NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are the new buzz in the crypto market. The NFT market grew by 299% in 2020. This has drawn a lot of attention and the market activity has increased significantly. Recently an Indian-born blockchain entrepreneur, programmer, and crypto enthusiast Vignesh Sundaresan (Metakovan), who is based out of Singapore bought a digital art created by artist Beeple - “Everyday: The First 5000 Days” in a whopping $69.3 million bid and made the history.
Bidding for the virtual collage of 5,000 images, which is the first purely digital NFT-based artwork ever sold by a major auction house, had started at $100 before the price skyrocketed. After this, there has been a continuous push in the NFT market and many startups, venture funds, and marketplaces are coming into the NFT domain.
An NFT uses the same blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies to turn anything from art to sports trading cards into virtual collector’s items that cannot be duplicated. NFTs are digital crypto assets. However, they are very different from cryptocurrencies. All cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.) are fungible, which means they can be broken down into smaller chunks but NFTs are nonfungible means they can not be broken down or duplicated which makes them unique for artists and art lovers.
NFTs are also used as collectible and in-game purchases. Currently, these are the most popular types of NFTs, since it adds a whole new level to the gaming experience. Players are now able to have rights to certain characters or objects within a game, adding a new paradigm to the gaming industry.
Top 5 NFT Marketplace in 2021
There are millions of NFTs and hundreds of NFT marketplaces and projects that exist as of today and it is growing very fast. Below I have mentioned the 10 most popular NFT marketplaces as per my research, however, we recommend you do your own research before trying out any of the platforms.
OpenSea was launched in late 2017, is one of the largest NFT marketplaces. It was the first decentralized non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace for buying, selling, and trading NFTs.
OpenSea allows you to trade all sorts of unique digital items at the platform. Its platform hosts digital art, collectibles, game items, domain names, even digital representations of physical assets. Basically, it is like an eBay for NFTs with innumerable assets organized into hundreds of categories.
Since its inception, OpenSea has experienced significant growth. It has over 20 thousand users now. Some of the big-name players expressing interest in the space have been Mark Cuban, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Chamath Palihapitiya have recently expressed interest in the space. Moreover, Logan Paul, a famous YouTuber, announced the launch of his first NFT on Twitter, which went on to net him over $3.5 million.
OpenSea houses over 4 million+ digital assets, 135+ Dapps, and 4,000 ETH in monthly volume. OpenSea had raised a $23 million round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from a laundry list of angels and firms including Naval Ravikant, Mark Cuban, Alexis Ohanian, Dylan Field, and Linda Xie in march this year.
Rarible is a Moscow-based NFT platform that was launched in early 2020 by Alex Salnikov and Alexei Falin. Fundamentally, it is a digital NTF marketplace focusing on art assets. In precise, it includes a marketplace for users to trade various digital collectibles or NFTs.
Rarible can also be used to create “minting” NFTs (The process of tokenizing your work and creating an NFT is called minting). This is a great deal for various content creators as they can now sell creations, such as books, music albums, movies, etc. as NFTs
Moreover, the artist might choose to then offer buyers a sneak peek of the content – a preview, trailer, or snippet – but release the full content only when a person purchases the relevant NFT. This has opened up amazing opportunities for young talent and upcoming artists. It has thus reached a tally of over 24 thousand users.
In one of the biggest deals, Linsey Lohan launched her own profile on Rarible, selling her own creation ‘Bitcoin Lightning’ for just over $50,000. People trading art on Rarible earn some of the 75,000 RARI tokens which are distributed weekly, to encourage activity.
One of the most important aspects is that Rarible is placing a significant emphasis on creating a totally autonomous platform driven by community governance. Perhaps most notably, Rarible is also placing all its bets on creating an entirely autonomous platform, run through a community governance model. It is now shifting heavily towards a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), which will make the users in charge of all the decisions of the platform. This means Rarible’s RARI governance token is crucial.
The total incoming volume on the platform is over $9.92 Million.
SuperRare, launched in 2017, is a marketplace to collect and trade unique, single-edition digital artworks. Each artwork is authentically created by an artist in the network and tokenized as a crypto-collectible digital item that you can own and trade.
You can think of SuperRare like Instagram meets Christie’s. A new way to interact with art, culture, and collecting on the internet!
With the help of the Ethereum blockchain, the entire history and origin of an art piece can be tracked. No one controls it and anyone can access it. The Superrare platform enables artists to create a piece of art and tokenize it. This means it’s not just a token but, the new digital art is forever linked with a Nun-Fungible Token. This special Ethereum token is thus as unique as the art itself.
Superrare NFT Marketplace also allows the original creator of the art to collect a fee from resales, just like royalty. Every time the NFT is sold, the creators earn a piece of it. Since the fees are accumulated as a function of the smart contract code, it guarantees an automatic royalty for an art, long after an artist leaves the possession.
All Superrare transactions are made through Ether, so you must buy them to use the platform. The users can connect with the platform using MetaMask.
The platform currently has 750 users with an incoming volume of over $2.93 Million.
4. Nifty Gateway
Nifty Gateway was Launched in 2018. It allows you to buy crypto collectibles (“Nifties” as they call it) instantly using a credit card. The platform facilitates nifty purchases for some of today’s most popular crypto-games and applications, including CryptoKitties and Gods Unchained.
Buying a nifty on the platform is as simple as buying a baseball from a store. Go to the marketplace, pick a nifty, enter your credit card info, and hit purchase. You’re done!
You can also choose where you want to keep this nifty, whether you need to send it to your Metamask wallet or your Nifty Gateway account.
Nifty Gateway was built by The Cock Foster Twins, but two other twins (albeit a bit more famous) came along and acquired it from them. Tyler and Cameron, the Winklevoss twins who Launched Gemini, and of course took their hefty lawsuit winnings from Zuckerberg. Their involvement helped turn Nifty Gateway into the center for digital art that it is today.
A lot of the focus has been on NBA Top Shot, but there is a new player in the market - Sorare, the next NFT sports platform that is exploding right now. If Proper Football, sports cards, fantasy sports, or FIFA Ultimate Team are your jam, this is the NFT platform for you.
Sorare is a Football (Soccer) NFT platform blending licensed Digital Collectibles with the gamification and reward potential of Fantasy Sports, all built on Ethereum blockchain.
Where NBA Top Shot purely focuses on collectibility in typical sports card fashion, Sorare changes the game, allowing users to not only build their sports card collection but become ‘managers’ and use their cards to compete each week for rewards and prizes.
For example, this Kylian Mbappé unique sold for $65.6k (on November 29th, 2020), but should actually reward the buyer for 10 + years based on Mbappé becoming one of the world’s best players and therefore helping return healthy in-game rewards, as well as accumulating stored value based on scarcity as per the world of NFT’s.
Each Sorare card holds the same attributes as other NFT assets; the token cannot be copied or taken away from your possession.
Sorare already has official licenses with 126 clubs including the likes of Liverpool FC, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Juventus, and are adding more all the time, meaning you can buy some of the world’s best and most recognizable players straight away on the platform!
Sales momentum is growing. In the past week, it hit over $1.8m in volume, but compared to NBA Top Shot which hit a sales volume of $17m in the last 24 hours alone (according to cryptoslam.io), the hype for Sorare is only just beginning, and the potential is huge.
There have been some pretty impressive sales on Sorare recently, including a Cristiano Ronaldo Unique card selling for $102k.