In the year 2021, the NFT market became a $40 billion industry according to Financial Times. A few NFTs made headlines due to their high value, but about 75% of sales were valued below $10,000. This means that you, as an investor, can still participate in this highly lucrative market without digging too deep into your wallet. You just need to know where to get what, and here are the 5 best NFT marketplaces you need to know.
|Blockchains||Ethereum, Polygon, Klatyn|
|NFT types||Art, collectables, music, photography, sports, metaverse, Web3 domain names, utility NFTs|
Describing itself as the ‘NFT marketplace with everything for everyone’, it’s also the biggest platform for NFTs. Since launching in 2017, it has become one of the largest marketplaces for NFTs. Thousands of NFTs have been sold on OpenSea with an aggregate of over $2 million in transaction volume traded per day.
This not only makes it the largest NFT marketplace but also one of the most valuable private companies in crypto. During the Series C round of funding on 5 January, OpenSea raised $300 million at a valuation of $13.3 billion. Thus, it’s not difficult to see why the platform has become so popular and also the best NFT app for android.
How it works
The OpenSea platform is built on the Ethereum blockchain because it supports smart contracts. However, NFTs use a different protocol, ERC-721, unlike the typical ERC-20 protocol for other tokens because the former is non-fungible. Because it’s based on Ethereum, you will need to own ETH should you wish to buy NFTs on the platform.
The good news is that signing up is very simple because OpenSea doesn’t require users to verify their identities. All you need to do is connect your wallet to the platform and transfer the funds to a seller. As long as you have an Ethereum-compatible wallet, you’re good to go. Transactions are instantaneous provided you have completed the signup process, but you will be charged for the service.
OpenSea charges a 2.5% fee for completed sales in addition to gas fees for the Ethereum network. Other blockchains such as Polygon and Klatyn are also supported, where you won’t have to pay gas fees. However, there will be a fee for transferring funds from Ethereum to Polygon or Klatyn.
Aside from buying, creators can also mint their own original NFTs on OpenSea and list them on the platform. Minting is free (except for the first listing) and you will only be charged for the sale of an NFT. That’s because the created NFT is only transferred on-chain upon the first purchase or transfer to a buyer’s best NFT wallet.
NFT types available
OpenSea is mostly known for hosting a diverse variety of NFTs making it a one-stop shop for buyers and sellers. These include digital art, music, collectables, trading cards, virtual worlds, sports, Web3 domain names and utility NFTs such as membership cards. Because of this lack of speciality, OpenSea has come to be referred to as the Amazon of NFTs.
- Well-established, recognized and with an excellent reputation
- Large selection of NFTs to buy and sell
- Renowned team of developers
- Active community and responsive customer support
- Anonymous purchases
- Best NFT app
- Insider trading (front-running) by some members of management
- High transaction fees on Ethereum for gas
|NFT||Art, collectables, gaming, metaverse|
|Official website||Binance NFT|
Binance is mainly known as the world’s most popular crypto exchange. But the company has been very innovative and included many other services. One of those services is an NFT marketplace, which we found to be just as good as the company’s other products and one of the best NFT buying platforms.
Compared to other platforms, though, the Binance NFT marketplace is relatively new to the space. It was first launched in June 2021 meaning it’s still less than a year old yet several others have been around for years. Nevertheless, the platform should be able to leverage the Binance ecosystem to rapidly gain popularity and perhaps become the best NFT marketplace sometime in the future.
How it works
Binance created its own blockchain network called Binance Smart Chain where the NFT marketplace will be hosted. These NFTs will be based on BEP-721 or BEP-1155 protocols. BEP-721 involves a single NFT while BEP-1155 involves a series of NFTs. For example, a series could be a set of multiple yet similar NFTs, but each has a unique identifier.
Compared to the more popular Ethereum, Binance Chain is more future proof because it can handle a lot more transactions. Despite plans to upgrade the Ethereum network, the Ethereum community has been slow to come to a consensus. This has delayed progress on Ethereum leaving it to lag behind while Binance Chain has been built to scale faster for handling more transactions.
To participate in the marketplace, you will need to create an account on Binance. This can be done either on desktop or mobile because the company has created a mobile app for both Android and iOS. In fact, the Binance app is the best NFT app for iPhone with a 4.7/5 rating. From your account, you can then navigate from the main dashboard to access the NFT marketplace.
You will need to have either BNB, BUSD or ETH in your account to purchase an NFT. You can purchase any of these required cryptos using fiat or other cryptos and deposit them into your Binance account. For purchases, a flat trading fee of 1% is applied; lower than that charged by OpenSea. And because Binance Chain is more scalable, transfer fees are also much lower making transactions cheaper.
Sellers are free to sell NFTs they already own or even mint original works in the form of images, audio or video. Unlike where OpenSea leaves newly minted NFTs off-chain until purchase, NFTs minted on the Binance NFT marketplace are loaded on-chain. Therefore, a 0.005 BNB fee is charged for minting each NFT on Binance Chain.
Available NFT types
If you’re looking for the best NFT to buy, this is one of the best sources you can find. Here, you can buy and sell NFTs based on art, music, collectables, metaverse and gaming items. The platform has already garnered a lot of attention that it even introduced a premium category for special NFTs.
For instance, in partnership with the State Hermitage Museum, one of the largest art museums in the world, a premium NFT Auction Collection was launched. Many other prominent figures have been featured on the platform, indicating the growing popularity.
- Low minting and trading fees
- Popular and recognized company ensuring security
- Large selection of NFT types to choose from
- Mobile trading available
- Binance account needed hence less anonymity
- Minting not available to everyone
|Blockchains||Ethereum, Flow, Tezos|
|NFT types||Art, gaming, photography, metaverses, music, domains, DeFi, memes, punks, NSFW|
Rarible has been around for nearly 2 years and in that time has grown exponentially to become one of the top NFT marketplaces today. The company now boasts of having over 2.1 million active monthly users and reached over $273 million in trading volume.
For a company with just over 100 employees, this is significant growth worth noting. We’re not the only ones who took notice since major companies like Twitter and Adobe did too. In June 2020, Twitter chose Rarible as the select NFT marketplace to launch its 140 collection – a set of 140 NFTs celebrating different Twitter activities. Then, in October, Adobe selected Rarible on its NFT attribution project. The project involves using NFTs to verify digital content created across Adobe Creative Cloud apps.
How it operates
The Rarible NFT marketplace is based on the Ethereum blockchain and uses ERC-721 and ERC-1115 tokens. The ERC-721 protocol is meant for individual NFTs while ERC-1115 is meant for NFT collections, though each piece in the collection remains unique.
Toward the end of 2021, the platform also integrated Flow and Tezos blockchains to become a multi-chain platform. Integrating Flow and Tezos makes trading and minting of NFTs cheaper since these blockchains have fewer fees. At the same time, Rarible is engaged in a carbon offset campaign, so using PoS blockchains such as these reduces the carbon footprint.
Another part of the Rarible appeal is its ease of use thanks to a simple user interface and streamlined experience. Navigating the marketplace is easy and you can use various filters to find the best NFT projects you’re looking for. An iPhone mobile app was also released in 2020 for a seamless experience whether you’re at your desk or on the go.
When trading NFTs, a 2.5% fee will be charged for each transaction. So, if you, say, buy an NFT for 0.025 ETH, the seller will actually receive 0.024375 ETH. Fortunately, it’s easy to make purchases even using fiat because of Rarible’s partnership with Wert, a payment solutions provider for NFTs and DeFi.
Creators can also mint original NFTs on any of the supported blockchains. Naturally, Ethereum has the highest minting fees compared to Flow and Tezos. As a creator, you can choose whether to cover the minting fees or pass it on to the buyer. That being said, the most important thing is that you mint using the blockchain that you anticipate your buyers use most frequently. To lower minting fees, earn RARI – the platform’s native token – and use it to get discounts.
Available NFT types
There is a wide range of NFT types to trade on Rarible. One standout advantage of this particular platform is that you can find rare, unique NFTs as its name suggests. Therefore, you can find the best NFT to invest in with a little digging.
Among the NFT types available are digital art and photography, gaming, virtual worlds and entertainment. One example is Aavegotchi, one of the best NFT games where players earn for playing. By the end of the year, in just 3 months, $1 million had been made in secondary sales, proving how successful the project was.
- Purchases can be made by credit card
- Huge selection of NFTs
- Strong team of developers and active community
- Multi-chain platform
- Community participation using RARI
- Average trading fees
- Only lists NFTs minted from the platform
|NFT types||Art, photography|
Where other NFT marketplaces try to accommodate as many NFT types as possible, SuperRare does the opposite. Here, you will only find digital art for sale and no other type of NFT. The company further doubles down by being highly selective with every submission being critically reviewed by editors before being listed.
Reportedly, only 1% of applications from artists are accepted and listed. As a result, SuperRare has achieved exactly what it intended – listing only super-rare artworks. The upside to this is scarcity which limits supply and increases demand, pushing the prices of art pieces higher. It’s no wonder, then, that the average price of NFTs on the platform has been nearly $10,000 in the past week. So, you can be certain only the best NFT art is listed on the platform.
Since its inception in 2018, $128 million has been earned by artists and an additional $84 million in secondary sales. Thus, for both artists and collectors, it’s perhaps the best NFT art marketplace.
How it works
The SuperRare NFT marketplace is entirely built on the Ethereum blockchain and doesn’t support other blockchains. When you visit the platform, you will enjoy an art gallery feel that is similar to that of a high-end physical art gallery or museum. It’s a really well-designed platform made easy to navigate and select NFTs using different filters.
When you buy any piece, a 3% transaction fee is charged in addition to gas fees for using the Ethereum network. Meanwhile, the platform receives a 15% art gallery commission from the sale of the piece but the artist earns a 10% royalty on all future secondary sales. This makes the platform the best NFT art website for artists who wish to earn passive income on their work.
So far, no mobile app has been developed for SuperRare, but the company is currently seeking an iOS engineer as you can see from the picture above. With this continuing growth, SuperRare will continue to exhibit the best NFT art especially now that it’s receiving funds from prominent investors such as Mark Cuban, Ashton Kutcher, Marc Benioff and even Samsung Next.
- Rare, curated artworks
- Well-designed gallery look
- Excellent editorial blog
- Very few applications accepted
- High transaction fees
|Blockchains||Ethereum, backed by Gemini|
|NFT types||Art, curated drops|
|Official website||Nifty Gateway|
Nifty Gateway is known for headline-making sales such as Beeple’s Everydays that sold for $69 million in March 2021. More recently, Pak’s The Merge, was also listed on the platform and sold for $91.8 million, breaking the record for the most expensive NFT. However, this latter sale was made in 266,445 shares to 28,000 buyers.
It is headlines such as these that drove NFT sales between May 2020 and November 2021 to $408.8 million according to Statista. Launched in 2018, it was acquired by Gemini Exchange in June 2019 and continues to be a part of the popular crypto exchange. And it has continued to make exclusive partnerships including with the auction house Sotheby’s in March 2021.
How it operates
For the most part, Nifty Gateway operates in much the same way as SuperRare in that the platform is centralised. This means that all artwork is curated by the company rather than allowing the process to be completely decentralised. If an artist wishes to mint and issue an NFT on the platform, they must go through a thorough application and interview process.
Like in the case of SuperRare, this means that all listed artwork is of the highest quality hence the high prices they fetch. Nifty Gateway creates additional hype for NFT listings through NFT drops. Often times, highly anticipated pieces are snatched up as soon as they are dropped so collectors are usually on the prowl for any new drops.
To maintain its position as the best NFT auction site and deter buyers from using bots, Nifty Gateway has introduced several innovative features. For instance, silent auctions are done using blind bids while drawings randomly select potential buyers from a list of interested collectors.
- Artists receive royalties on all subsequent secondary sales
- NFTs can be bought using fiat
- Curated, high quality artwork available
- Dominated by celebrity artists
- High transaction fees