The NFT revolution is occurring at a breakneck pace and investors, traders, and collectors of all kinds are arriving to get a piece of the action. The last few years have seen the NFT grow in a way few other markets have, reaching a whopping $40 billion valuation in 2021 and continuing to grow in 2022.
Despite the recent bearish conditions of the crypto market as a whole, NFT trading volume has remained strong and at the heart of the action are a handful of trusted NFT marketplaces that every investor, collector, or curious passerby should know.
But first, what exactly are NFT marketplaces?
NFT marketplaces are platforms where NFTs can be bought, sold, stored, displayed, traded, and in some cases minted.
To access these marketplaces you will need a crypto wallet compatible with the blockchain that supports the NFTs you are interested in. For instance, if you want to buy an NFT on the Ethereum blockchain you will need to use an Ethereum-compatible wallet like Metamask.
Additionally, you will also need funds in your wallet supported by the marketplace you are using. Once you have a compatible wallet preloaded with funds, simply sign up to the NFT marketplace you wish to use and then you’re good to go!
If there is one NFT marketplace you need to be aware of, it is OpenSea. OpenSea was the first mainstream NFT marketplace and it boasts the highest trading volume in the world. As far as reputability and track record goes, OpenSea is as established as they come and just having your NFT collection listed on the platform adds a layer of trust and legitimacy. OpenSea charges a 2.5% transaction fee to sellers when their item sells, with no costs to the buyer other than standard network fees. The marketplace is built on the Ethereum blockchain but is compatible with Polygon, Klatyn, and Solana blockchains. It also supports over 150 cryptocurrencies, 14 different wallets and offers users a wide range of NFTs, including domain names, collectible art, PFPs, in-game items and more.With over one million NFTs on offer, OpenSea is the marketplace where you will find the widest range of blue-chip NFTs and it has is home to many of the latest and greatest NFT collections, including We Are All Going To Die, goblintown.wft, Akumu Dragonz, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and mcgoblin.wtf.
Another leading NFT marketplace to have on your radar is Rarible. The platform hosts a vast selection of NFT digital art, along with photography, games, music, domains and metaverse items. Rarible supports major wallets like Coinbase and Metamask and the fees to use the platform are similar to OpenSea at 2.5% for both buyers and sellers. However, Rarible does not offer the level of cross-chain compatibility that OpenSea does and currently only supports Ethereum, Flow and Tezos. Along with a clean and user-friendly interface, Rarible possesses a number of things that define it as a unique and appealing platform for NFT investors to use.For starters, Rarible’s huge selection of NFTs can be accessed from over 190 countries. Rarible is also well suited to those who believe in the spirit of decentralization. Rather than having in-house management that makes all the decisions on the direction of the platform, Rarible has its own native token called RARI. The holders of RARI get to vote on company decisions like company policy changes, allowing them to stay true to the decentralized mindset that is so important in the world of DeFi. Another major selling point of Rarible is the fact that users can buy NFTs using their credit or debit card, offering a convenient on-ramp to fiat users and those new to the NFT space. In 2021, Rarible announced a partnership with Adobe to make it easier to verify and protect the metadata for digital content, including NFTs, and as the platform continues to expand its services to cater to new NFT investors its popularity and trading volume will continue to grow.
With the popularity of decentralized NFT exchanges like OpenSea, it is only natural that behemoth centralized exchanges like Binance want some of the action. Binance NFT is another addition to Binance’s expansive ecosystem, carrying with it the brand of the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
Binance NFT provides an impressive selection of NFTs, spanning gaming, art, sports, and premium NFT collections on the platform. Users can purchase NFTs with either cryptocurrency (Ethereum) or even Fiat currency, and the platform supports both Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain while taking a very reasonable 1% transaction fee. Additionally, Binance NFT sports robust security features, extensive search capabilities and a large variety of crypto wallets, such as SafePal, MetaMask, and Trust Wallet. While Binance NFT benefits from being a trustworthy and familiar name in the crypto space, as a relatively new marketplace, many of its collections lack the rarity of collections over on OpenSea. If you already have a Binance account, you will be able to use the same credentials on their NFT platform, however if you are new to the Binance ecosystem there may be a bit of a learning curve.
Another centralized exchange that has branched out into the world of NFTs is Crypto.com. The popular cryptocurrency exchange is used by over ten million people and in 2021 it launched its NFT marketplace which is quickly gaining popularity due to its impressive NFT collections and user-friendly interface.
Given that NFTs are going mainstream at an incredible rate, Crypto.com has gone to great lengths to ensure their NFT marketplace is as accessible and convenient to use as possible. On Crypto.com, a wide selection of NFTs are available via auction or for a fixed price and users have the ability to buy NFTs with crypto or directly with their credit or debit card. Crypto.com allows users to buy NFTs with no transaction fees on both their native blockchain as well as the Ethereum blockchain. Users will incur a 1.99% fee when selling NFTs on the platform and unlike many other NFT marketplaces, you can do all this through an NFT mobile app that has made NFTs more convenient than ever before. While most serious NFT investors use fully decentralized platforms like OpenSea and Rarible, Crypto.com has made some serious waves in just a year of operating. Along with collaborating with the likes of Snoop Dogg and Boy George, the platform lists some of the most expensive NFTs on the market and is becoming increasingly well known as one of the easiest ways to get into the NFT space.
LooksRare markets itself as a community-first NFT marketplace. Since launching in January 2022 it has gained an impressive amount of traction, even exceeding the trading volume of OpenSea for several days during its first month of launch. For both new and experienced NFT investors looking for a community-minded and affordable way to buy and sell NFTs, LooksRare is an option to consider. Along with competitive transaction fees (flat 2% fee), there are a number of features that distinguishes LooksRare from other popular NFT marketplaces. For starters, the platform has its own token called $LOOKS which you can earn every time you buy or sell an NFT. You can also earn $LOOKS by staking or providing liquidity to the $LOOKS-ETH pair on Uniswap V2. LooksRare states that 75% of all total tokens are distributed to community members through airdrops, bounties and voting rights. On top of that, all revenues are decentralized as 100% of the total trading fees are earned by staking.LooksRare does not store any personal information on the website and instead allows users to connect directly with their crypto wallets. The platform also takes customer support and security seriously and they offer a bug bounty program on ImmuneFi, hoping to encourage developers to spot any possible vulnerabilities. Using the Ethereum blockchain, LooksRare features popular collections such as Bored Ape yacht Club and CryptoPunks and is known as the top community-first NFT marketplace out there.
As the NFT space grows, more and more competitive NFT marketplaces are emerging. A few other notable marketplaces which also deserve a spot on our list include Magic Eden, a popular Solana NFT marketplace, SuperRare, which brings more of an art gallery attitude to the NFT space, prioritizing credibility and artistic intent above meme-friendly art and Nifty Gateway, a platform which focuses on rare and ‘premium’ NFT drops.
That’s all for today, we hope this article has been helpful!