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11 NFT marketplaces you should know | Creative Bloq

11 NFT marketplaces you should know | Creative Bloq

Choosing the right NFT marketplace is about more than just where to sell your art. You need to consider which platform best suits the type of NFT you’re creating, how much, if any, fee the marketplace will take per sale, and which blockchain it uses. Most use Ethereum but some are opting for the cheaper gas fees (the charge for creating the NFT) and better carbon footprint of newer blockchains.

If you’re still new to NFTs are need to know what are NFTs then our guide has you covered. Once you’ve chosen one of the NFT marketplaces from below, then you’ll need to create your NFT, so take a look at our guide to how to make and sell an NFT.

Here, we’ve rounded up some of best NFT marketplaces where you can create and sell NFTs, or simply buy and collect new projects. Whether you’re buying, selling, or just NFT-curious, one of these marketplaces will suit you.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific financial or investment advice or recommendations for any individual for any investment product.  The article is only intended to provide general information and opinions about NFT marketplaces. The views reflected in this article are subject to change at any time without notice.

01. OpenSea

The broadest and most established NFT marketplace

NFT type: Art, music, photography, collectibles, sports, virtual worlds, and more
+Buy and sell all types of NFT+Accepts over 150 cryptocurrencies+Now also uses Polygon blockchain
Reasons to avoid
Uses Ethereum, which has high gas and carbon fees

OpenSea is one of the oldest and most used NFT marketplaces. It hosts every kind of NFT, from art to music, photography and sports collectibles. Think of OpenSea as the Amazon of NFT marketplaces. It really is the do-all NFT platform. This is backed by its support of more than 150 cryptocurrency payment tokens. OpenSea is easy-to-use and you can set up an account for free and start minting, selling and browsing in minutes. 

What’s more, OpenSea now boasts it’s a gas-free NFT marketplace through cross-blockchain support. The marketplace now supports the Polygon cryptocurrency, which means you won’t have to pay fees when making trades and artists can “fully earn their way into crypto for the first time,” according to OpenSea. 

02. Nifty Gateway

The place for expensive headline-grabbing NFTs

+You can buy with Fiat currency+Makes use of limited Open Editions
Reasons to avoid
Dominated by celebrity NFTs

Nifty Gateway is the place for eye-catching NFT sales. The marketplace boasts not one but two of the biggest selling NFTs, ever. It was the place where Beeple sold CROSSROAD and in December 2021 it was the marketplace where digital artist Pak’s  sold The Merge for US$91.8 million – the world’s most expensive NFT (at time of writing!).

This is the platform loved by the Twitterverse and draws in celebrity NFTs. But don’t let that put you off. Nifty Gateway has a couple of standout points. First, it makes use of ‘open editions’, an unlimited number of editions are created for a limited period of time, and are sold at a base price. Once timed out, no more NFTs are issued, ever. This leads scarcity and a strong market in secondary sales. Second, Nifty enables collectors to buy NFTs using Fiat (government-issued currency), which means you can make purchases using credit cards and not cryptocurrency. This means it’s a good in-road for anyone not used to crypto wallets.  

03. Rarible

The NFT marketplace for rare media and sports collections

+Choose from three blockchains+Community-owned+Can offer low carbon and gas fees
Reasons to avoid
Can be dominated by big brands

Rarible is an NFT marketplace designed to sell both single pieces of art and collections. It attracts sports, gaming, and media brands as well as artists releasing collections of works. Rarible is community-owned and promotes decentralisation. The platform uses its own token, RARI, and users get to vote on any platform upgrades and take part in moderation.

As well as Ethereum, Rarible uses Flow and Tezos blockchains. You choose at minting which token you’ll use, and can share search options with OpenSea. Which blockchain you choose is interesting. Ethereum is the most used for NFT minting but its carbon footprint and gas fees are high. Tezos gas fees are low (around $0.50) but it’s geared towards artists releasing collections. Flow uses what’s called ‘lazy minting’, which means creators pay near-zero fees plus it’s a ‘proof-of-stake’ blockchain which offers a far lower carbon footprint than Ethereum.

Rarible has partnered with some big brands to secure artists work and create unique NFTs, including Adobe.

BInance NFT marketplace

04. Binance NFT

One of the largest and future-proof NFT marketplaces

+Low fees, just 1%+Large and secure marketplace+Cash-out using Fiat

Binance NFT is one of the largest marketplaces around, and is supported by its own blockchain; Binance is one of the largest crypto exchanges. For these reasons Binance NFT is seen as one of the most future-proof NFT marketplaces. It’s size and scale mean this marketplace can offer exclusive partnerships and events others may envy. If you have Binance tokens (BNB) accessing the marketplace is even easier, and you can you can use ETH, BNB, and BUSD to bid.

05. SuperRare

The NFT platform with an art gallery feel

+Curated and rare artwork+Has a fine gallery mood+Fantastic editorial blog
Reasons to avoid
Accepts low number of applicants

SuperRare brings gallery attitude to the NFT space. It’s an art-first marketplace that places credibility and artistic intent above meme-friendly-to-the-moon art. You won’t find SuperRare filled with celebrity NFTs. It reportedly only accepts 1% of all artists who apply, which sounds snobbish but it also means you get a catalogue of highly curated and interesting artworks. 

This approach makes SuperRare feel like a high-end gallery, and is further enhanced by only enabling its artists to mint one of their originals – no Editions here. This greats scarcity and as the name suggests, rarity. SuperRare is for serious art and artists, and is backed by a must-read editorial blog.

06. Async Art

This NFT marketplace is a leader in programmable art

+Forward-looking digital art+Supports multiple creators and owners+Blueprints offers a new opportunity
Reasons to avoid
Some advanced NFT knowledge needed

Async Art is an NFT marketplace known for ‘programmable art’. Each work of art is made up of a Master and Layers; Masters are the entire NFT while Layers are separate elements that make up the art, and can be altered. Everything is ‘Tokenized’ meaning different artists can own different layers, and contribute to changing the artwork. 

Programmable art is at the forefront of digital art, enabling multiple creators to alter an artwork over time, and it’s a kind of NFT art that can’t be shared on more traditional gallery platforms such as SuperRare. Async Art has recently launched Blueprints, enabling artists to create generative projects in the vein of Bored Apes.

07. MakersPlace

You’ll find established fine and modern artists on this NFT marketplace

+Buy NFTs from established artists+Good mixture of impressive art+Scarce and rare NFTs
Reasons to avoid
Can be expensive

MakersPlace is where you’ll find established artists, galleries and institutions offering NFTs if their work. Join up and you can expect to be bidding on new NFT art from the likes of Damien Hirst, Christie’s auction house and comic legend Robert Liefeld

Artists on MakersPlace digitally sign their art which is recorded on the blockchain, only a limited number of authentic editions are minted creating scarcity, and buyers get full ownership of the artwork. Even if the art is downloaded can copied, it won’t be authentic or carry the artist’s digital signature.

08. KnownOrigin

This NFT platform supports limited-run drops and high-quality art

+Limited NFT drops+Curated NFT editions+Easy to use platform
Reasons to avoid
Can be expensive

KnownOrigin is one of the oldest NFT marketplaces and is focused on offering rare and collectible artworks. KnownOrigin specialises in timed-released events, known as drops, such as Seth Tillett’s Jean Michel Basquiat photo collection, that enable artists to control the number of copies released. This can create scarcity and and ramp up prices. Also adding to the sense of rarity, artists need to apply to join and must be vetted. 

This marketplace uses Ethereum to mint, so you may want to consider the fees and carbon footprint when bidding. KnownOrigin does also support collaborations on NFTs and makes a big effort to support community messaging and offer advice around drops and sales, including making secondary sales clear in a separate marketplace. 

09. Foundation

An artist-run NFT marketplace with rare and exclusive projects

+Curated and limited NFTs+Artist-run NFT marketplace+High quality art and projects
Reasons to avoid
Limited and exclusive creator listFees could be lower

Foundation is run like an artist’s club you may never get an invite into; it’s a community-curated platform run by a select number of artists. Foundation has only been running for a year, but its creators have already earned a combined $163,263.94. To join Foundation you need an invite from a current artist, and each artist only has one invite to use. This creates a sense of exclusivity, and yes, rarity. But it’s a unique one, created and run by artists.

Selling an NFT on Foundation earns the artist 85% of the value, and secondary sales earn 10%. This is lower than some other NFT marketplaces, but you’ll find NFTs on Foundation are priced higher on average and hold their value. Creators tend to be more authentic and artistic than you may find on other marketplaces.

10. Zora

This NFT marketplace supports artists and creators of all kinds

+Supports artists and creators+Run your own auction house+Buy NFTs of real world collections
Reasons to avoid
Can feel complex

Zora began life as an artist invite-only platform similar to Foundation but has since pivoted to an open marketplace that anyone can use. Zora is known as an easy-to-use marketplace that enables perpetual bids, so anyone can bid in any currency. It’s devoted to giving artists and creators more ownership and power over their art.

This marketplace has evolved into a good space for music NFTs and a platform that bridges the real and digital worlds. Zora auctioned off digital and physical copies of RAC’s Boy album on cassette. In this vein, Zora is becoming the marketplace to find physical items sold to super-fans, such as Nike designer Jeff Staple who sells limited edition trainers on the platform.

11. Mintable

A newcomer that makes creating and selling NFTs very easy

+Very easy to use+Broad and varies NFT selection+Free Mintable University courses
Reasons to avoid
The quality varies wildly

If OpenSean is Amazon of the NFT platforms then Mintable is Etsy. This newcomer to the NFT marketplace is backed by billionaire Mark Cuban and aims to offer broad content and be easy to use. 

In practice this means you can create an NFT from nearly any digital file – image, gif, video, audio file, text document and more – and add it to your store on the platform. It’s very easy and requires little knowledge of NFTs, crypto wallets or blockchains. While Mintable supports Ethereum as standard, you can also mint using Immutable X for free gas fees. Making life even easier, Mintable University is a free resource on the marketplace featuring handy video courses to get better at NFTs. 

Frequently asked questions

There’s a lot of jargon and detail in setting up an account on an NFT marketplace, and some controversy around NFTs. Below are some need-to-know answers to common questions. Many NFT marketplaces are trying to make their platforms easier to use, and some even use debit and credit cards as well as crypto wallets, so creating, selling buying NFTs is becoming even easier.

What are gas fees?

This is the charge you need to pay on the Ethereum blockchain to perform a function, in this case creating an NFT. Gas fees are measured in gwei, and these can go up and down depending on how heavy the use is. On average you’ll be charged 0.0042 ETH per transaction. You can find lower fees early in the morning, between 1am and 3 am (UTC) or late at night, between 9pm and 11 pm (UTC).

Can I avoid gas fees?

Yes, some NFT marketplaces are offering gas free minting. These including OpenSea and Rarible, this essentially places the gas fee on the buyer not the creator, so it will show in the sale (think VAT). There are some blockchains that have none or lower fees, such as Polygon on Opensea, or ImmutableX on Mintable. Before minting or buying, look into the fees and which blockchain and token is being used.

What is minting?

Minting is the term given to creating your NFT on a blockchain, usually Ethereum. This records the data in a public ledger that is unchangeable and tamper-proof, and can follow and track the NFT across further sales. Minting costs a gas fee, but some marketplaces are getting creative as to how, for whom and when fees are charged.

What’s a blockchain?

Investopedia describes a blockchain as: “A blockchain is a distributed database that is shared among the nodes of a computer network.” The strength of blockchain tech is it guarantees security and trust without the need for a third-party, speeding up data transactions. The data entered is irreversible, ensuring it’s permanent – for NFTs that means artists can always get percentages of future sales.

Do I need a crypto wallet?

Ideally, yes. Most NFT marketplaces require you to create a crypto wallet to mint and trade NFTs. A common one is MetaMask, though Coinbase is another secure wallet. Some newer NFT marketplaces, such as Nifty Gateway, allow the use of Fiat currency (dollars, etc) via credit and debit cards, making access to NFTs easier.

Can anything be an NFT?

Yes. Any kind of digital file can be stored as an NFT. Most marketplaces are set up for digital artwork, but more are now supporting video, game assets, and music. Physical items are also now digitised as NFTs, for example physical limited edition Nike trainers. Expect NFTs to exist on and between the digital and physical spaces in the future.

Are NFTs controversial?

Yes. You can’t escape the fact Ethereum minting has a high carbon footprint, but perhaps not as high as some believe. Yet everyone accepts there is a problem. Ethererum 2.0 should solve this issue, and is due this year.

Are there energy efficient blockchains?

Yes, and currently NFT marketplaces are offering alternatives to Ethererum with better carbon footprints. These include Flow, Tezos, and Polygon. New blockchain Solana boasts of being carbon-neutral. Check on your NFT marketplace which is being used and opt for one that suits your conscience.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific financial or investment advice or recommendations for any individual for any investment product.  The article is only intended to provide general information and opinions about NFT marketplaces. The views reflected in this article are subject to change at any time without notice.

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