Top 10 NFT Marketplaces in the World Right Now
Cryptocurrencies have become a significant movement in the world. Since 2010, after the invention of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies have received backlash and criticism from all major governments of the world. However, despite the harsh criticism, cryptocurrencies have continued to soar and beat milestones. The Crypto industry is the youngest and, ironically, the most successful among all major global industries.
Over 10 years, Bitcoin has risen by over 9,000,000%. In 2021, Shiba Inu, a meme coin, increased by over 60,000,000%. These are percentages that traditional finance can only dream of. A relatively new development in the blockchain space is the non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Despite being around for a couple of years, the popularity of these tokens has grown immensely. NFTs and the NFT marketplace are still in their infancy of course, and as such, they must be treated with the caution they deserve. This article will delve into the top 10 NFT marketplaces where blockchain users can acquire and own NFTs.
What Is an NFT
An NFT is simply the short version or an abbreviation for a non-fungible token. It is a crypto asset that is unique and cannot be replicated in any way. There can only ever exist one of those crypto assets. Non-fungible tokens have become popular in the last two years.
As gaming platforms invade the blockchain space, non-fungible tokens have become very popular for creating in-game skins and character enhancement items. Currently, gamers who enjoy online games integrated with the blockchain can purchase NFTs to use in the games. Axie Infinity, an NFT inspired blockchain game, is now one of the hottest projects in the world.
Similarly, the advent of the metaverse has allowed the NFT market boom to rise even higher. NFT sales and trading volumes have increased and shot up over the roof. This is expected to continue in the near and longer term. Also, please note that NFTs can be minted or transferred since they possess some monetary value.
The Rise of the NFT Infrastructure
The boom of NFTs is recent. But the infrastructure that has made NFTs possible is not new it goes back quite some years. You see, six years after the launch of Bitcoin, the Ethereum blockchain was unleashed. Eventually, this network went on to become the second-largest blockchain network with its ETH token.
Ethereum became a formidable competitor for Bitcoin, especially with its smart contract capability. Smart contracts are programs that automatically get executed when specific terms or conditions of the contract are met.
Ethereum created an entire ecosystem of blockchain innovations locked in the decentralized finance ecosystem through smart contracts. Currently, the DeFi landscape of the Ethereum network is worth over $120 billion. It is also the power of the Ethereum network that is driving the creation, sale, and growth of NFTs. Yes, some other networks are trying to rise to the challenge. But as of now, Ethereum leads the way as the go-to platform for minting NFTs.
NFTs and ERC-721 Tokens
ERC-721 is a non-fungible token standard used to identify something or someone in a unique way. The ERC-721 introduces a token standard with different values from other Ethereum tokens. William Entrekin and his friends proposed this token standard in 2018.
It allows for functionalities like transferring tokens between accounts, getting the token balance of an account, getting the owner of a specific token, and requesting the total supply of a given token on the Ethereum network.
Remember a smart contract must have specific methods and events if it is to be used to deploy NFT items. This cannot happen though if the ERC-721 standard is not met. Popular NFTs that aspire to these standards include Crypto Kitties, Sorare, Ethereum Name Service (ENS), Gods Unchained Cards, and the Bored Ape Yacht Club.
How to Create NFTs
NFTs can sound complicated, but on the contrary, the creation of NFTs is not. The process of creating an NFT has been simplified to as little as four steps. The process usually involves paying a Gas fee with a cryptocurrency depending on the blockchain. The process of creating NFTs is called minting.
NFT technology has evolved to the point where anyone can mint their NFT. Digital artists are some of the most common NFT users and traders. However, anyone, including musicians, designers, YouTubers, and even game creators, can create NFTs in this relatively straightforward process. Well, here are the steps you will need to follow:
Choose the blockchain and the type of NFT you would like to create. New blockchains have emerged in the recent past and also offer their own NFTs and NFT marketplaces. You must choose the blockchain you want to launch or create your NFT from. Some of the factors to consider when selecting a blockchain to launch your NFT include network speed, popularity, and, most importantly, the cost of transferring tokens. We shall continue with the Ethereum network as an example for this article since it’s the leader in this area.
Acquire some Ethereum (ETH) and move it to a wallet. You will use ETH to pay gas fees on the network. You can buy ETH on centralized or decentralized exchanges. However, buying ETH tokens on centralized platforms like Coinbase and Binance is much easier for a beginner.
Create a Metamask wallet. Note that not all wallets are capable of storing NFTs. Examples of wallets that can hold ERC-721 tokens include Metamask, Trust Wallet, Ledger, and Trezor. When choosing a wallet to use for exploring the NFT marketplace, you must keep this in mind.
After your wallet is loaded with ETH, choose an NFT marketplace to launch your NFT on. Several different NFT marketplaces are going to be discussed in the next section. They all have pros and cons as well.
The final step is to mint the ERC-721 NFT tokens on the NFT marketplace of your choice. One of the largest NFT marketplace platforms, OpenSea, caters to beginners looking to dive into the field of NFTs because it offers top solutions that will ease the process of creating NFTs for inexperienced NFT enthusiasts. It is one of the best platforms to use in this regard.
What Are NFT Marketplaces?
The invention of NFTs prompted the creation of the NFT marketplace, which are platforms where NFT owners can market their NFT items and sell them or buy from other sellers. They are third-party decentralized applications (dapps) that provide the opportunity for peer-to-peer NFT trading.
Throughout 2021, the largest and most popular NFT marketplace, OpenSea, traded over $3 billion in volume. Also on the same platform, NFTs such as CryptoPunks, and other popular NFTs sold for millions of dollars. Towards the end of the year, other NFT collections also began to gain traction, such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). In addition to OpenSea, there are other marketplaces as well that you can consider.
The Best NFT Marketplaces Globally
There are numerous NFT platforms from which both beginners and experienced blockchain users can choose. Each platform offers slightly different features and charges slightly different amount fees. To help you better understand the NFT marketplace terrain, here are some of the best platforms on the internet today.
Crypto.com is no doubt one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. The platform however launched a dedicated NFT marketplace a few months back. When deciding where to buy NFTs, crypto.com has to be among the top choices. After all, over 10 million people use it.
During the year of the NFT boom which was 2021, crypto.com began offering NFTs from categories such as celebrities, sports, art, and gaming. Crypto.com makes the entire process of investing in NFTs as easy and as simple as possible. Users are required to sign up for a crypto.com NFT account, which only takes minutes. After signing up, the NFTs can be bought for a fixed price or through auctions.
Users are also able to purchase NFTs using their credit or debit cards which makes it easier because of the familiarity of these payment methods. You can also purchase NFTs using cryptocurrency through the crypto.com payment gateway.
One of the most lucrative attractions to the crypto.com platform is the zero fees when purchasing NFTs. In essence, all NFTs purchased within the crypto.com system do not incur any transaction fees. This puts crypto.com far ahead of the NFT marketplace game. With Crypto.com, the NFT landscape becomes easy to navigate and highly accessible for anyone.
Binance NFT Marketplace
Binance is one of the most popular crypto trading platforms on the planet. The exchange processes billions of dollars in trading volume every day. Because of its aggressive marketing, Binance has secured customers in almost every part of the world.
To remain on top of the game, Binance launched their own NFT marketplace, which supports NFTs created on both the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) and the Ethereum blockchain. This provides a vast selection for blockchain users who want to own NFTs.
The Binance NFT marketplace is easy to navigate and contains NFTs from art, sports, gaming, and entertainment. Currently, the Binance NFT marketplace only allows NFT purchases using cryptocurrencies.
Users who do not own any digital currency can easily buy some through the Binance exchange and transfer them to an external wallet. Fees on the BSC blockchain are extremely low, and the speeds are fast.
OpenSea NFT Marketplace
OpenSea NFT marketplace is known for its high popularity in the NFT world. OpenSea marketplace has a considerable selection of NFT items, which makes it one of the favorite places to go for NFT shopping.
OpenSea is built on the Ethereum network and offers many different NFTs, from art to domain names and even in-game items. Being one of the largest NFT platforms, OpenSea boasts of over 80 million NFT items listed for sale.
Additionally, OpenSea supports purchases with over 150 cryptocurrencies, making it one of the best platforms to make your feet wet when trying out the NFT space. You can also mint NFTs on OpenSea with zero programming knowledge.
The nifty gateway is one of the best NFT platforms since it focuses on premium NFTs, which are very rare to find. Premium NFTs are limited, and they are produced in low quantities. The platform has several famous artists and creatives offering their content and NFT items for sale.
Because of the high popularity of the NFTs and the rarity, nifty gateway’s selections have been tailored to cater to the needs of high-end or high-profile investors. Nifty gateway is a branch of the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins.
Hence, users from the United States can buy NFTs on the nifty gateway using their credit and debit cards. For users outside the United States, you will need to use cryptocurrency stored on your Gemini account to purchase items on the nifty gateway.
However, for all its good things, the platform is not famous for its low fees. Users are charged a 5% fee for the seller and a $0.30 transaction charge for every transaction.
GameStop NFT Marketplace
GameStop is one of the upcoming NFT platforms on the blockchain. GameStop NFT marketplace is due to launch soon and there is a lot of buzz around this. The GameStop company has dedicated $100 million to develop their NFT marketplace, which will be built on the Immutable X, a platform based on the Ethereum network.
Immutable is a renowned company on the blockchain and is also the creator of Gods Unchained, a popular NFT trading card game. GameStop is a video game selling shop that is looking to expand its foothold within the NFT space.
Immutable X, a layer-2 protocol built on top of Ethereum, will enable the GameStop NFT marketplace to function fast and with affordable fees. Since GameStop is a store for selling games, they will focus primarily on in-game items such as weapons, costumes, skins, digital properties for character enhancement and so much more.
If you are a gamer, then GameStop is one of the best NFT marketplaces that you will find most exciting to use.
DraftKings NFT Marketplace
DraftKings is known for its popularity in the sports industry. It is a U.S based betting company. Initially, the company focused mainly on sports betting. However, it decided to launch its NFT marketplace towards the end of 2021. The company also boasts of limited edition NFT items from many of the top sportsmen.
Examples of popular NFTs that have been listed on the DraftKings platform include sports items from Tom Brady, Tony Hawk, and Wayne Gretzky, among many others. If you are a huge sports fan and like to collect sports collectibles, then the DraftKings marketplace is your one-stop-shop for this.
Currently, DraftKings has over 300 collectibles for users to purchase. The price ranges from cheap to premium and very expensive items. To fund your DraftKings account, you can use your debit or credit card, wire transfer, bank transfer, or even PayPal.
Currently, only U.S Dollars are allowed for making purchases on the DraftKings platform. Despite being an NFT marketplace, DraftKings does not support crypto purchases at this time. The platform charges transaction fees for NFT drops. However, secondary sales on the market will incur a 10% royalty fee, of which 5% will go to the creator.
Rarible NFT Marketplace
Rarible is an NFT marketplace that has focused mainly on art. Investors who like to collect art will most definitely be excited to visit the Rarible platform. It has an extensive collection of digital art, along with photography, music, games, and even some Metaverse items.
However, there is a 2.5% fee for both the buyers and the sellers on every transaction. This fee structure puts Rarible at the higher end of the expenses bar. This means that Rarible is one of the most expensive platforms to purchase NFTs as we speak right now.
Despite this, Rarible supports several chains and can host NFTs created on Ethereum, Tezos, and Flow blockchains. Users can buy NFTs using their credit or debit cards, and the platform supports over 190 countries.
This makes Rarible one of the most accessible places to purchase NFTs in the world. Apart from that, users who have cryptocurrencies can also purchase NFTs on Rarible. The platform supports cryptocurrency wallets such as Metamask and Coinbase, making sure that investors have a way of storing their assets safely.
WAX NFT Marketplaces
WAX is a popular NFT marketplace that boasts over 140,000 NFT items. WAX in itself is a blockchain network that is separate from other blockchains and was created in 2017. This network was designed to improve the effectiveness of E-commerce transactions. Due to this, the network is compatible with several other blockchains such as EOS and provides stiff competition to Ethereum.
WAX’s NFT marketplace is called the SimpleMarket, and many of the NFT items on the platform are sold in WAX, the native token of the WAX blockchain. This means that for a user to purchase NFTs, they must have WAX tokens in their wallet. Apart from the SimpleMarket, WAX NFTs can also be purchased on the Atomic Hub, another secondary NFT marketplace on the WAX blockchain.
The Atomic Hub provides exchange services with no gas fees. Several high-end brands have already invested in the WAX blockchain and used it to mint their NFTs. They include Sony and Atari. This move provides serious credibility and legitimacy to the WAX network. WAX charges a 2% transaction fee in the secondary market. However, for initial NFT drops, the charges are unclear.
Foundation NFT Marketplace
One of the largest and most high-end NFT marketplaces in the world is Foundation. The platform deals with exclusive art. NFTs listed on the Foundation marketplace can be bought via auction. Most auctions run for 24 hours after the first bid has been placed.
The platform is built on the Ethereum network, and the interface is user-friendly. This means that finding a specific NFT item on the platform is fast and easy. Foundation charges a 15% fee to the seller for every transaction. This is one of the most extravagant charges on any NFT platform.
However, NFT sellers on Foundation can recoup some of the expenses by offering 10% royalties on sales through a secondary market. Users can use cryptocurrency to pay for NFT purchases, but the Foundation decentralized application (DApp) only supports Metamask. This limits the accessibility of the platform by investors.
Mintable NFT Marketplace
One of the best places for beginners or new blockchain users to get their hands on NFTs is Mintable. Mintable is built on the Ethereum blockchain, and it is ideal for newcomers. It was launched in 2018 and made the trading process as easy and as simple as possible.
Users can select items based on categories. The platform has grouped NFT items into art, music, videos, sports, and collectibles, among others. The platform supports Immutable X, Zilliqa, and Ethereum blockchains, hence ensuring a wide variety of assets from different blockchains for the investors to select from.
Users can buy NFTs using ETH or using their credit or debit cards. There is a 5% fee when using a debit or credit card, which makes such transactions costly. On the other hand, the process of linking crypto wallets to their platform is extremely easy and can be done in mere minutes.
Conclusion: What Is the Future of NFTs
NFTs had not even matured properly when Metaverse invaded the stage. However, NFT and Metaverse spaces are merging to create a hybrid dual-world where both niches will develop. NFT marketplaces will only grow from here on, and more sophisticated marketplaces are being created for NFTs that touch on real-world assets such as real estate, cars, and enterprises. The future is bright for NFTs.
* We hope this information will help you in your investment process, but this is not investment advice. Every investment carries risk, especially in this industry, so DYOR before making a decision.