*portion here refers to either a percentage or a fixed amount, and that will likely depend on the goals we as a community choose to pursue. Full transparency, the Alt Nouns treasury at this time is 13.05Ξ with ~0.39Ξ in royalties. Any decision on the use of this ‘portion’ will apply retroactively as well.

We want to know where you think we are lacking, and where we could invest our time, and these funds. This work is as important as the art & tech we love to work on. Once these details are figured out, we’ll also look into automating parts/all of this process – so it can happen as trustlessly as possible, and at regular intervals.

We’ll be sharing more details when things are more refined and presentable, both with occ and on the Nouns discord. It’ll likely be another long & detailed post. And if you’ve been around on our discord, you know we mean that last part.

A call for ideas, feedback & discussion!

This next part – we need your help with. If you have any questions, thoughts, ideas or concerns – we'd love to hear them. And since this is a big change in how Alt Nouns will operate going forward (in perpetuity), we want to gather feedback on this mechanism before we enable this in the contract. Or, technically speaking, let it stay enabled and not disable it (since this already exists and will go into effect automatically once 100 Alt Nouns exist. Right now, 91 do).

This will only go live after we’ve taken into account what y’all think. At the current rate, there’s about a week to go before the 100th Alt Noun to be born, so we have some time. And so, we want gather all feedback and take these into account to decide what happens now.

Again, just to be clear – if we, as a community, decide this dynamic pricing isn’t good for Alt Nouns in the long run – this doesn’t happen. So please let your voices be heard!

We are also exploring ways to use gas-less voting on snapshot for Alt Noun holders, as well as general community feedback on the #ideas-and-feedback channel – and will take it from there!


Alt Nouns : Opensea / Etherscan

Twitter : twitter.com/onChainCo

Discord : occ.xyz/discord

occ#1🌺Flowers : Opensea / Website / Remix

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