NFTs have exploded in popularity in 2021, and thousands have rushed to invest in fear of missing out. The NFT craze has attracted thousands including, influential figures and big companies.
This has seen millions of dollars dropped on NFTs and many creators cashing in on their artwork. Others are making money by investing in early projects before they explode, and others are making thousands in profit flipping NFTs.
However, to buy or trade NFTs, you need to use an NFT marketplace. Luckily, the craze in the NFT space has led to a myriad of marketplaces, all of which offer unique experiences and features.
In this post, we cover some of the best NFT marketplaces to help you decide what to use.
Started in 2017, OpenSea has risen to be the most popular marketplace with an all-time trading volume of $12.63B to date, according to DappRaddar. Buyers and sellers can trade in a variety of items including, art, music, collectibles, utility, domain names, trading cards, and much more.
The site features an intuitive user interface, and you only need to connect your wallet to buy or sell an NFT. Supported wallets include MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, WalletConnect, and Formatic.
To buy an NFT, browse through the collections and once you find something you like, put an offer, place a bid or buy instantly through the Buy Now Button.
OpenSea supports two blockchains, Ethereum and Polygon. Polygon allows creators and buyers to mint and trade NFTs without expensive gas fees synonymous with Ethereum during network overloads.
OpenSea takes 2.5% of every transaction on the marketplace.
Rarible is another popular marketplace on Ethereum with a trading volume of 278.31M so far. Its user interface is easy to use and similar to other marketplaces like OpenSea. It features a variety of items including, collectibles, art, videos, and much more.
Rarible has its own token, $RARI – Rarible Protocol DAO Governance Token. As of now, 41,250 $RARI tokens are rewarded weekly to applications building on Rarible Protocol (including Rarible.com) and buyers and sellers, proportional to sales volumes.
Supported blockchains include Ethereum, Tezos, and Flow Blockchain.
Rarible also has a Mint-free option via the lazy-minting feature. This means when a creator uploads an NFT, it is listed on the marketplace but stored on decentralized storage and not on the blockchain.
The NFT is only minted to the blockchain once a buyer buys the NFT. The buyer pays the gas fees during minting.
Supported wallets include Metamask, Torus, Blockto, Mobile Wallet, Portis, Coinbase, MyEtherWallet, and Fortmatic. Buyers can also directly buy NFTs by transacting with credit or debit cards.
Rarible takes 2.5% of every sale or purchase.
Mintable is a project backed by Mark Cuban. Although not popular and big with sales like others on this list, the marketplace is picking up. It features NFTs such as artworks, photographs, videos, utilities, and much more.
It supports free minting with a gasless minting feature for creators. This means an NFT is minted only when the token is sold. The buyer pays the minting fees.
Mintable supports and recommends the Metamask Wallet.
- Axie Marketplace
Axie is a marketplace for the NFT game, Axie Infinity Video Game. It boasts of a trading volume of $3.72 Billion. The game uses a play-to-earn feature where players buy Axies, monster-like in-game characters, used to compete in battles and win crypto tokens.
Players can also breed more Axies to create stronger teams and potentially win more battles or sell such Axies on the marketplace.
One of the most expensive Axies sold for just over $800K.
The game runs on Ethereum and a side chain, Ronin, to minimize delays and eliminate high transaction fees synonymous with Ethereum blockchain.
If you wish to play, you need a Ronin Wallet and Metramask. You would then deposit ETH to your Ronin wallet and buy a minimum of 3 Axies to create your team, which you can battle with in-game.
SuperRare identifies as a curated marketplace for art. The platform aims to create a community that emphasizes appreciating and collecting unique digital artworks.
Artists are required to submit their pieces for approval, after which they are listed if approved. Some of the site’s features include exhibitions, projects, and special releases.
To join, users would need to create an account by signing up and then link their Metamask Wallet or Formatic to start bidding on artworks.
- Nifty Gateway
Nifty Gateway is another highly curated marketplace. Acquired by Crypto Exchange, Gemini, in 2019, the marketplace has since hosted some of the most high-value NFT purchases.
One of them is Beeple’s artwork, Crossroads, which sold for $6.6 million in February. The original buyer bought it for $66,666.66 and flipped it for $6.6M.
By May 2021, the platform had more than $300M in Gross Merchandise Value.
The marketplace features curated NFT drops, verified drops, and a marketplace for unverified artists.
To buy and sell on Nifty Gateway, you have to sign up for an account, and then load your account through a credit or debit card or by depositing Ethereum to a deposit address.
However, the site will be launching an option to buy and sell artwork directly from your Ethereum Wallet in January 2022. The feature, known as the wallet-to-wallet feature, promises low gas fees for buyers and sellers.
Foundation boasts of a total trading volume of $115 million at the time of writing. It’s a platform that aims to be a “creative economy—a world where creators can use the Ethereum blockchain to value their work in entirely new ways, and build stronger connections with their supporters.”
Popular sales on the platform include Edward Snowden’s NFT sold for $5.4 million and Nyan Cat, a popular meme from the early 2010s which sold for 300 ETH, $500,000 at the time.
Foundation supports Metamask and WalletConnect which allows users to connect to other wallets. Once a wallet is connected successfully users can buy NFTs by placing bids on timed auctions.
- Immutable X
Immutable X is a newer marketplace created in collaboration between Startware and Immutable. The marketplace uses its own layer 2 protocol that is much faster and reliable but still relies on the strong security features of Ethereum.
Buyers and sellers on Immutable X enjoy zero gas fees, the ability to set custom trading fees, users keep their private keys, and single and bulk minting.
Trading NFTs on the marketplace is simple. You just need to connect your Metamask wallet and you’re free to trade.
- NBA Top Shot
NBA Top Shot is a collaboration between Dapper Labs and the National Basketball Association (NBA). The marketplace specializes in digital cards representing NBA players, teams, and moments.
The project has proved popular, with basketball fans rushing to scoop up packs of their favorite players and play on the court. At the time of writing the marketplace boasts a total volume of $746.23M.
One of the top sales is a video clip of LeBron James’s “Cosmic” Dunk that sold for $208,000.
The NBA Top Shot site features a friendly user interface and an easy purchase process. Users would need to create an account, either by inserting their email, password or through their existing Google Account. After a few verification processes, buyers can purchase their favorite packs and pay with an existing wallet, Flow Wallet, Dapper balance, or credit card.
Cryptopunks is one of the earliest NFT collections. Created in 2017 by Larva Labs founders, Matt Hall and John Watkinson, they were initially offered for free but to get your hands on one right now, you have to buy one and they are not cheap.
The cheapest would cost you a hefty 72.99 eth or $317.31K. To buy one, you will need to go to the for sale section of the Cryptopunks site, connect your Metamask wallet and place a bid.
Alongside the explosion in popularity of NFTs, virtual reality has been one of the main talking points in the NFT space.
Decentraland is a virtual universe built on Ethereum and offers virtual parcels of land. It has attracted a trading volume of $67.47M to date.
The platform allows users to create, explore and monetize assets in the virtual world. Players can also take part in events, create artworks and other digital items such as avatars, and trade them in the marketplace.
Decentraland has its own currency, MANA, required to purchase virtual parcels of land.
Parcels of land can be purchased on OpenSea or Decentraland’s marketplace. The Metamask wallet is recommended.
Solanart is a marketplace that runs on Solana, a rival blockchain to Ethereum. Several collections have proved popular on the marketplace, with Degenerate Ape Academy, Aurory, and SolPunks trading for millions of dollars.
At the time of writing, Solanart boasts of a trading volume of $572.15M.
The marketplace offers curated NFT collections, so a limited number are available for purchase. To trade NFTs on Solanart, you need to connect the site to a Solana wallet. The most popular is Phantom, and others are Clover, Sollet, Slope, Solflare, Ledger, and Mathwallet.
The next step would be to browse the marketplace for an NFT and buy or place a bid once you find what you like.
Written by Edmond K.