Need help choosing the best NFT Art Marketplace for your needs? Worry not- this beginner’s guide is for you!
First, let’s talk about NFTs.
An NFT is a token on the blockchain that proves ownership and confirms the scarcity of a digital asset. NFT stands for Non-Fungible token and they are both indivisible and non-interchangeable. As to how they differ from fungible currencies (like Ether or Dollars); you can not cut them in half or swap one for another. They are usually paid for in cryptocurrency and live in your digital wallet on the blockchain, although some marketplaces now take credit cards (and therefore fiat currency) too. Check out our beginner’s guide explaining NFTs for more.
Although they usually represent a digital item (such as a photo or audio file), they can represent physical items too. In the past, NFT collectors have been focused mainly on cute collectibles and small artworks. Much like the craze over Pokémon cards or figurines, collectors enjoy the novelty and scarcity of their items. Plus, they guarantee that the creator makes a profit rather than middlemen (like art galleries and agents). Many collections come with properties in the Metadata. This allows you to play games like ‘CryptoKitties’ cute cat breeding and ‘Sorare’’s 5-a-side fantasy football.
Since Christie’s sold Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 days” for $69 Million, NFTs have had lots of mainstream attention. This inspired the fine art world and many other industries to join suit. Art has pioneered the way but game items and even real estate have been traded too. Celebrities, musicians and athletes also released their own NFT Collection. Kings of Leon became the first band to release an album as an NFT worth over $2 Million.
What is an NFT Marketplace?
An NFT Marketplace is where the creation and selling of NFTs starts. Basically, these are platforms where NFTs can be stored, displayed, traded and in some cases minted or created. In order for you to transact or use an NFT Marketplace, you first need to set up a crypto wallet compatible with the blockchain network that your desired NFTs are using. Most NFTs are still on the Ethreum blockchain so you would need a MetaMask wallet. Meanwhile, you can buy NFTs on the Solana platform using Sollet.
Then, the next step is to fund your wallet. You need to have a balance before you cant mint, trade and sell NFTs. Just like in choosing the crypto wallet, the coins need to be compatible with the supported cryptocurrencies of the platform.
Once you have your crypto wallet and funds you can now set up an account on any NFT Marketplace that you want. This step usually involves linking your crypto wallet to your account. However, there are also platforms accepting credit and debit card payments.
It is worth noting that transactions in Marketplaces incur blockchain network fees called “gas fees.” The fee varies for each blockchain. For example, Ethereum has the largest ecosystem of NFT dapps however it’s also criticized for having the highest gas fees. Don’t worry though because there are also blockchain networks that boast gasless transactions like Polygon. If you want to understand gas fees more, you can check our beginner’s guide: Here’s What You Need to Know About Crypto Gas Fees and the Hidden Cost of NFTs.
What are the NFT Marketplaces in the space?
The good news is you don’t have to be famous to join the NFT trend! Whether you are a collector or an artist, you just need to pick the best NFT Art marketplace that suits your needs. The potential is endless and nowadays we have many NFT marketplaces but here are our top picks:
Rarible: Best For Those With No Coding Knowledge
Rarible is one of the most popular platforms because its simple and attractive interface has a very active following. They aim to become a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation. This means that it is a community-owned NFT Marketplace. The platform allows its users to propose and vote on any and all changes to the platform. Rarible also shares the gas fees to the buyer’s advantage – great for finding some bargains!
Arguably, the best thing about Rarible is the possibility to mint NFTs without any coding experience. The rarible standard lets you mint singles or multiples, add properties, set your commission, choose fixed-price sales and auctions. However – If you release your NFTs as ‘RARI standard tokens’ then they will be released in a generic collection rather than your own.
It may not be suitable for more serious projects, but if you are just entering the world of NFTs then Rarible is a great place to start exploring what an NFT Art Marketplace is.
OpenSea: The Cheapest for Creators on the Ethereum Network
Often called the “eBay of NFTs”- Open Sea has set its sights on dominating the marketplace competition. They were the first-ever peer-to-peer marketplace and currently, they are still the most popular. It boasts features such as lazy minting, timed auctions, reserve prices and many more.
If you’re a creator, you can sell an item for a fixed price, create a declining price listing, or make an auction listing.
Open Sea also has the largest variety of NFT content with over 700 projects: from game items to digital art. With the NFT scene growing, Open Sea even made it possible for someone to auction off their childhood home! Some of the most desirable collections have made their name on this platform. Fantasy football game Sorare has made over 41.4k ETH on Open Sea alone. In 2020 they launched their own marketplace which accepts credit card payments and cryptocurrency but you can still find many of their items on the Open Sea market place today.
Open Sea shares the burden of gas costs more equally between the creator and the buyer, allowing those on a tighter budget to create. However, that can sometimes deter buyers from splurging on cheaper pieces. Who wants to pay $80 gas costs on a $5 piece?! Despite their success on Open Sea, even Gods Unchained have now moved to Immutable X to avoid gas fees entirely.
Another downside that can’t go unmentioned, is their subpar customer service. Users report up to 3 weeks for your query to be answered and often much longer to process verification.
SuperRare- the OGs
It’s hard to mention marketplaces without mentioning SuperRare as one of the pioneers of exclusive digital art. Their focus is on ‘Single Edition artwork’ – guaranteeing scarcity of their content. They describe themselves as being like Instagram meets Christie’s, offering a new way to interact with art, culture, and collecting on the internet.
Super Rare are known to have much better customer service than their competitors and have a lot of respect from NFT artists. However with a gallery commission at 15% on the first sale and 3% after that, recently creators have been migrating to other exclusive marketplaces.
For collectors, it is a great place to find the NFT scene’s top artists including Hackatao and FewoCious. Plus, the NFT Art Marketplace have been massively successful in showcasing new creators and launching some unknown digital arts to the moon like Jasti designs.
Nifty Gateway: Best NFT marketplace for Celebrity Art and Established Creators
Nifty Gateway is the marketplace taking NFTs to the mainstream featuring drops from all of the media giants you know and love (or hate) such as Paris Hilton, Eminem, Calvin Harris and Steve Aoki. It’s a little more difficult to get verified on this platform than some of their competitors as they guarantee high-quality content. This has led to exclusive drops going for unbelievable prices.
If you’re hoping to pick up a Beeple or similar, this is where you’ll have to be – But watch out! Drops sell out fast and at incredible prices.
Foundation: The Best NFT Marketplace For Serious Art Projects
Foundation guarantees their top-quality content with a rigorous application system. It has certainly boasted the likes of some celebrities (including Aphex twin and Pussy Riot) but their main focus is on serious art projects.
Foundation relies on a community-led curation model after it invited the first 50 artists. The platform then gifted each artist two invites to share with newcomers. Artists can invite other artists they deem “worthy” of the platform but invitations are notoriously difficult to acquire, in short supply and high demand.
Fortunately, there is one other option to start creating on Foundation: The Community Upvote. Unverified artists are ranked by community votes and only the top 50 each month or so will be selected to receive fully verified accounts.
Enjin: The best for game items
With the rise of blockchain-based games, Enjin has the trade of game items covered. Imagine you could buy a sword that you can use in multiple games, and store it in an inventory on your phone…Well, now you can!
Enjin aspires to lead the way in blockchain gaming. They claim minting game items on the blockchain gives them immutable value. You can trade not only weapons but characters, achievements, real estate, NPCs and even achievements across games. Plus, with Enjin’s own ERC-20 coin, you can even share in-game currency!
How about Fees in NFT Art Marketplaces?
The most popular marketplaces for NFTs in 2021 are on the Ethereum blockchain. However, the computation needed to complete each action on the blockchain costs precious Ether – from minting, to bidding, to buying.
The Ethereum network is a victim of its own success; with heavy market congestion driving up computation fees (a.k.a. gas fees) more than 1000% in a year according to Statista. Due to this, many artists who are focused on producing affordable works have migrated to marketplaces on layer two platforms. Layer two platforms allow NFTs to be traded pretty much gas-free, opening the market to new industries. Open Sea on Matic is the first of these gas-free Ethereum Marketplaces open to creators, but Immutable X (boasting top-selling Gods Unchained) is hoping to involve other creators this year and many other platforms are following suit.
As an alternative to Ethereum blockchain which uses Proof-Of-Work consensus, Proof-of-Stake blockchains like Tezos are on the rise. PoS blockchain ensures gasless transactions and a low carbon footprint. This means that Tezos NFTs are “CleanNFTs” so creators can prioritize innovation without compromising on sustainability.
A marketplace that cannot go unmentioned is Atomic hub on WAX blockchain. It is already in use and is a firm favorite of top-selling creators including; Blockchain Heroes, Deadmau5 and Capcom’s Street Fighter.
The creators of ‘Cryptokitties’ and ‘NBA Top Shot’, Dapper Labs, have also started their own Blockchain ‘ built specifically for NFTs. It’s called Flow’ and they are planning to allow public creators this year.
Follow us to keep updated and find out about the new NFT Art Marketplaces and platforms as they launch!