Gone are the days when only stocks and equities used to be famous avenues for lucrative investments. The mid-2010s era has heralded the mighty marketplace of NFTs. This is pretty much evident by the fact that the NFT market has skyrocketed to a massive $40 billion valuation in the year 2021 as per The 2021 NFT Market Report published by Chainalysis, a significant blockchain data company. This blog, let you know how to choose the best NFT Marketplaces. Stay glued!
Thanks to the bandwagon effect, a vast majority of common folks are now interested in exploring the big virtual world of NFT markets. If you have landed upon this article, you are probably one of them. You are likely to feel bewildered regarding what might be the best NFT marketplaces for you, the key differences between leading players in the industry, and what you must keep in mind while choosing the right NFT marketplace.
Do not fret, as this article will guide you through the ins and outs of the Top 10 NFT marketplaces, their functioning, pros and cons, and further present you with some essential parameters while choosing a suitable NFT marketplace for you.
If you want to get involved in the NFT market, choose a reputable and cost-effective platform and the top NFT marketplaces for your investment needs.
But what marketplace should you choose for buying and selling NFTs efficiently and securely? Let’s find out!
What is an NFT marketplace?
Choosing a secure, cost-effective, and best NFT marketplace might seem exhaustive, but trust us, it is not. First things first, you must probably know what NFTs are. But still, in short, they are non-fungible tokens (that are non-interchangeable, unlike fiat currency) that offer you ownership of virtual collectibles such as videos, music, and artworks. NFTs exist on the innovative technology of blockchains that are incredibly secure online ledgers containing sensitive information in the form of data blocks. The same technology is used for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
And NFT marketplaces are nothing but exclusive trading platforms wherein NFT collections can be easily purchased and sold, allowing users to range the NFT tokens by price, author, or type.
How do the NFT marketplaces work?
As previously mentioned, the NFT marketplaces exist on blockchain technology that takes care of token creation and transactional immutability. As multiple data servers record, each action being performed on the blockchain, examining transaction history and tracking tokens up to their creation date becomes very convenient. All in all, this procedure ensures that at the end of it, you are purchasing original work (be it music, video, art, etc.)
Furthermore, some of the marketplaces have started requesting their users to support documentation so that the minting of an NFT asset that does not even belong to its respective creator can be prevented. This improves the reliability and transparency of the NFT marketplace.
Smart contracts determine that all transactional conditions are met while selling and purchasing on the NFT marketplaces. This leads to smoother and much more effective functioning since smart contracts automatically reject transactions that are unable to meet all the conditions.
While some NFT marketplaces accept only cryptocurrency, others accept credit cards too, and only a few others accept fiat money. You are asked to add your preferred payment method while starting out on an NFT marketplace, and some even ask you to link your crypto wallet with their database.
Some of the NFT platforms allow users to directly purchase NFT assets for a fixed price, whereas many others use the facility of auctions for the same. Upon completing your payment, the NFT marketplace would show a change of ownership after recording it on its blockchain network.
Top 10 best NFT Marketplaces of 2022
For your convenience, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the top 10 NFT marketplaces in 2022 using in-depth methodological research and data analysis.
Launched in the year 2017, OpenSea is considered to be the top NFT marketplace by users. Given its sheer trading volume of over 700 NFT projects and a vast collection of 80 million NFTs, OpenSea is inarguably the largest NFT marketplace in the world.
Being the flag-bearer for bringing NFT trading into mainstream attention, OpenSea offers a wide variety of NFTs ranging from artworks to in-game items and domain names, among others.
As of now, the transaction fees demanded by OpenSea are a mere 2.5% per sale.
Pros and Cons:
- OpenSea has a gigantic collection of NFT assets.
- It accepts a surprising 150 different cryptocurrencies making it easy for investors to deal in NFTs.
- It supports over 14 crypto wallets for transactional purposes.
- OpenSea only accepts cryptocurrencies for payments.
- A mandatory crypto wallet is required on the OpenSea platform for purchasing and selling NFTs.
- Buyers tend to pay more for cost recovery as the minting fees of OpenSea are pretty high.
- OpenSea is better than others because it was initially built on the Ethereum blockchain technology. It is now planning to collaborate with the Polygon network so that users can benefit from minimal gas fees during NFT transactions.
Landed in the market in 2020, Rarible is another finest NFT marketplace that takes pride in its community-based approach to presenting users with a vast range of NFT assets.
Thanks to Rarible’s user-friendly interface, you cannot only trade NFTs but also easily mint them. Considered a one-of-its-kind NFT marketplace, Rarible supports three different blockchain networks; Ethereum, Tezos, and Flow offering the utmost convenience to the users for dealing in and minting NFTs from either of their preferable blockchain platforms.
For those starting NFT minting, Rarible asks you to pay the wallet linking permission fees and the fees for uploading your file on the blockchain network of Ethereum. These fees range from $100 to $300. However, you would only have to pay the gas fees when minting NFTs for the second time.
Rarible is one of the few popular NFT marketplaces charging a 2.5% fee from both sellers and buyers.
Pros and Cons:
- Rarible lets you modify the price of an already created NFT collectible for free at any time.
- It allows you to connect your already existing wallet on either of the platforms; Coinbase, Torus, Fortmatic, MyEtherWallet, Wallet Connect, or Portis.
- Creating a wallet on Rarible’s marketplace is an exhaustive process.
- Rarible does not allow deposits and withdrawals without an ETH crypto wallet.
- What makes Rarible better than its competitors and perhaps one of the notable NFT platforms is its reward mechanism wherein the NFT buyers and sellers get Rari tokens that endow them with voting rights on Rewards NFT sellers and buyers with Rari token, Rarible’s native token that provides holders with voting rights on propositions that affect the functioning and power structure of the marketplace.
Comprising 10,000 unique profile pictures of pixelated avatars, Crypto Punks was launched in 2017 and has now garnered a cult status among NFT enthusiasts and collectors who consider it one of the best NFT marketplaces ruling the digital space. Developed by Larva Labs, CryptoPunks is inspired by the CryptoArt movement and functions on the Ethereum blockchain technology.
Every portrait’s display page contains relevant information in a very detailed manner, that includes its ownership history, sale status, any current auction bids, and its SHA256 hash score.
While earlier punks could be bought for free by just paying the nominal Ethereum gas fees, now the gas fees are over $100 for just one single transaction.
CryptoPunks charges no fees for transactions or listing.
Pros and Cons:
- The rarer punk portraits available on the CryptoPunks marketplace lead to very lucrative returns on investment.
- The marketplace runs on its own without any human intervention, thus ensuring that virtually no one could steal from CryptoPunks users.
- Developers cannot fix any future bugs on the platform due to the fact that it runs on its own.
- It exclusively asks for payment through Mist or MetaMask wallets.
- CryptoPunks’ built-in rarity factor makes it stand apart from the other top-drawer NFT marketplaces. There are specific traits of the avatars that are available in just a few numbers, making them rare and thus, increasing their price and subsequent market demand.
4. Nifty Gateway
Launched by the popular cryptocurrency exchange platform Gemini in 2018. Nifty Gateway boasts of an extensively organized selection of NFTs with the line-up of renowned artists such as Eminem and the Weekend while also dropping from independent creators.
Nifty Gateway is inarguably one of the industry’s most esteemed NFT marketplace. It is known to turn heads thanks to its multimillion-dollar transactions and highly anticipated tri-weekly drops.
Nifty Gateway asks for a 5% fee from each NFT’s seller alongside a transaction fee of $0.30.
Pros and Cons:
- Nifty Gateway is known for its extremely aesthetic collection of exclusive artists and abstract art.
- It carefully examines its NFT artists and invites only the cream of the crop to its platform.
- As of now, only US-based banks can avail of the withdrawal services, while others need to have a Gemini account. This seems to be a hassle for international users.
- You got to have ETH for purchasing NFTs on Nifty Gateway.
- Nifty Gateway was a victim of the 2021 “NFT heist” that did not leave even the choicest NFT marketplace. This led to serious concerns about Nifty Gateway’s security framework.
- While Nifty Gateway’s Android app does nothing more than just display NFT, it does not have an iOS app.
- What makes Nifty Gateway better than its rivals is the fact that it accepts fiat payments alongside debit and credit card transactions.
Solanart is one of the top NFT marketplaces that has recently entered the virtual world. Launched and developed in 2021 by the Solana blockchain network, Solanart allows the sale, purchase, and minting of Solana blockchain-based NFT assets.
Despite the fresh start in the digital space, Solanart generated a massive $500 million total trading volume.
Solanart demands a transaction fee of 3% of the selling price per NFT sale and purchase.
Pros and Cons:
- Given its transactional speed of tens of thousands per second, Solanart is much superior to Ethereum-based NFT marketplaces supporting only 13 transactions per second.
- Solanart creators can determine their royalty fees for every asset of their NFT collections existing on the platform.
- As only a small community of users support Solana, its track record is not as impressive as that of Ethereum. Moreover, the Solana Group recently announced an ‘intermittent instability’ with their blockchain technology, leading to grave concerns amongst its users.
- Many cryptocurrencies have an upper cap on the production of a total number of their respective crypto coins for regulating market inflation. Solana’s inflation rate is anticipated to decline by 15% every year and does not have any upper cap.
- Unlike other major NFT marketplaces, Solana is significantly less energy-intensive when it comes to its Proof of Stake (PoS) and Proof of History (PoH) verification processes, thus making Solanart much more environment-friendly.
6. Binance NFT
Launched in 2021 by the top-rated Binance Smart Chain network, Binance NFT allows its users to purchase and sell all kinds of NFT collectibles and digital artworks. Given the prestige, reliance, stability, and popularity of the top-notch crypto exchange platform- Binance, this NFT marketplace is a favorite among NFT creators, collectors, and artists.
With a beginner-friendly navigation and execution process, Binance NFT is famous for containing mystery NFTs in its listing and trading of Mystery Boxes. Moreover, it offers its massive base of users with some really rare and limited edition gaming NFTs, easily making Binance NFT one of the prominent NFT platforms across the globe.
Binance NFT charges a mere 1% fee for all trading transactions.
Pros and Cons:
- Creating and verifying your NFT account on Binance NFT is free and convenient. Moreover, this account can be used in the entire Binance digital ecosystem.
- Binance NFT takes pride in having some of the lowest transaction and minting fees in the digital space.
- Some NFT creators may face an issue with Binance NFT as its minting permissions are considered more regulatory than other NFT marketplaces.
- As Binance NFT is considerably new to the digital market, it is yet to contain some really sought-after and rare NFT collectibles.
- Contrary to the nearly 10% of royalties offered by some of the NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea, Binance NFT gives only 1% royalties to its creators.
- Thanks to its integration with the extremely secure, safe, and superior Binance ecosystem, the Binance NFT marketplace is better than some other players on this list.
An Ethereum-based NFT marketplace launched in 2018; Mintable is a cult favorite in the digital space allowing distribution, creation, sale, and purchase of a massive variety of NFT collectibles.
Deemed one of the notable NFT marketplaces, Mintable users can conveniently turn their digital content into NFTs for listing them in auctions and sales. One can either create NFTs on Mintable’s store or their own store, which cannot be accessed by anyone else.
Considered one of the most sought-after NFT marketplaces, Mintable takes pride in offering gas-free minting technology. This proves to be a boon for those creators who wish to avoid heavily charged gas fees for creating NFTs.
Mintable charges transaction fees of 10% on printable items, 5% on gasless items, and 2.5% on other normal items.
Pros and Cons:
- NFT creators can fix any royalty rate as per their own choice and preference.
- If satisfied with its services, users can get access to 24/7 customer service, custom stores, and advertising tools after upgrading to Mintable Pro.
- It only supports Ethereum-based payments
- Mintable supports a very restricted number of crypto wallets
- What makes Mintable better than another high-tech NFT marketplace is its Mintable Academy, which offers educational articles about NFTs for those who are beginning their NFT journey.
Launched in the year 2018, SuperRare experiences an average monthly sales of over $25 million. Running on Ethereum, SuperRare is easily accessible and popular with its ERC-721 tokens, which are the NFTs minted on this marketplace.
SuperRare artists who are selling their artworks for the very first time on this platform receive 85% of the purchase price as 15% goes to SuperRare. And on all secondary sales, a 10% royalty payment automatically goes to the account of the respective artists.
NFT collectors have to pay a transaction fee of 3% (that goes to SuperRare) and ether gas fees (that go to the respective Ethereum blockchain miners).
Pros and Cons:
- SuperRare functions on both primary and secondary markets, which allows NFT collectors to buy first-hand collectibles from the NFT creators.
- SuperRare takes pride in its highly engaging user interface and a wide bunch of one-click features for hassle-free NFT sale, purchase, and minting.
- Due to its highly rigorous signing-up procedure for NFT creators, the verification process ends up taking days.
- Users cannot upload more than 50MB of files on the SuperRare NFT marketplace.
- What sets SuperRare apart from other players in the digital space is its provision of permitting both single and Multiple editions of an NFT asset. This allows creators and artists to mint single and multiple editions of their NFT collectibles and artworks to generate maximum profits.
A leading NFT marketplace founded in 2021, Foundation’s forte is its exclusive art drops. Known to offer 10% royalties to the creators on the generated sales, Foundation is a favorite among creators who consider it to top NFT marketplace that has entered the space recently.
Being primarily a community-driven NFT platform, Foundations lets creators quickly make connections on social media forums and message boards. Its user interface is pretty chic, making the exploration of digital art very easy for its users.
With the highest transaction fees charged by any NFT marketplace in this list, Foundation imposes a 15% service fee to the creator per transaction.
Pros and Cons:
- Functioning on primary as well as secondary markets, the sale, resale, and minting processes on Foundation are straightforward to use.
- With a captivating blog and helpful FAQs section, Foundation possesses a user-friendly customer service platform for getting things done in no time, making it a fan favorite currently.
- Apart from the Gwei (Ethereum gas fee), Foundation charges a service fee for the sale and/or resale of NFTs. To avoid this, one has to enroll in the Foundation’s premium service.
- Users can only make payments in ETH.
- Limiting the accessibility for a large bunch of investors and creators, Foundation only supports MetaMask or WalletConnect wallets.
- Unlike the readily open OpenSea and Rarible, one has to get an invitation from Foundation before they can start transaction and minting of NFTs.
Thanks to its community-centric model of signing up, Foundation maintains the trust, stability, and originality of NFTs. This makes Foundation a better option than others in the industry where overenthusiasm and scams are becoming prevalent.
10. NBA Top Shot
Are you a massive basketball freak? Then the NBA Top Shot is probably a notable NFT marketplace for you. Launched in the year 2020, you can get access to official NBA and WNBA NFT collectibles.
Created by Dapper Labs alongside the National Basketball Association, this NFT platform has gained immense popularity recently, wherein collectors and fans can sell and buy epic ‘moments’ from the game’s history.
With a concept similar to that of trading cards, NBA Top Shot gives you access to digital art (usually short videos) depicting some of the most memorable and awe-inspiring NBA moments.
While listing and delisting processes are free of cost, NBA Top Shot charges 5% transaction fees on each NFT sale.
Pros and Cons:
- As it is based on the Ethereum blockchain, the fees of NBA Top Shot are most likely to remain very low once it is opened up in a non-custodial framework.
- NBA Top Shot is an officially licensed product of the National Basketball Association with an immensely active and enthusiastic community. This would lead to more future users who are bound to possess some digital collectibles apart from their trading card collections.
- The luck factor plays a vital role in the NBA Top Shot NFT marketplace while purchasing the number of dropped packs that are dropped.
- Often, there are complaints by users regarding the slow website, unreliable servers, and hassles during the sale and purchase of packs.
- As NBA Top Shot drops packs on a daily basis, it naturally reduces the value of key moments that might arrive in the future. This platform is yet to preserve the scarcity of its NFT collectibles by balancing the available quantities of moments given the increasing number of users.
NBA Top Shot is considered better than some of the other NFT marketplaces because it has a massive mainstream appeal and yet can be used by an average NBA fan. For example, one can easily use credit and debit cards to purchase NBA moments without worrying about the complicated nature and technological intricacies of cryptocurrencies.
How To Choose The Best NFT Marketplace?
Without any delay, let’s dive deep into the parameters that you must keep in mind while choosing the right NFT marketplace for yourselves:
Security should be your top priority over anything. You must research NFT-related heists and scams and note susceptible marketplaces and vulnerable players in the digital space. Whether you are a creator or collector, having a highly secure network environment is the underlying reason behind some of the best NFT marketplaces. You should look for NFT marketplaces that offer advanced encryption methods, secure identity verification, and proper insurance for preventing fraud during transactional procedures.
ii. Supported Payment Methods
You would be clearly aware of your knowledge, convenience, and familiarity with your preferred payment method. While most NFT marketplaces require only crypto wallets, some accept fiat currencies. You should research first before delving into the marketplace and making payments in haste.
iii. Gas Fees
The choicest NFT marketplaces are known to offer relatively low gas fees, and some even cover the gas fees completely. As the number of gas fees charged affects your profits, you must consider your options when it comes to the range of gas fees the NFT marketplaces are charging.
iv. Supported Blockchains
You must ensure that you select the NFT marketplace that supports the blockchain technology you wish to use, given that blockchain networks immensely impact the minting fees of the NFT platform.
v. Advanced Search Functions
When choosing an NFT marketplace, it is crucial to have easy access to accurate and reliable data. Most of the NFT marketplaces offer much more transparency and ease of functioning with advanced search functions for finding information like specific artists, companies, and creators, along with the types of NFTs they are offering.
Frequently Asked Questions
With more than 700 different NFT projects and nearly $20 billion in revenue generation in all-time sales, OpenSea is by far the biggest and most popular NFT marketplace in the world.
This is not a yes or no question. It depends on your evaluation, analysis, research, and intuition while dealing with NFTs. You must be well-versed with the NFT terminology, follow the NFT-related news articles regularly and keep yourselves abreast of things such as rarity, pricing, company, and community behind your potential NFT targets to determine their value, return of investments, and cost-effectiveness.
Analysis reports indicated that the trading volume across all the NFT platforms surpassed $862 million in January 2022, which was more than 85% from December 2021. As apparent by this exponential rise and popularity, the NFT market is the new big thing globally.
So why should one lag behind the world and not reap the maximum benefits from investing in such a liberating, artistic and lucrative digital market space? We hope that this comprehensive guide about some of the best NFT marketplaces has proved to be fruitful in your NFT journey.