Open Sea’s app follows on the heels of competitor marketplace Rarible’s mobile app release, which took place about a month ago.
It’s a timely, perhaps even overdue release, which Open Sea users have been hankering after for some time. In August, OpenSea surpassed $1 billion in monthly trading volume, so there’s no doubt that it’s ready to expand.
And despite a temporary September lull in the NFT market, the outlook is good, and greater flexibility is to be welcomed.
Mobile accessibility is a requirement, then. However, OpenSea’s release may not fully satisfy everyone’s needs, for reasons not entirely within the control of OpenSea itself.
What Can OpenSea’s Mobile App Do?
An announcement on Open Sea’s blog states what the app is for:
“You can now browse new work from your favourite artists, check what’s hot on the OpenSea rankings page, visit our help center, and read the OpenSea blog on the go.”
It all looks high quality and cleanly designed, with a smooth user experience. But what you may have noticed missing from the list of features, is the ability to buy and sell.
Upon viewing an NFT, you can share it outside of the app, but trading remains off limits on mobile.
A limitation Open Sea have to contend with is that users cannot make in-app payments in crypto. Adapting for payment in fiat might be one option. But then, Open Sea is crypto native, operating on the Ethereum blockchain.
You might reasonably argue that operating entirely in crypto is kind of the point.
And don’t forget, among all this, that both Apple and Google takes 30% cuts from their compulsory in-app purchasing systems. That’s a hefty slice, when you consider how much trade OpenSea is doing.
Time to Integrate Crypto and NFTs
Earlier this week, Apple blocked the release of a crypto wallet from Gnosis Safe, with the wallet’s capacity for NFT storage given as the reason. Reportedly, Apple said that apps offering NFTs are “not appropriate” for the store.
In contrast, regarding not NFTs, but crypto in general, was news yesterday from PayPal UK. The platform now allows its users to buy, hold and sell various cryptocurrencies.
If you’re dealing in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, or Litecoin, then a British PayPal wallet can accommodate your needs. However, payments in crypto can still not be made directly, and you’ll have to convert to fiat before buying anything.
Nonetheless, it’s a major step in what seems like an inevitable and welcome direction.
With even PayPal now friendly to crypto, it seems appropriate for app stores to get on board with integration. And if booming marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible are developing for mobile, then that means NFTs should factor in their plans.