NFT marketplaces are special trading platforms where users put their tokens on sale or enrich their collections. These platforms look very similar to traditional eCommerce marketplaces and allow you to range the tokens by price, type, or author, or to save the most interesting NFTs to your favourites. There are two options for NFT trading: to sell a token for a fixed price or at an auction.
In order to make the most of an NFT marketplace, you need to have a good grasping of the following;
Crypto wallet — it is important to have a wallet compatible with the marketplace. Luckily, the majority of platforms support multiple wallets. Also, keep in mind that a crypto wallet is not only for making transactions but also for storing the keys to your assets. That’s why you should choose your wallet wisely and take serious security measures, such as turning on two-factor authentication.
Cryptocurrency — your wallet should have some coins for you to be able to buy, list or mint NFTs. But first of all you need to find out what cryptocurrencies are supported by a marketplace.
User account — you can’t do anything on an NFT marketplace until you create an account. You need to connect the wallet to the platform so that you can set up the account. Once you have one, you will be allowed to participate in transactions and mint NFTs.
When you sell an NFT, you also need to pay a one-off gas fee when creating an account on a marketplace to initialise your crypto-wallet. The cost may be up to $300, depending on the marketplace. Some NFT marketplaces, like OpenSea and Rarible, offer lazy minting. There are two ways to execute lazy minting: a gas fee can be deferred until the token is sold and then the marketplace redeems the cost, or the fee is added to the price of an NFT and it is the buyer who pays it.
There are so many NFT marketplaces out there. In fact, a mind-blowing sum of $44.2 billion was spent on the NFT platforms in 2021, and there are several aspects that secured this success. Here are the different types of NFT marketplaces out there;
Multiple categories — OpenSea, Rarible, Binance NFT, Zora
- Art — Nifty Gateway, SuperRare, Foundation, KnownOrigin
- Music — Zeptagram, AirNFTs
- Sports — NBA Top Shot, Sorare
- Game assets — Axie Infinity, Venly
- Tweets — Valuables
- ASMR — xtingles
It could also be said that marketplaces fall into streamlined and augmented marketplaces. Streamlined platforms support a broader range of NFTs and offer more limited, generic services, while augmented ones primarily specialise in niche NFTs and provide a more personalised experience.
Streamlined NFT marketplaces are more flexible — they accept both credit cards and crypto payments in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other tokens. They offer minimal additional services and generally have a huge user base. OpenSea and Rarible are among the most hyped streamlined platforms.
While augmented marketplaces offer more advanced services such as minting, marketing, curation, pricing recommendations and portfolio trackers. All this entails higher transaction fees and setup costs.
What to look for when selecting a marketplace;
Digital wallet compatibility — make sure the marketplace you choose supports multiple crypto wallets and payment options, so that it is easy and convenient for you to participate in transactions.
- Security — choose an NFT marketplace that offers adequate security measures so that you are protected from fraudulent activities. This must include two-factor authentication (2FA) and advanced encryption. What’s more, a marketplace should insist that you come up with a strong and reliable password, preferably stored in a physical form, and opt for a hardware wallet.
- Intuitive navigation — it is in the best interests of an NFT marketplace to ensure that both sellers and buyers easily navigate through the many categories and collections. All the important information such as the list of available NFTs, their price, the number of bids, owners, and history must be clearly displayed.
- Gas fees — a marketplace should work towards reducing the inconvenience of gas fees: by shrinking the price, offering lazy minting, or utilizing zero gas fee protocols like Immutable X.
- Marketplace ratings — users’ reviews and platform analytics are great sources of information which you should examine before choosing an NFT marketplace. The best platforms will have all the data publicly available. You can find this information on resources such as DappRadar and Statista, or you can check the reports on the marketplaces’ sites.
- Type of marketplace — decide on your intentions — whether to collect NFTs from various categories, or to look for a specific type — and then choose from the marketplaces that best match your needs.
The most popular marketplaces as of right now are OpenSea, SuperRare, Rarible, NBA Top Shot and Foundation among others. The best thing is to do your research and look for the qualities mentioned above. Also ask advice on Discord or Twitter from other creatives who produce similar NFT projects to yourself.