Want to jump straight to the answer? The best NFT platforms are OpenSea, FTX, Rarible and Foundation. Benzinga’s NFT PRO Newsletter will give you access to the most promising new NFT projects before they're listed on these platforms!
NFTs are quickly becoming the largest area of not just profit but also innovation in the cryptocurrency world. Pictures of Cryptopunks and Bored Apes (Bored Ape Yacht Club) are selling every day for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and sometimes reach sales prices into the millions. Corporations like Nike, Budweiser and Pepsi are diving into NFTs faster than they have in any other blockchain technology. At the moment, all of the top NFT collections are being traded primarily on OpenSea, the most popular NFT platform.
OpenSea dominates the market right now, but it still has a ton of bugs and a new platform that functions better with the same features could easily steal its massive user base. If you are looking for the best NFT marketplace or you are sick of the one you are already using, check out our list of the top NFT platforms below where you can get into digital artwork, build your digital assets and come to understand the market for NFTs along with secondary sales of non-fungible tokens.
What is an NFT Marketplace?
An NFT marketplace is simply a website that facilitates NFT trading. There are many sites that fall under that umbrella and most of them have distinct benefits over their competitors. An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a unique token on a cryptocurrency blockchain that is provably unique. The technology enables utility through play-to-earn games and stylish profile pictures. They are also extremely useful for digital collectors because they don’t need to worry about falsified collectibles or proving that their collection is real.
Almost all NFT platforms are integrated with a popular blockchain. Most of them are on Ethereum which can be troublesome for smaller investors because it can incur massive fees. Others support much cheaper blockchains like Solana or Polygon. NFT traders should be careful in choosing the best platform for them because it can be instrumental in their success. Different marketplaces have different fees, varying lists of wallets and NFT collections that they support, and various selections of trading features and statistics.
Why OpenSea Might Not Be Right for You
Even though OpenSea is by far the most popular NFT platform in the world, it has no shortage of problems. Its largest downside in the eyes of many is the constant deluge of technical issues. When an NFT collection is hot and trading volume is high, you can be certain that some of the sold NFTs will get stuck and look like they are still listed for sale. This keeps projects down constantly because holders see the old listing that has already sold and list their NFT lower, not knowing they could sell it for more. That is one of the most frustrating technical bugs with OpenSea, but it isn’t the only one. It also has a ton of server problems and the site has recently gone down up to several times per day.
OpenSea also has a pesky fee of 2.5% on every single trade made on the platform. This can get expensive for high value NFTs, and other platforms may start offering more competitive rates. OpenSea has had personnel issues as well as technical problems, too. One of its prominent team members had to be fired recently because he was trading NFTs on the platform with insider information. He would buy projects right before they were added to OpenSea’s trending page and made a ton of Ethereum from it.
What To Look For in an NFT Platform
There are a ton of different factors to consider when choosing the best NFT platform for you. One of the most important factors is whether you can use it at all. Different platforms support different wallets like MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet and more. Not only will you have to make sure your wallet will work with the platform, but you also need to ensure it has the NFT collections you want to invest in. Each platform doesn’t have every single NFT project, so you might have to switch platforms to invest. OpenSea is likely the best platform if your main concerns are wallet connectivity and collection support. You can trade almost all of the top NFT projects on it from NBA Top Shot to your favorite artist.
Decentralization is another factor that many investors consider when choosing the best marketplace for NFTs. They fear centralized control causing inequality and censorship. No NFT platform is completely decentralized, but each one has a different amount of centralized control. OpenSea is pretty close to as decentralized as any other popular NFT marketplace. However, even though it is decentralized for the most part, it can lock projects or users in cases of illegal activity or copyrighted material. NFT platforms like Tom Brady’s Autograph.io and FTX NFT marketplace are mostly centralized. Centralization isn’t necessarily a bad thing for everyone. There are noteworthy benefits to platforms with greater control like much better customer service. OpenSea’s customer service is little more than useless, while FTX and Autograph can be more helpful.
The Best NFT Marketplaces
You don’t necessarily need to choose only one of these marketplaces. Many investors use more than 1 and switch back and forth when a different exchange is better suited to what they want to do.
If you know anything about NFTs, chances are you have at least heard of OpenSea. It’s the most popular NFT platform by far and almost every important collection is traded on it. It’s a relatively simple marketplace with a decent profile dashboard and useful statistics. Anyone trading NFTs will likely need to use OpenSea at one point in time, but it’s still full of bugs. A new platform with all the same features and fewer bugs could possibly take over its market share.
Nifty Gateway is among the most popular websites for artists to release digital collectibles on the primary marketplace. The website also has a secondary marketplace for NFT owners to sell their digital collectibles, making it easy for you to buy and sell any non-fungible tokens on the platform. Many notable artists such as Steve Aoki and Beeple have dropped their collections on the up-and-coming marketplace.
Looksrare is a relatively new NFT auction house that's fully decentralized. It's built on the Ethereum blockchain, similarly to OpenSea. However, Looksrare has many unique features that set it apart from its main competitor, OpenSea. When Looksrare launched, it airdropped tokens to users of OpenSea to encourage investors to switch marketplaces, and it worked fairly well. Those who own Looksrare can also stake their tokens on the platform and earn over 500% annual interest in the form of rewards.
Whereas OpenSea has a 2.5% trading fee, Looksrare undercuts this with a 2% trading fee. But it gets better –– instead of the fee going to Looksrare, it's distributed to those who stake LOOKS tokens on the platform. Also, the platform is giving away Looks tokens rewards to those who sell NFTs using its platform.
FTX is one of the only major cryptocurrency exchanges that also offers NFT trading. At first, it only offered NFTs on the much less popular blockchain, Solana, but it recently integrated with Ethereum too. Now it offers one of the easiest ways for new investors to buy into top NFT projects. It by no means has every collection, but it has many of the top ones newer investors have heard of. It also has a slightly lower transaction fee than OpenSea at 2%.Rarible
Rarible is often considered a second-tier NFT marketplace behind OpenSea for various reasons. Its most important flaw is that it offers fewer collections and far fewer users. In NFTs, you usually want to buy into projects that have a lot of liquidity so you can resell your investment easily. On slow platforms like Rarible, this might be much more difficult. Otherwise, it is quite similar to OpenSea and charges the same fee of 2.5%. One benefit of using Rarible often is that the most active users are rewarded with the platform’s governance token, RARI.
While most platforms like OpenSea and Rarible offer a wide range of NFT collections, Foundation focuses on a specific market, digital art. It has a ton of beautiful pieces of art by some of the best digital artists from around the world. If you want to invest in a profile picture collection like Cryptopunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, or Doodles or a play-to-earn NFT game project like Wolf Game, you will need to use a different platform.
While OpenSea is known for dominating the Ethereum NFT marketplace, Magic Eden is known for dominating the Solana NFT marketplace. Magic Eden is built on the Solana and debatably had a monopoly over the Solana marketplace for a while until OpenSea recently started offering Solana NFTs.
Is Switching Marketplaces Worth It?
Switching NFT exchanges is absolutely worth it if one of the other exchanges listed sounds like it better fits what you want to get out of NFTs. For example, if you are only interested in digital art collections, you might want to focus on Foundation. It doesn’t cost anything to make an account on any of these exchanges so you might as well check the ones that interest you and test them for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a NFT marketplace?
An NFT marketplace is a decentralized platform for buying and selling NFTs. These platforms allow user to store their NFTs and allow others to buy them with cryptocurrency or sometimes money.
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