8 NFT Marketplaces To Be Familiar With Right Now

Collectors' Tip, Top Lists, Digital Art

March 29, 2021

Following the auction of Beeple's NFT-based work of art at Christie's, which eventually sold for $69.3 million with fees, the NFTs as a model of ownership seem to have been particularly attractive to up-and-coming artists. With fewer barriers than the traditional art market, it becomes easier to get your name out there, and earn some (serious) money too. Even blue chip artists like Damien Hirst are jumping on the NFT bandwagon.

Due to the incredible growth of crypto art, which shows no signs of slowing down, the NFT art marketplaces have boomed on Ethereum. Even the traditional auction houses have recognized this is something to capitalize on, aligning themselves right up against a potential paradigm shift. Christie's offered the above mentioned Beeple's piece EVERYDAYS - The First 5000 Days in a single-artwork auction, describing the current craze as "a moment in time where there could be a drastic shift—a demographic shift, a generational shift—when it comes to what excites younger collectors." On the other hand, Sotheby's has chosen to sell the work of Pak, a digital artist who has been working in the digital art sphere for over two decades, and it is unclear whether they are an individual artist or group of digital engineers. The works from the artist's series Terminus have already been auctioned on the platform MakersPlace and NiftyGateways.

A crypto space where artists can sell their NFT-based art and potential buyers and collectors can own it through a blockchain entry, a NFT marketplace creates a digital token for it carrying unique identifiers, and preserves it in its digital locker/wallet. However, concerns have been raised that the NFTs are perhaps not so great for the environment, as the model consumes lots of energy. The majority of these platforms, which typically sell NFTs in timed online sales known as< "drops", exist on the energy costly Ethereum blockchain and are created based on a process known as Proof-of-Work (PoW), which necessitates the use of large networks of processing machines that emit CO2. Selling just a single-edition artwork on Ethereum has a carbon footprint equivalent to a 1 hour flight.

Using PoW, the consensus algorithm that is hundreds of times more inefficient than the other ones, Ethereum is regarded as the most inefficient and ecologically costly. This is why activists are proposing alternative, more sustainable platforms that use Proof-of-Stake (PoS), such as Algorand, Tezos, or Polkadot. While these currently have much less volume than those existing on Ethereum, they hope that as more artists migrate to these emerging waters, this can encourage platforms, developers, investors, and collectors, to bridge to develop more ecologically friendly and transparent platforms.

How To Buy at an NFT Marketplace

An NFT Marketplace is an online marketplace where artists sell their non-fungible art and where buyers can get them using cryptocurrency, like BitCoin. Most of the marketplaces also charge a transaction fee, and require an account with them (usually a free one)

Once an NTF is purchased, the buyer receives a token, a unique identifier usually containing proof of ownership, as well as information on provenance, authenticity, and author.

If the buyer decides to resell their NFT artwork, they can transfer it to a different marketplace if they are based on the same blockchain. Upon sale, they will also pay a royalty fee to the original artist.

If you’re wondering where you can look for NFTs to buy from or sell, here are the NFT marketplaces with the greatest volume and hence the greatest number of collectors and sales.

Featured image: The OpenSea Marketplace.

NiftyGateway

A premier marketplace for NFTs, or colloquially known as Nifties, NiftyGateway was founded with a mission to make them accessible to everyone. Teaming up with top artists and brands, the platform offers limited edition Nifties in drops that take place every three weeks.

Limited edition works are available for a limited time only. After the initial drop for a collection closes or sells out, you will only be able to get Nifties from that collection in the marketplace. Here you can find works by celebrated artists and musicians such as Steve Aoki, deadmau5, Grimes, Kenny Scharf and Beeple.

Anyone can apply to create with the platform. Tokens you purchase here will be listed under your profile and you can withdraw them to your wallet or an external account. At the same time, you can also import nifties from external wallets into your Nifty Gateway account.

OpenSea

The largest marketplace for ;digital goods, including collectibles, gaming items, digital art, and other digital assets that are backed by a blockchain like Ethereum, OpenSea is a decentralized marketplace that offers trading through a smart contract, meaning that no central authority ever holds custody of your items.

With over 4 million products in its portal, OpenSea lets you buy and sell crypto collectibles, gaming items, digital art, and other blockchain-based digital items, offering over 700 different projects, including digital art projects such as SuperRare and Makersplace.

Open for all, the platform offers artists an item minting tool to create a collection and NFTs for free, all without a single line of code. Believing that open, liquid marketplaces will help power these new economies, the team builds tools that allow any developer to build rich, integrated marketplaces for their digital assets.

SuperRare

A peer-to-peer marketplace for NFTs built on Ethereum, SuperRare describes itself as "Instagram meets Christies." Still in early access, the platform onboards only a small number of hand-picked artists. However, through the form on their website, you can submit your artist profile and get on their radar for their full launch next year. All transactions are made using ether, the native cryptocurrency to the Ethereum network, which powers the platform.

When selling your artwork in a primary sale, you will get 85% of what the buyer paid for the token with the remaining amount charged as a commission by SuperRare. For secondary sales, creators receive a 10% royalty as a form of passive revenue if the artwork continues to get traded in the market.

Foundation

A creative community-curated playground for artists, curators and collectors to experience the new creative economy, Foundation was launched in February 2021 and has already had great success - the sale of the viral internet meme Nyan Cat, which went for $590,000, or their more recent record sale of Pak’s Finite, now worth $809,789.

Foundation are taking a creator-first, community-led approach by having artists select and invite other artists to join the site and mint NFTs. As for collectors, they can browse available artworks or host auctions. Some of Foundation's artists include Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot, Aphex Twin, Zach Lieberman, Kim Laughton, and Dom Hofmann, the cofounder of Vine.

Rarible

A premiere NFT marketplace, Rarible is a software allowing digital artists and creators to issue and sell custom crypto assets that represent ownership in their digital work. It is both a marketplace for those assets, as well as a distributed network built on Ethereum that enables their trade without a middleman.

While artists are required to submit their creations for approval, Rarible allows anyone to be listed on its portal. It also allows creators to specify their own percentage as royalty for secondary sales.

Rarible offers a range of NFTs, including digital artworks, memes and even parcels of virtual land. The platform uses RARI, their own cryptocurrency. The first governance token in the NFT space, RARI enables the most active creators and collectors on Rarible to vote for any platform upgrades and participate in curation and moderation.

Their ultimate goal is to evolve towards a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), where all decision rights will belong to the platform users. The tokens you create on Rarible can also be managed on OpenSea.

MakersPlace

A marketplace to discover and collect unique digital creations, MakersPlace empowers digital creators, such as artists, photographers, writers, and more, with the tools to protect and sell them to their fans and collectors. Open for all, they seek to offer a service that makes blockchain technology simple, and provide its benefits to all creators.

Seeing first hand the inequality in the immense value created by digital creators, and what they actually make, the team behind the platform founded it to change that.

For every sale, the platform has a 15% take on the value of the sale, while offering creators a 10% royalty as commission every time their art is re-sold on its platform.

NFT Showroom

A digital art marketplace, NFT Showroom is built on Hive, a fast and free blockchain that makes creating and collecting rare digital art simple and accessible. Open for all and welcoming all art styles and levels of experience, they claim to be easy to use and is an affordable alternative for creators, and collectors.

The only thing required in order to begin creating and collecting is to make a Hive account and Hive Keychain. To tokenize and purchase art, the platform uses a pegged token called SWAP.HIVE. The platform also gives creators two options to create tokens – Private and Limited Reproduction Rights.

NFT Showroom will charge you a 10% commission when you sell your art for the first time, while, for secondary sales, it collects a 5% commission and gives 5% to the original artist.

Decentraland

The first fully decentralized virtual world where users can create and make money on the things they build and own, Decentraland's mission is to hand over control to the people who create and play in this virtual space. Using DAO, Decentralized Autonomous Organization, it allows the community tp propose and vote on policy updates, future LAND auctions, whitelisting of NFT contracts to be allowed inside the World, Builder and Marketplace.

Decentraland's marketplace offers a range of digital assets, such as wearables, parcels and estates and names. You can buy and sell virtual lands in Decentraland and personalize them using properties built on top of it and the assets you own will be stored in a smart contract based on Ethereum.