How to set up a descending price auction

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Gamma offers an innovative Descending Price Auction platform, a trustless auction solution for Ordinal inscriptions on Bitcoin. This tool empowers sellers by optimizing their potential earnings and provides buyers the freedom to bid at their chosen price. It proves particularly advantageous for creators selling 1/1 exclusive pieces or anyone preferring to auction off their inscription over time as opposed to listing at a fixed price. It works similarly to a Dutch Auction, while introducing the traditional auction's concept of bidding.

How Descending Price Auctions Work

A Descending Price Auction begins with a seller setting a starting price and a reserve price. The price then decreases in increments over time until a bid is placed or the reserve price is met. On Gamma, buyers can either set the highest current bid or purchase immediately at the existing price. Sellers can choose up to 30 price decrements throughout the auction and set the number of Bitcoin blocks between each price decrease (approximately every 10 minutes).

Please note: since bidders may bid on the pre-signed seller intervals, if a seller wants to allow many bids to be placed, they should consider adding more intervals to allow more bids to be placed at various auction intervals or prices.

You can also check out this video guide for setting up your auction.

Listing Your Inscription for a Descending Price Auction

Click on List and switch the toggle to Auction


Set up the auction schedule: Input a 'Start price' (e.g. 0.4 BTC), a 'Reserve price' ('Lowest bid price' e.g. 0.15 BTC), 'Number of price decreases' (e.g. 10), and the time between each decrease (e.g. 150 blocks or ~1 day). Sellers can opt for their auction to begin immediately or schedule the auction for a future time.

Seller listing flow: schedule start time at a future block height (ideal for starting multiple auctions at the same time)


Review your auction: After clicking 'Continue', you'll see a summary of your auction timeline, potential earnings, marketplace fees, and creator royalties (if applicable).


Sign approvals: You'll need to sign approvals with your wallet for each price decrement. If you choose 10 price decreases, you'll need to sign 10 approvals.



Submit your listing: Your Descending Price Auction will begin with the commencement of the next Bitcoin block or the chosen block if the auction is scheduled for a later time. Your auction will be visible on Gamma’s dedicated Descending Price Auction page.

You can also watch the second video in this article for more examples and possible scenarios.


Placing a Bid on a Descending Price Auction

  1. Choose your bid: Buyers may place bids on auctioned items beginning with the auction's reserve price. You can then choose to be the next highest bidder by bidding the current minimum bid, or you may increase your bid to any other amount along the auction's price intervals. You'll automatically purchase the asset once the 'Buy now' price meets your bid amount. Alternatively, you can buy the item immediately at its current price by clicking the 'Buy now' button.

  2. Confirm your bid: Set a network fee, then sign and place your bid. To maintain a successful bid, avoid spending funds from your Bitcoin payment address. If you wish to bid on other pieces simultaneously, fund another account within your wallet or wait until the auction closes.


Buyer purchase flow: auction page and details



Buyer purchase flow: fee selection and purchase transaction signing


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For Sellers:

  • Can I change the starting price and reserve price? Once your auction is deployed, price changes are not possible unless you unlist (incurring network fees) and then relist with your updated pricing.
  • Can I change the length of my auction? After deployment, you cannot modify the time between each price decrease. You would need to unlist your item (and pay network fees) then relist it and sign for each price increment.
  • How long will my auction last? While a Bitcoin block is typically mined every ten minutes, there's no guarantee that blocks will follow any set schedule during your auction. Therefore, it's advisable to use approximations to estimate the length of your auction (e.g. 150 blocks is about 1 day).
  • How much does it cost to use the platform? Gamma charges a flat 10% commission on the sale of works using its auction platform. So, if your work is purchased by a buyer for 0.10 BTC, you will receive 0.09 BTC and Gamma will receive 0.01 BTC. There is no up-front cost to use the platform, and Gamma only makes a commission for successful sales. We do not charge our fee on network fees, only on final auction proceeds.

For Buyers:

  • Can I place a higher bid? Yes, you can place a higher bid on the same item you are actively bidding on.
  • Can I see other people’s bids? Yes, other bids are visible. Your minimum bid must be higher than the previous highest bid.
  • Can I just purchase the item without bidding? Yes, you can purchase the item directly by paying the Buy Now price, which decreases over time.
  • Can I bid on other items while I am bidding on the current item? Yes, but we recommend doing so from another account within your wallet so you don’t risk canceling your bid due to your UTXOs being spent. On Xverse or Leather (formerly Hiro), you can switch ‘accounts’ and fund them with Bitcoin to bid on multiple items at once.

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