While OpenSea has historically led the NFT market, various additional platforms for buying and selling NFTs are gaining popularity. During the technology’s 2021 boom, OpenSea became the go-to NFT marketplace. The platform’s expensive fees, centralized approach, and recent listing troubles, on the other hand, have prompted collectors to seek for alternate avenues for purchasing and selling non-fungibles.
OpenSea and NFTs

The growth of NFTs is synonymous with the rise of OpenSea.

OpenSea, which debuted in December 2017, was the first open marketplace for Ethereum-based NFTs. Over the following three years, OpenSea discreetly built its platform, catering to the few blockchain enthusiasts who were surviving the crypto bear market by trading CryptoKitties and MoonCats, two classic NFTs projects that were among the first collections traded on OpenSea

While OpenSea had discovered its niche, it wasn’t until January 2021 that the platform began to fulfill its full potential. NFTs swiftly acquired popularity and reputation in both the crypto and mainstream sectors, thanks to high-profile NFT sales such as Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5,000 Days and the introduction of NFT avatar collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club. Between January and February 2021, OpenSea’s revenue increased tenfold, but this was just a taste of what was to follow.

OpenSea’s income increased during the rest of 2021. According to Token Terminal statistics, OpenSea’s current income for January 2022 is $440 million, making it the marketplace’s highest month ever. With an estimated 90% market dominance of NFT trading venues, OpenSea was valued at $13.3 billion in a financing spearheaded by venture capital behemoths Paradigm and Coatue earlier this month. Nonetheless, despite its triumphs, a number of issues are moving many in the NFT community away from the primary NFT marketplace and into smaller alternatives.

The Issues With OpenSea

One popular concern about OpenSea is its exorbitant costs. OpenSea receives 2.5% of the ultimate sale value of each NFT sold, which contributes to the company’s high margin earnings. When OpenSea’s costs are combined with the high royalties paid on particular collections, users may lose up to 10% of the ultimate sale value on secondary transactions of NFTs.

Those who believe in the principles of Web3 and decentralization are likewise concerned about OpenSea’s high degree of centralization. Many members of the NFT community had hoped that OpenSea would release a governance token to its users in order to assist decentralize the firm and give back to the users who helped it flourish.

These aspirations, however, appeared to be dashed in December when OpenSea’s new Chief Financial Officer, Brian Roberts, disclosed that he hoped to take the firm public through a stock offering. Despite Roberts’ swift retraction, an OpenSea token does not appear to be in the horizon anytime soon.

Since OpenSea is controlled, there is a possibility of it creating a closed environment similar to existing Web2 platforms. As an example of the centralization problem, OpenSea recently froze 16 NFTs stolen from Todd Kramer, proprietor of New York’s Ross+Kramer Art Gallery. The fact that OpenSea has the ability and willingness to freeze assets transferred via its smart contracts creates a troubling precedent.
Concerning is OpenSea’s practice of delisting NFT artists’ collections without notice.

The site recently removed 16 NFTs from the late hip-hop photographer Chi Modu without explanation. Modu owns the photography and was not in violation of any of the platform’s community standards.

Another issue with OpenSea is a listing issue, which has led in the sale of multiple high-value NFTs for a fraction of their market worth. If a user posts an NFT for sale and then transfers it to another wallet, the listing on OpenSea’s frontend is canceled since it cannot be fulfilled. However, if the user does not initially pay a gas price to cancel the transaction, the listing reactivates if the user later transfers the NFT back to the original wallet.

To make matters worse, OpenSea issued an email to customers who had dormant listings on their accounts, asking them not to deactivate listings without first moving their NFTs away from the address linked with the listing. This procedure makes it simpler for opportunists to snipe mispriced NFTs by scanning the Ethereum mempool for cancelation transactions and then paying a high gas cost to conduct a buy transaction prior to the cancelation.

Other NFT markets and trading alternatives have developed as OpenSea customers continue to lose tolerance with the platform. Many of these rivals gained traction fast by recognizing OpenSea’s flaws and creating cheaper, more decentralized, and user-friendly solutions for collectors to acquire and trade NFTs.

LooksRare

The first challenger on our list, and one of the most recent initiatives, is a platform that directly challenges OpenSea’s revenue model. LooksRare began last month and attracted users with a token airdrop and trade prizes. Anyone who traded at least 3 ETH worth of NFTs between June 16 and December 16, 2021 was entitled for an allotment of LOOKS tokens, with greater trading volumes receiving more tokens.

LOOKS token holders can stake their tokens to gain a share of the trading fees produced by LooksRare sales. The current yield for LOOKS staking is around 600%, because to the large trading volumes on the market. Furthermore, LooksRare undercuts OpenSea by charging 1.5% on transactions instead of 2.5%. LooksRare has outperformed OpenSea in raw trade volumes practically every day since its introduction on January 10—but there’s a catch. LooksRare is currently giving LOOKS tokens to the most active users.

This has pushed a number of users to execute wash trades on high-value NFTs, swapping them between wallets to generate larger trading volumes and, as a result, more LOOKS token payouts. LooksRare has also facilitated several legal transactions, with considerable activity on popular collections like Bored Ape Yacht.

Azuki, CloneX, and Club

LooksRare stresses decentralization and community engagement with its tagline “by NFT people, for NFT people.” Even if you don’t care about Web3 ideas, LooksRare provides a cheaper, more streamlined experience with the possibility to profit through NFT purchases.
gem.xyz. As more NFTs proliferate throughout many markets, a central location to consolidate listings is becoming increasingly important. Enter gem.xyz, a new NFT aggregator that makes comparing listings across several marketplaces easy platforms.

The option to buy numerous NFTs in the same transaction, allowing for significant gas fee savings, is the major advantage of utilizing gem. Users may choose the NFTs they want to buy from a collection, and the gem user interface will indicate the overall cost as well as the gas charge savings from combining all the transactions into an one transaction.

The more NFTs a person buys in one transaction, the less gas they use. According to gem, purchasing 14 NFTs at once saves 33% more gas than OpenSea or other NFT aggregators like genie.xyz. Because gem makes it quicker and cheaper to acquire NFTs in quantity, it’s the ideal tool for “sweeping the floor” by purchasing the cheapest available things at an NFT collection.

Furthermore, gem lets users to pay for NFTs using nearly any ERC-20 asset or combination of assets, significantly simplifying the purchasing process. It also draws data straight from the smart contracts of other marketplaces, so even if the frontend of these sites goes down, users may still purchase and trade NFTs listed on them via gem. Although gem is still in beta, it has already facilitated over $50 million in NFT sales. Those that try out the site may be compensated in the future if gem decides to introduce a token, as other NFT markets have.

Sudoswap

While NFT markets provide a quick way to get eyes on an NFT you wish to sell, the service is generally charged. If you’ve already located a buyer, or someone willing to sell one or more of their NFTs for yours, you may use sudoswap to construct a bespoke swap for free, less the cost of gas.

Users on sudoswap may establish open swaps that everyone can observe and communicate with, or they can choose a certain address to be the only participant in a transaction. NFTs can be exchanged not just for ETH or WETH on OpenSea, but also for any ERC-20 token, ERC-721 or ERC-1155 NFTs, or a combination of all three.

Unlike OpenSea and other NFT markets, which require users to pay gas to create orders, gas prices are streamlined such that users only need to pay for asset approvals and swaps. Sudoswap is a totally trustless platform, with assets remaining in users’ wallets until both parties approve a transaction.

Sudoswap employs trade codes as an extra layer of protection rather than enabling users to submit URLs to swaps. This prevents criminals from using phony hyperlinks to trick naive visitors. To transmit a specific trade to another user, the originator must first provide the trade code to the recipient, who must then enter it into the official sudoswap site.

Sudoswap allows NFT collectors to completely sidestep markets by allowing them to freely solicit deals with buyers and sellers. Sudoswap allows NFT collectors to completely sidestep markets by allowing them to freely solicit deals with buyers and sellers. Users may save a lot of money when trading high-value NFTs because there is no commission.

SuperRare

SuperRare caters to a distinct demographic of NFT collectors than regular NFT marketplaces, which appeal to casual customers wishing to trade avatar collections or generative art runs. It has become the go-to site for exclusive artists selling limited-edition artworks. Because SuperRare is currently in early access, the marketplace is only accepting hand-picked artists. Even once the platform is fully operational, people who wish to sell their NFTs must first submit their artist profile to SuperRare and be selected for inclusion on the site.

Despite the difficulties of getting included on SuperRare, the rewards for artists are substantial. The program rewards creators by ensuring that they earn 10% of all secondary sale revenue for work that was first sold on the SuperRare marketplace.

While SuperRare has created an exclusive marketplace for high-value NFT artwork, it has come at a cost. SuperRare is pricey in comparison to other marketplaces, with 15% of primary sales going to SuperRare, 10% of secondary sales going to producers, and an extra 3% tax on all transactions paid by purchasers.

In exchange, SuperRare provides a white-glove service to all market participants and ensures that creators are supported so that they may continue to produce high-quality digital art. Decentralization is also important to the platform, which employs a DAO architecture to manage the community treasury and guide the platform’s future development.

NFT Coinbase

The last OpenSea option on our list has yet to emerge, but when it does, it will undoubtedly disturb the NFT market. Coinbase NFT will prioritize accessibility for non-crypto native customers. Whether or whether other markets demand users to connect with a non-custodial Web3 wallet like MetaMask, Coinbase NFT will interface with the service.

Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to purchase and sell NFTs in US dollars using credit and debit cards. Furthermore, Coinbase will hold NFTs for users while allowing them to mint, collect, find, and display their non-fungibles all in one spot. The Coinbase NFT program is now directed by Sanchan Saxena, the company’s Vice President of Solutions, an industry veteran with a proven track record of producing products for businesses like as Airbnb and Instagram.

“We are truly embracing the peculiarities and pros and downsides of blockchain,” Saxena said in a January interview with nft today. Those acquainted with blockchain technology will be able to use a non-custodial browser extension wallet to access Coinbase NFT. However, Saxena has verified that less tech-savvy people would not have to worry about the vocabulary and technical elements of purchasing NFTs.

Coinbase’s new marketplace, by abstracting away the technical part of NFTs, should help keep novice users safe from frauds and costly mistakes while they learn about the intricate realm of NFTs.