Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are hogging the spotlight while altering how we look at assets, investments, artwork and rare collectibles. People can shop for these unique digital creations at dedicated NFT marketplaces.
Built on digital blockchain technology, NFTs are irreplaceable and unchangeable digital tokens in the form of images, audios, GIFs, 3D models, videos and much more. Additionally, NFTs can also be etched in a Metaverse, which is a self-sustaining digital universe that can house many characters and worlds.
NFT transactions are generally done in cryptocurrencies and have even got several A-list celebrities hooked. While Eminem, Amitabh Bachchan and Justin Bieber have launched their NFTs recently, luxury fashion houses like Gucci, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton have joined the hype around their digital art projects. Even auction houses like London-based Christie’s and Sotheby’s in New York have sold NFT artworks by digital creators and artists like Beeple, who made a fortune out of it.
Having said that, numerous NFTs are being sold at virtual marketplaces. These are websites that allow trading as well as NFT minting and are mostly based on the Ethereum blockchain.
Explaining the concept of NFT marketplaces, DappRadar says, “These websites facilitate a location where trade takes place and often take a percentage from the transaction for their services. Every blockchain has its NFT marketplace. Some specialise in a certain niche, others embrace every type of NFT on the market. Interacting with an NFT marketplace requires a Web3 wallet while buying (and sometimes listing) an NFT requires the base currency of the blockchain you’re working on.”
Read on to know about some of the best NFT marketplaces out there
OpenSea is one of the leading NFT marketplaces that provides a platform for creators to list their NFTs for sale and buyers or collectors to choose from its unfathomable collection.
Based on the Ethereum blockchain, OpenSea is an NFT platform that offers a simple and secured trading experience. So much so that its success made its co-founders, Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah, the first NFT billionaires in early January 2022. To date, the marketplace boasts over 80 million NFTs.
Anyone who wants to mint their own NFTs can do so as the marketplace offers a huge support by accepting over 150 different payment tokens, though Ethereum (ETH) remains the main one. Wiping out most of its competitors, OpenSea has a massive market advantage for its sheer trading volume and collection. It alone recorded mammoth trading of USD 10 billion since its launch in 2017. With huge fundings, celebrity clientele and numerous NFTs to choose from, a collector might feel like a child lost in a candy store.
The official OpenSea website reads, “A core part of our vision is that open protocols like Ethereum and interoperable standards like ERC-721 and ERC-1155 will enable vibrant new economies. We’re building tools that allow consumers to trade their items freely, creators to launch new digital works, and developers to build rich, integrated marketplaces for their digital items.”
Axie Infinity is another most sought-after NFT marketplace in the gaming arena. A dedicated space for gamers of the video game by the same name, it allows players to create, buy and sell axies — game characters and other digital collectibles.
The marketplace has created a base for the gaming world through its creative and user-friendly domain. One of the top and most expensive NFT markets, its market cap goes into billions. Axie Infinity has attracted gaming and crypto-enthusiasts for its futuristic assets.
Such is its wide fanbase and dealings that the Axie marketplace also has a platform where players can interact, develop NFTs and compete with others to earn points and other collectibles, which can also be sold as NFTs.
Rarible is one of the oldest among NFT marketplaces and continues to influence the crypto space. Giving users easy minting and trading opportunities, it has an array of NFTs to buy and sell. Rarible is also known for its user-friendly interface, which is used to create NFT art.
Like OpenSea, it is also based on the Ethereum blockchain technology, but the major difference between the two is that to carry out transactions here, one has to use its own token called the RARI token.
While focusing on creating a smooth and secured crypto investment and transaction experience, Rarible has also partnered with a number of leading brands that have launched their NFTs in this marketplace. These include Taco Bell and Cloud software giant Adobe, who teamed up with Rarible to protect the works of NFT artists and creators.
Recently, the marketplace closed funding of over USD 14 million.
A marketplace for the elites, most of the NFT transactions grab instant spotlight as they begin to trend in the crypto market. Built on the Ethereum blockchain, Nifty Gateway is an art curation platform that has been instrumental in selling NFT artworks of world-famous artists like Beeple and Grimes.
Nifty Gateway is managed by the parent company and crypto exchange, Gemini, and is controlled by the Winklevoss Twins.
As per their official website, their mission is “to make NFTs accessible to everyone.” One can buy and sell NFTs on the platform as well as list and curate NFT collections. Other than this, the NFTs purchased via this marketplace are also hosted here, which means they are stored in the user’s Nifty account instead of their digital wallet.
Nifty Gateway partners with global names like artist Michael Kagan and is one platform that allows transactions in fiat currency USD.
What was initially criticised for being quite far-fetched and based on metaverse can now safely be called the game changer in the crypto world. The official website says, “Decentraland is a decentralised virtual reality platform.”
In Decentraland, a 3D traversable measurable universe called LAND, the space and all its contents are divided into parcels that are “identified by cartesian coordinates (x,y).” These parcels are permanently owned by community members and transactions can take place using MANA, Decentraland’s crypto token.
The official website of Decentraland further says, “This gives users full control over the environments and applications that they create, which can range from anything like static 3D scenes to more interactive applications or games.”
Built on the Ethereum blockchain, Decentraland’s marketplace gives a completely new experience as compared to other NFT trading platforms, as it bridges the gap between real and virtual worlds. Users can buy lands, houses and pretty much all other digital assets that one purchases in real life.
With USD 114,695,018 market cap according to CoinMarketCap as on 25 January 2022, the Decentraland marketplace is graduating to become a big name in the metaverse and revolutionising digital assets.
SuperRare owes its popularity because of its simplistic approach and extremely user-friendly interface. The marketplace is a seamless platform — like an Instagram in the NFT world — where digital artists and consumers can directly interact.
Built on the Ethereum blockchain, all transactions are done through ETH, and the marketplace charges a base fee of 3 percent of the transaction.
The official website assures the digital art exhibited on SuperRare is “authentically created by an artist in the network, and tokenized as a crypto-collectible digital item that you can own and trade.”
According to CoinMarketCap, SuperRare has a market capital of USD 45,320,906, at the time of writing this article.
BakerySwap is a prominent NFT marketplace, which is also the first automated market maker (AMM) +NFT Exchange on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Transactions are done with its own crypto coin called Bakery token or BAKE which was launched in September 2020.
The BAKE token is a native BEP-20 governance token on the platform. According to a CoinMarketCap report, “Users have the ability to earn BAKE tokens by providing liquidity on BakerySwap, and BAKE holders can use their tokens for governance voting and to receive transaction fee dividends. The BAKE rewards are offered in several liquidity pools, initially including BTC, ETH, DOT, LINK, BUSD and BAKE versus BNB.”
BakerySwap boasts a high market cap of USD 114,169,466 according to CoinMarketCap, as of 25 January 2022.
Foundation’s official website says it is a “platform that aims to build a new 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.”
It allows creators to list their artworks and auction them to collectors who can bid on them in ETH. This enables the platform to enlist all kinds of NFTs that are supported by Ethereum.
A simple, open and hassle-free NFT marketplace, Foundation has already sold NFTs worth 50,239 ETH, which translates to over USD 121, 897, 125.27 since its inception in February 2021, as of 25 January 2022.
(Main and feature image credit: Andrey Metelev/Unsplash)