If you are thinking of diving into the NFT Marketplace, you want to know who is the best in the business. The good news is, there are plenty of choices. The other good news is that, by doing your research on your options, you have taken the right first step. The bad news is, there are so many NFT marketplaces out there to choose from, making the answer more complicated than you think.
To delve into what NFT marketplace would be best for you, it is important to look at the key factors you find important. You will need to take a close look at your overall goals and understand which tools may be the best avenue for you to arrive smoothly at your destination.
The NFT Platform For You
The best fit of an NFT marketplace will vary from person to person. Like much of the investing world, there is no “one size fits all” mentality that can be applied to the masses. Instead, finding a marketplace to fit your needs is personal. It will depend largely on how you view the concept, and what you intend to do with its technology.
Consider Asking Yourself Questions
Before diving into the miles-long laundry list of choices you have in NFT platforms, it is wise to take your first look in the mirror. Before you even begin your research, focus first on what it is you want to get out of your NFT venture.
Why Do You Want to Buy NFTs?
First, consider why it is you are thinking of jumping into NFTs. Do you know much about them? Is this your first purchase, or are you a seasoned pro seeking new avenues?
By taking a serious look at your own desires, it will help you to narrow down some of the choices in seeking the best NFT marketplace for you. Based on the list of goals you have for your venture, you can start your search in more objective space.
Questions to Review
In addition to deciding why you are making your leap into NFTs, you may also want to focus on the plans you have. Are you seeking to invest? Do you think you will hold onto NFTs for the long haul or flip them quickly?
Are you thinking of getting into the market as a creator of NFTs? This may impact your choice, as fees and process vary from platform to platform.
Do you have specific crypto you want to work in for your transactions? Keep in mind all marketplaces do not work with all cryptocurrencies. Instead, some focus strictly on their own native crypto, while others limit use to the popular names.
Types of NFT Marketplaces
Another focus you may want to make upon creating your “wish list” is to decide the types of NFTs you want to work toward, such as which industry, how you’ll invest, or if you aim to be entertained by your purchases instead.
Knowing these future goals can help you narrow down the search for the perfect NFT marketplace for your needs.
Do You Have a Genre In Mind?
For example, some NFT marketplaces focus on a genre or industry. If your main goal is a collection of NFTs in a specific industry or genre, this can greatly reduce the number of considerations you have to focus on in your search.
For example, if by owning NFTs, your goal is to strictly focus on professional basketball in the United States, you will enjoy checking NBA Top Shot. The NBA Top Shot marketplace focuses efforts on selling “Moments,” which are short video clips minted into NFTs for sale.
Loud Market, LTD, however, is a marketplace that claims to be the first of its kind, representing the music industry with NFTs being bought, sold, and traded as crypto assets. Launching in late November 2021, the site is brand spanking new, but aims, according to its site, to benefit artists and individuals.
NFTs for Digital Art
If your goal is strictly artistic, you may want to narrow your search into those focused on the arts. Most major NFT marketplaces do not have a medium focus, allowing all types of NFTs to be bought, sold, or traded.
But if you really want to show off artistic skills, there are marketplaces that narrow the audience down to a more specific artform. For example, an NFT marketplace called Ephimera puts all of its proverbial eggs in the “lens-based” basket.
Ephimera invites those that work in photography and videography to bring their work to its platform, where minting NFTs will cost gas fees in addition to a ten percent marketplace fee. The charge, however, may prove worth the investment, since the site also helps its artists to earn royalty fees on subsequent sales.
Sites like Ephimera in particular, often also have an exclusive entry for artists, meaning not just any Average Joe can mint NFTs. These marketplaces are sifting through applications looking for the most talent, which can mean a hint of notoriety to go along with your NFT sale.
Crypto art is as varied as the marketplaces that offer the NFTs that represent their ownership. The NFT craze may have been around for a few years now, but the NFT world is just in its early formation stages.
Is This a Game to You?
This isn’t a question that is as aimed at being snarky. It is an actual option. An early player in the tokens to game market was CryptoSkulls. This unique NFT marketplace brings digital art to a new level.
Offering 10,000 pixelated, eight-bit style skull images, each unique and different from one another, the creators of CryptoSkulls didn’t stop there. They later launched a game, Gold of Skulls offered a game in which the tokens would play a role.
Created as ERC-721 tokens, these NFTs were not just for buying, selling, and trading (which they also could do), but this NFT market also offered digital collectibles that could be used in actual online gameplay. The rarer the skull, the more power it had in the game.
The NFTs which started in 2019, with the game arriving in 2020, had a resurgence in popularity of late, with a January 2020 booming week topping charts with $44.56 million in trading volume in just one, seven-day period.
What defines the “best” NFT marketplace can be tough to nail, but one with such a refreshed popularity clearly has something to offer.
Beyond Kitties and Skulls
Axie Infinity, the second-largest NFT marketplace, has generated a total trading volume of $2.83 billion since its launch in 2018 with a similar concept of gaming at its core.
Axie Infinity operates much like Dapper Labs and its creation of “CryptoKitties.” It is a blockchain game centered around collecting and trading digital pets called Axies. Like CryptoKitties, the game comes with a “breeding” option allowing players to create unique “pets” of sorts.
A collection of Axies can be fun just to look at, but they also can be “raised” to fight in player-versus-player (PVP) battles. In-game rewards, such as tokens, come to the winners. While clearly there is a game and a niche for the competitive in nature, there is also an entire NFT marketplace going on, too.
The NFT powered video game is another tech still in its infancy but offers a wide world to explore, for sure. Some games use tokens as a “player” while others offer tokens as game incentives. With such an open playing field, so to speak, there is certainly more to come.
Follow the Money If Investing
One way many select the “best” NFT is to find out where the biggest dollars are. Technically speaking, NFT marketplaces work in cryptocurrency. If following the most popular NFT marketplaces sounds more appealing to you, you clearly are not alone.
For one, popular NFT marketplaces often have longer track records. Proving themselves over the years, there is stability in trusting a site that has found its legs. A number of users or overall trading volume can be a promising figure to put your stock, er, in this case, NFTs, in since it also shows a trust others have placed.
As the saying goes, putting your money where your mouth is, checking for a high trading volume means that others have not only had faith in this marketplace but have put their money into it too.
Today’s Top NFT Marketplaces
As you can see, there are many reasons to choose, or not to choose, a particular platform. For many, the search for the best boils down to a list of the most active users, the highest trade volumes, or overall net worth.
If you are looking for the top NFT marketplace, there is always a “tops” list floating around just a search away. This search may not yield the right NFT marketplace for you, but will at least provide you with some of the biggest names in the business.
As of publication, some of the most popular NFT marketplaces include:
- Axie Marketplace
- Binance NFT Marketplace
- Larva Labs
- NBA Top Shot marketplace
- Nifty Gateway
If your main focus is on investing, you may want to select a popular marketplace like those listed above, as it will offer the most opportunity for sales. If “best NFT marketplaces” means “where can I make the most money” then you will want to stick to the tried and true products, too.
Other NFT marketplaces may try to tempt new users with low fees or lazy minting (creating the NFT after the sale, taking gas fees out of the profit), but these newcomers to the marketplace scene may not be the wisest choice if you are hoping to make a long-term investment.
Open Markets Offer Options
If you are unsure about your future plans with NFTs, or simply want to peruse what is available to make your NFT collections, consider the NFT sales on very versatile sites, like OpenSea. For many of the reasons the most popular marketplaces find success, so too does OpenSea.
The OpenSea Marketplace
As the name implies, the world has a lot of fish in the proverbial sea. OpenSea has blockchain technology with a very open marketplace. Many call it the “best marketplace.” One of its pros for those seeking to own NFTs is the easy-to-follow user interface.
For those seeking to dive into NFTs but aren’t yet familiar with the difference between an Ethereum blockchain platform and a crypto exchange Gemini, you may appreciate the novice-friendly approach of a site catering to all skill levels.
Additionally, OpenSea works with a large number of cryptocurrency exchanges, making them versatile, giving you options with a wide variety of digital wallets and types of crypto.
Technology as an Open Book
Some sites, such as the Ethereum blockchain, as well as Polygon, are popular not only because you can create NFTs, but also because they offer an open-sourced blockchain technology that developers can use to create their own platform.
These sites are designed not just to sell non-fungible tokens, nor just for trading NFTs, but instead offer a user-friendly marketplace for newcomers to the scene to create their own unique marketplaces, too. Anyone can find a site to buy NFTs, but to be able to use the advanced technology of other marketplaces to create your own fun games, decentralized apps, and creative processes is a unique find that opens the entire industry up to future growth.
There Can Be Many “Best” Winners
The word “best” typically implies that there can only be one. Best, however, can mean different things to different people. Choosing an NFT marketplace that is best for you, may not be the NFT marketplace that is best for me.
Each user has a unique need for NFTs. From entertainment and fun to serious long-term investments, the reason you may want to own token pieces or buy and sell NFTs can greatly vary from your neighbor’s, and those goals will largely shape which marketplace is best for you.
The reason you purchase NFTs can help direct you to a site that will best fit your NFT marketplace needs. Just like most investment advice, there is not a one size fits all option that is best for each and every user of the NFT.
For each and every reason you can consider an NFT marketplace the best, so too might you want to consider its less lustrous
An Unproven Commodity
Though some NFT marketplaces can boast a handful of years in the business, such as the “long-lasting” OpenSea, which launched in 2017, they have not had the experience of sticking it out through the ages. Any marketplace will show ups and downs, and that is typical of any site aimed at selling NFTs.
One factor that can make selecting an NFT marketplace is that limited age. There is no magic number, just like there is no magic “best” when it comes to marketplaces. But, knowing that a marketplace has had some years of experience is a plus, for sure.
Who Is a Marketplace Geared Toward?
NFT creators may seek features that an NFT buyer does not. The flipper of an NFT may not want the same things that digital creators do. The world of digital assets is a very mixed space. There are plenty of users, for plenty of reasons. And some NFT marketplaces focus on NFT art. Some NFT marketplaces are all about the crypto market.
No matter why you are using a marketplace, the only thing you can know for sure is that that marketplace has goals of its own, just like you do. And there is nearly nothing in this world that is completely pure in intent.
A business is a business for a reason, and any marketplace is out there to be just that. A business aims to make money, as does an NFT marketplace. We are not saying that is an evil justification, but it is a simple fact, and understanding the angle of your chosen marketplace can help you make a choice, too.
Another Cost of Doing Business
In addition to the motives and methods behind making their own money, you also want to consider the fees associated directly with an NFT marketplace. Typically referred to as “gas fees,” there are transactional charges that must be paid along the way in the creation, buying, selling, and trading of NFTs.
Why Gas Fees?
To understand this cost, it is ideal to know the “why” behind it. Though NFTs and blockchain network platforms exist online, there is still a need for real-life humans, not to mention countless computing machines, required to get that job done. This cost, which has massive impacts on the environment, and not just the pocketbook, has to come from somewhere.
Typically, the cost of creating NFTs is taken out through gas fees. Those that work through the computations, often known as miners, do so for set gas fee amounts. Some NFT marketplaces allow the user to shop for pricing. Some pricing varies from moment to moment. Others have predetermined and set limits on gas fees.
Whatever the methodology, you can be sure that those transaction costs will be covered, and probably not by the marketplace itself.
Other Hidden Fees
Some NFT marketplaces are more upfront about their fees than others. But it is likely that somewhere along the process, fees will be paid for use of the platform. Again, these are not businesses designed to idle. They too seek to make a profit on this ever-changing concept of NFTs.
Some marketplaces will charge a percentage fee, meaning that they will basically take a “cut” of what is sold. If your piece is sold for $100, and the marketplace charges a 10% use fee, then you will have to take that $10 out of our profits, meaning you are only taking home $90 of your earnings.
Other NFT marketplace structures are built around preset limits or flat fees. Who pays the fees can also vary, with some exchanges offering to include that cost in a buyer’s purchase price, instead of taking it out of a seller’s profits.
No matter the way they go about it, there are costs involved when doing business with an NFT marketplace, so do your due diligence and be sure you are informed of all fine print before you lock in on a marketplace.
What Is the Best?
If you have not gathered by now, there is no single answer to the question, what is the best NFT marketplace. Because “best” is a very subjective term, it can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. No two marketplaces are alike completely.
All of the sites have unique users, offerings, fee structures, compatibilities (with crypto wallets and cryptocurrency), as well as motives and purposes behind their work. Are they using clean energy or creating a massive impact on our environment? Are they focused on the artist? Or are they down for investors to make a quick buck?
Analyzing the features of a marketplace is just the start. Having a clear and honest picture of what you, individually, expect and hope for in an NFT marketplace will make all the difference in your research.