Best NFT platforms, Exchanges and Marketplaces31st January, 2022 (9:30 PM UTC)
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been around for a few years now, but 2021 was the year they exploded into the public consciousness.
The cryptographically unique tokens represent a title of ownership over digital content such as art, music or videos—but it’s the digital art scene that lit a fire under the NFT market, with record-breaking sales such as Beeple’s $69 million auction at Christie’s grabbing headlines the world over.
Since then, enthusiasts have seized on one NFT craze after another, dropping thousands (and in some cases millions) of dollars on CryptoPunks, Bored Apes and Loot.
But where are people buying these NFTs, you might ask? A thriving virtual high street of NFT marketplaces has sprung up, selling digital art and collectibles at every conceivable price point. Here’s a run-through of some of the leading platforms.
Best NFT platforms, Exchanges and Marketplaces
OpenSea is the original peer-to-peer NFT marketplace, and far and away the largest. At the time of writing, it has a total trading volume of over $6.5 billion (according to analytics platform DappRadar), offering NFTs of everything from in-game items and collectibles, to artwork, music, GIFs, and more.
Signing up is as easy as connecting your MetaMask wallet, although other wallets including Coinbase Wallet, Bitski, Formatic and more are also supported.
One of the leading NFT marketplaces on Ethereum, Rarible is a community-owned platform that showcases a wide range of digital art and collectibles. It currently has the fifth-highest all-time trading volume according to Dappradar, with $210 million having changed hands.
Similar to OpenSea, you can buy and sell all sorts of media. Sellers also have the option to create more than one NFT for a single image, selling it more than once.
NFT-powered video game Axie Infinity plays host to the second-largest NFT marketplace, with a total trading volume of more than $2.1 billion on Dappradar. It trades exclusively in Axies: cute, Pokémon-like digital pets which players can buy and trade on the Axie Marketplace.
You can also create new Axies via the game’s built-in breeding mechanics and sell them on the Marketplace. Unlike art NFTs, which are collected for collecting’s sake, Axie Infinity’s NFTs have a purpose: you can use them in-game to battle against monsters and other players, earning tokens that can be put towards breeding new creatures.
One of the earliest examples of NFTs on the Ethereum network, CryptoPunks is a series of 10,000 randomly generated characters with a pixel art aesthetic and unique attributes. While they could originally be grabbed for free, the only way you can own one today is to buy one.
That means heading to CryptoPunks creator Larva Labs’ marketplace, where the majority of sales take place. And buying one costs a lot; currently, the lowest-priced Punk will set you back 94.99 ETH (around $285,000), while the most valuable one sold on the marketplace (number 3100), traded hands for an absolutely insane $7.58 million. That explains Larva Labs’ all-time trading volume of $1.3 billion, then.
SuperRare positions itself as a slightly higher-end alternative to Rarible; where Rarible’s interface bombards you with a dizzying array of flickering GIFs and live auctions, SuperRare has an altogether more pared-back, minimalist appearance.
It’s also more heavily curated, billing itself as a social platform that aims to encourage the creation and collection of crypto art. It works closely with artists, requiring work to be submitted and approved before it’s allowed to be listed; quality over quantity, in other words.
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