NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are struggling a bit compared to as the world watches those riding the early NFT wave make millions overnight. These digital artifacts are at the center of an exciting mash-up between pop culture, crypto enthusiasts, decentralization advocates, collectors and tech aficionados.
Ready to dive into the world of NFTs but don’t know where to start? Use Benzinga’s list of the Best NFT Platforms to learn the ropes and find the right NFT marketplace for you.
What is a NFT?
NFT stands for non-fungible token, which a unique digital asset managed on blockchain that you are able to buy, sell, trade and own.
When a commodity is non-fungible, it means it’s not mutually interchangeable. As an example, if you buy a Beeple Crap or 3LAU NFT, you can resell it for cryptocurrency, but it’s not directly interchangeable with other NFTs. On the other side of the spectrum, the U.S. dollar is fungible because it can be easily exchanged for any other U.S. dollar.
Any NFTs non-fungible nature is what gives it its appeal. It’s a unique piece of data. And because NFTs exist on a blockchain, they allow for peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. This is a major upside for creators looking to sell their digital wares directly to their fans and cut out the middleman.
Blockchain also enables NFTs a few other benefits. Here are the basics:
- An NFT can point to digital file, similar to a receipt with a unique identity.
- An NFT is built on a blockchain using specific token standards, most commonly Ethereum ERC-721 or ERC-721A.
- Creating an NFT requires uploading your digital file to an NFT marketplace.
- Blockchain allows you to verify the authenticity of an NFT, which is a large part of its appeal.
- NFTs enable creators to add perpetual royalties incurred on every single trade
Once you get the basic gist of NFTs, it’s easy to make your own NFT. Common NFTs include digital art, music NFTs, in-game tokens, trading cards like basketball cards or Pokémon cards and more. You may be surprised how successful your NFT can be if you put the work in!
Best NFT Marketplace
Much like a cryptocurrency exchange, an NFT marketplace allows you to buy, sell and trade NFTs. It also makes it possible to upload and tokenize your digital soon-to-be-asset as a blockchain-based token.
The world of NFTs is growing rapidly, with marketplaces popping up left and right to meet the demand for these digital artifacts. But several have emerged ahead of the crowded pool of contenders to prove themselves as the best NFT exchange in their category. You should look for the best NFT marketplace for you before diving in!
Best NFT Marketplace for Variety: OpenSea
The largest NFT marketplace currently in operation, OpenSea is one of the most known names in NFTs. If you want the ability to browse all types of NFTs, from digital art to rare collectibles, this is the exchange for you. It’s easy to sign up for and even easier to upload your NFT to auction, making it a popular choice for makers as well as buyers. While this is one of the easiest ways to create an NFT or 2, OpenSea is not the best way to launch a large NFT project.
Like many exchanges, OpenSea relies on Ethereum, and you need to purchase ETH, its native coin, to fund your bids, trades and cover any fees you may incur. This is usually cents on the dollar at most.
OpenSea requires an active wallet and recommends MetaMask as the best option. This is an easy-to-use browser extension.
Best NFT Marketplace for Exclusive Drops: Nifty Gateway
Have alerts set for anytime your favorite brand or artist drops new merch? Nifty Gateway, powered by crypto-exchange Gemini, is the marketplace for you.
Dubbed Nifties, the digital items on Nifty Gateway speak to the hypebeast inside of all of us. With a stated mission of reaching 1 billion people collecting Nifties, Nifty Gateway is sure to remain a key player in NFTs.
Nifty Gateway is easily the best NFT marketplace for exclusive drops. It knows how to appeal to anybody who obsesses over exclusive drops from iconic brands like Supreme. It has had exclusive drops from some of the biggest NFT artists ever, XCOPY and Beeple. Check out its drop schedule or sign up for the exclusive drop list to keep an eye on releases from super-sought after creators like EDM musician Deadmau5 and artist Marius Sperlich.
Best NFT Marketplace for its Social Aspect: SuperRare
SuperRare is a digital artwork auction house meets social network. SuperRare believes that collecting is, at its core, a socially-driven pastime. It also focuses on digital art over utility or profile picture NFTs.
And that approach makes sense. NFTs are speculative in nature, an people like you and I ultimately decide the value. Without others vying for the same pieces or knowing why other collectors go wild for a piece, it's difficult to assign value.
If you’re a creator, SuperRare is currently still in its early adopter phase, with only a few choice artists being selected to be added to the marketplace. But don’t sleep on SuperRare. Stay poised for the full launch in 2022.
Best NFT Marketplace for NBA Fans: NBA Top Shot
The collectible basketball card market has been hot again for the past few years, and NBA Top Shot is the future of sports memorabilia and the digital answer to sports collectibles.
Allowing its users to own the best moments from NBA history, NBA Top Shot is where sports lovers can bid on and collect Top Shop Moments in 3 categories: Rookies, Vets and Rising Star Players. NBA Top Shot members will see a wide range of edition sizes.
At the top tier Genesis, only 1 edition of a collectible is available. Memorabilia in the Common (lowest) tier have 10,000+ editions available.
The NBA Top Shot Marketplace is easy to navigate. Search by categories like Latest Drop Moments or Moments from your favorite teams. You can search by tier, set or player to find the exact types of collectible moments you’re looking for.
Best NFT Marketplace for Soccer Fans: Sorare
Sorare offers a platform to collect and trade limited edition soccer NFT cards. More than 125 clubs are featured and more are added weekly.
Connect and trade with other fans via Sorare's open marketplace or take part in its Global Fantasy Football Game where you can create your line-up and earn points based on real-life performances. Each week gives you a new chance to prove your skills and win prizes and you compete against other users and progress up the divisions.
Best for Enhanced Security Measures: CoinStats
CoinStats offers unique insight into your crypto portfolio, including transaction analytics, instant notifications and fast trading. You can connect to your favorite wallet or exchange so that you can start trading, including any NFTs you have found.
CoinStats also offers current events and news pieces that will help you make the most of your investments. The news you read is generated by the CoinStats team and helps traders like you make better use of the funds you’ve invested. Plus, you can read information from over 40 authoritative sources that will help you make the most of your portfolio.
How to Set Up an NFT Marketplace Account
Setting up an NFT exchange account will vary by platform, but here’s a general step-by-step guide to follow.
Step 1: Open up a wallet
If you’re already buying and exchanging crypto, you may already have a wallet. But if you don’t, you’ll need to open one to use NFT exchanges.
A wallet is where you keep your digital money as well as your identifiers and credentials. It’s essentially the portal that lets you access and interact with blockchain.
Step 2: Open and fund account on your chosen NFT exchange
This is the easy part. Visit your chosen marketplace and follow directions to open up an account. Most require little legwork. If you have your wallet set up, you’ll be able to get to trading NFTs fairly quickly once your account is funded.
The great majority of NFTs are Ethereum-based, so you’ll need ETH tokens to purchase.
- securely through Coinbase's websiteBest For:Coinbase Learn
Sum of median estimated savings and rewards earned, per user in 2021 across multiple Coinbase programs (excluding sweepstakes). This amount includes fee waivers from Coinbase One (excluding the subscription cost), rewards from Coinbase Card, and staking rewards. ³Crypto rewards is an optional Coinbase offer. Upon purchase of USDC, you will be automatically opted in to rewards. If you’d like to opt out or learn more about rewards, you can click here. The rewards rate is subject to change and can vary by region. Customers will be able to see the latest applicable rates directly within their accounts.
Step 3: Bid on Your NFT
Once you have your wallet set up and enough ETH in your NFT exchange account to buy, you’re ready to go! You can either buy an NFT directly (if it's up for sale) or simply put an offer on the item.
If you’ve ever bid on something on eBay or StockX, you know how this works. You may choose to bid on the primary offering of an NFT or wait until you see what the market value is on the secondary market.
Don’t Miss the NFT Boat
Remember the early days of Bitcoin? Then you probably know not to knock something new until you try it, especially new trends in currency or assets.
And if you play it smart and only invest what you can afford to lose, you have little to worry about. There’s an NFT marketplace for seemingly every kind of digital artifact with more sure to come.
Don’t miss out. Get in as an early adopter by signing up for one of the NFT marketplaces on our list.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a famous example of a non-fungible token?
The most famous example of a non-fungible token (NFT) collection is Bored Ape Yacht Club. It is extremely well-known in the market and even in pop culture. Tons of celebrities own a Bored Ape including Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Jimmy Fallon, and Steph Curry and some of them even brandish their it on their social media accounts.
Q: What is the most expensive NFT ever sold?
To date, the most expensive NFT ever sold was “The First 5,000 Days” by Beeple. Beeple committed to posting new digital work every single day beginning sometime in 2007, and this NFT represented the first 5,000 of this impressive feat.
This NFT sold for close to $70 million in a Christie’s auction, making it the most expensive sale to date and leaving Beeple in third place of the most valuable artists globally.
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