SuperRare (home of the SuperRare token) is the exclusive crypto-art marketplace that many digital artists aspire to be a part of. Describing themselves as ‘Instagram meets Christie’s’, SuperRare is home to some of the most noteworthy NFT artists.
Ultimately, SuperRare is a platform through which you can sell and collect digital artwork. With highly sought-after artists and a growing community of collectors, the platform is a way to interact with art, curating, and collecting. On why they have created a social network for Crypto-art, the founders state:
We think collecting is inherently social. Since digital collectibles have a transparent record of ownership, they’re perfect for a social environment. The social layer can make it easier to assess value and other context around items in the marketplace. Also, it’s more fun!
The marketplace itself began as a centralized platform, with the core team evaluating artists and selecting a special few to feature in their curation. However, the platform has now joined the majority of the NFT community in taking a decentralized approach to their work. So, a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) formed of creatives and collectors who hold the RARE governance token is now set to lead the platform.
Let’s take a deep dive into SuperRare. Read on to discover all you need to know about the fine art marketplace.
What is the SuperRare NFT Marketplace?
SuperRare is an ultra-exclusive online crypto-art marketplace on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform has earned a reputation of being up-market, with only the most prominent and popular up-and-coming artists being featured.
The prestigious platform launched in 2018 and it focuses solely on art NFTs. Therefore– unlike many other NFT marketplaces–this platform is not home to digital gaming assets, music NFTs or Web3 domains. With a wide range of artistic styles, SuperRare boasts everything from conceptual art, to illustrations, to photography NFTs. The NFT file can exist as a still image, 3D artwork, video, or GIF file.
For the first three years of its existence, it acted using a centralized model. So, Artists who wanted to list their work on the platform entered using a submission. Then, the SuperRare Labs team reviewed the submission. Each entry had to be completely original, created by the account applicant, and not minted anywhere else. Therefore, each art piece listed on SuperRare was incredibly unique. Now, in an effort to join the decentralization of the Web3 world, SuperRare has introduced its RARE token. This token gives owners governance over the platform processes, including artist selection.
Who is behind SuperRare and where are they based?
SuperRare was co-founded by Charles Crain, John Crain, and Jonathan Perkins in 2018. The team also founded Pixura, the base technology used to run SuperRare. Importantly, John Crain is also a former product engineer at Web3 company ConsenSys.
The small team of art lovers explored the idea for six months before launching on April 4th, 2018. Speaking on the platform beginnings, the team said:
We started building SuperRare in late 2017– three friends working out of a coffee shop in Brooklyn with the dream of building a new art market designed for the digital age. The idea was simple but powerful: What if we could use NFTs as a way to authenticate and certify digital art? If this was possible, we had the potential to create an open and transparent global market for digital art that anyone in the world could access.
However, aside from the team, there are also several important investors. These include Mark Cuban, Samsung Next, and Ashton Kutcher. In addition to the executives and investors, SuperRare also has a community of collectors and creatives who look after governance.
The company headquarters are based in the Greater Philadelphia Area, East Coast, Southern USA.
How Many Top artists are on the platform?
With their focus on fine-art NFTs, SuperRare is home to the best of the best. While we cannot say with certainty how many artists use the platform, we can say it is less than 7500. This is because when the RARE tokens were distributed to artists, collectors, and curators, there were just 7500 token holders.
As the level of entry is so high, most SuperRare artists’ work is highly valued. In fact, artists Don Diablo, Kevin McCoy, and XCOPY have all sold NFTs on the platform for more than $1 million each.
Of all the artists on the crypto-art platform, XCOPY sits high above the rest. Believe it or not, XCOPY has sold 222 works for an average of $228,418, generating $50,708,843 in total sales. Incredibly, that’s not including secondary sales either. The highest sale by XCOPY is a whopping $7,088,229. By comparison, the second highest sale of all time on SuperRare goes to Robbie Barrat, with a $1,094,583 sale.
Getting Accepted on SuperRare: How hard is it?
It is notoriously difficult to be accepted onto SuperRare, and some of the top performers on the platform were not accepted the first time. During the application process, the DAO will vet your application and make the ultimate decision. However, as SuperRare states on the application form, they are only onboarding a small number of artists each month. Still, they are looking to scale up the platform to meet the high demand.
How to get accepted on the most exclusive art platform
As mentioned, SuperRare has a high standard for their artists. So, before applying, it is important to solidify yourself as a crypto-artist. You can do this by creating your artwork, finding your unique identifiable style, building your portfolio, and being active in both the Twitter and SuperRare communities.
Once you have built your brand head over to complete the application process. Carefully consider your answers to the questions in the form before submitting them. Additionally, you must film a one-minute video about yourself and your art. Rather than simply stating who you are, focus on what makes you unique, and what inspires your work. Next, you must submit 3-5 of your artworks, and then tell the background behind these pieces. So, choose works that have interesting stories.
Once you have filled in your application, the rest is a waiting game. SuperRare notes that due to high demand you may not get an answer at all. Remember – this is an extremely high-level art platform. If SuperRare does not accept your application, do not let it dull your spirit. Keep working on yourself and try again in the future.
How do You Sell Art on SuperRare?
SuperRare uses the Ethereum blockchain to mint, transact, and verify NFTs listed on the platform. When a seller lists an NFT, the NFT is locked in a smart contract and does not leave the wallet until it is sold. It is the same for buyers – their funds remain secured in a smart contract once a bid is placed, only transferred if the bid is successful.
The platform mostly uses a timed-auction model. When selling a piece, you can set up a specific reserve price that bids need to meet, or you can list with no reserve and simply a start and end date. Additionally, there is also a secondary market within SuperRare, where any user can offer for any NFT they sell on the platform. Therefore, collectors can bid on your art without an auction being live.
In terms of seller fees, SuperRare takes a 15% commission on primary sales – so creators receive 85%. While this is much higher than the OpenSea fee of 2.5%, it is significantly less than the commission traditional galleries take, which sits around 25-50%. Additionally, for secondary sales, creators receive a 10% commission (royalties).
Collecting Art on SuperRare
To begin collecting work on SuperRare, you must first create your Ethereum wallet (if you do not already have one). Read our wallet guide for information on the different types of crypto wallets. Next, ensure that you have funds in your wallet. Once that is done, sign up as a SuperRare collector to create an account and connect your wallet. Finally, check out the activity feed, follow some artists, and start bidding and collecting!
SuperRare vs Opensea – Which is Better?
Although both are NFT platforms, OpenSea and SuperRare are very different. The main differences lie in the accessibility and the audience. OpenSea is a platform for everyone, while SuperRare is ultra-exclusive.
Anyone can sell on OpenSea, so it is much more accessible to artists. Therefore, there is a wider range of art and other digital collectibles, and for the most part a lower price tag. Additionally, OpenSea supports many forms of NFTs. SuperRare, however, only features crypto-art. With a strong focus on its vision and branding, SuperRare has high-caliber artists and attracts more established buyers.
For artists, if you are just starting out then you may be looking for a less-exclusive community, and you can easily sell your work on OpenSea. Additionally, OpenSea will take less in fees. On the other hand, if you are an established artist looking for an up-market audience, you may find SuperRare is the place for you. With a higher benchmark for artists, your work will likely achieve higher bids. Furthermore, with royalties already set, you earn 10% on your work any time a buyer resells your piece.
For collectors, the platform you choose depends on the type of art you are searching for. Are you looking for PFP projects, blockchain gaming, and new and upcoming NFT artists? Then OpenSea is your place. Or, are you searching for high-quality art from well-established artists? Then head on over to SuperRare.
How much revenue does SuperRare make?
SuperRare has made huge strides in the past few years. In the first year of sales, the artists on SuperRare averaged around $8000 in sales per month. In 2021, that exploded to an average of $25 million a month (an increase of 31,000%!). CoinMarketCap states that SuperRare has had over $250 million of digital art collected and over $3 million in revenue in artist royalties paid to date.
In fact, in the last 7 days alone, SuperRare sold 49 NFTs. The average price of one of these was $2.1k – so, the total sales volume in 7 days was $103.55k.
Additionally, there is the SuperRare token ‘RARE’. Data from CoinMarketCap tells us that the SuperRare token price is $0.173448, with a 24-hour trading volume of $8,480,099. There is a circulating supply of 101,756,228 RARE coins from a max supply of 1,000,000,000 RARE coins. The market cap (at the time of writing) is $17,649,383.
Where Fine Art meets NFTs
To summarize, SuperRare is a unique digital art platform catering to exceptional artists and keen-eyed collectors. In the traditional world, artists would fight for a piece of a very exclusive market, hoping to catch the eye of an influential collector or have their work displayed in a high-brow gallery. Now, these artists can go directly to the consumer. Digital art is available online, accessible to curators and collectors around the world.
Not only that, but through their work, SuperRare has created a way for buyers to collect verifiable fine art. By minting the artwork as NFTs on the blockchain, you can guarantee that this work is unique, not interchangeable, and one of a kind. While it is claimed that over 50% of the art in the world is ‘fake’, by buying on-chain you can be sure that your collection is the real deal.
With their incredible sales revenue, talented Artist base and the SuperRare token, the platform is seemingly unstoppable. So, whether a curator, creator or buyer, if you love fine art, SuperRare is the marketplace for you.