OpenSea has been active since 2018 and is one of the world leaders among NFT Marketplaces. At the time of first writing this review (29 March 2021), the platform proudly claimed on their website that they are in fact the largest NFT Marketplace in the world.
What is an NFT Marketplace?
An NFT Marketplace is a marketplace for NFTs. So far so good. But what is an NFT?
NFT is an acronym for “Non-Fungible Tokens”. Something which is fungible is replaceable. For instance, one kilo of 24 karat gold is – at least in theory – replaceable with any other kilo of 24 karat gold. When something is non-fungible, it means that it is unique, and not replaceable with any other item out there.
Although NFTs are conceptually similar to cryptocurrencies, these digital assets might represent antiques & artworks, collectables like trading cards, and other items with unique features. These tokens are stored cryptographically in a blockchain network for authentication and validation. Even when transacting, each token is sold as a whole, unlike cryptocurrencies which are divisible into smaller units. NFTs lose their value when split into smaller portions, however, they can be duplicated by the artist and each additional copy can be sold separately (but the total number of duplicates will then always be known).
The key focus of OpenSea is the option of self-listing. Artists can create a market place for their NFTs without paying any commission or platform fees. In many ways, this is comparable to the status Uniswap has among crypto exchanges. Uniswap allows anyone to list cryptocurrencies on their platform, without a meticulous and time consuming listing procedure. The same goes for OpenSea, but with respect to NFTs.
Artists can create their NFTs merely by inputing data sets like Name, Category, immutable and mutable data. The ownership of the NFT is assigned after creation, enabling artists to sell or transfer immediately. On this marketplace, artists can stay focused on creating artworks instead of worrying about the listing process.
OpenSea is also "compatible with open blockchain standards", meaning that it is possible for you to create your work on other platforms, and then come back to OpenSea to sell your work there.
Layout of OpenSea
Different NFT Marketplaces present their NFTs, the latest bid and the remaining time of an auction etc. in different ways. What you are most comfortable with viewing and using is up to you and no one else. At OpenSea, you can decide to sell your NFTs in two different ways: through the "Buy Now"-function or through an auction procedure.
The following picture is a print screen from OpenSea's browse section:
If you move in to one of the specific NFTs, in this case the NFT called ME. created by the actress katiecassidy, the page layout is as follows. As can be seen from the picture below, the layout includes information on the reserve price, any offers made, the artist's price history etc. In this particular case, the artist katiecassidy also donates a portion of proceeds from the auction to the The Rape Foundation, a foundation established for the support and treatment of rape victims.
When you buy an NFT somewhere, it is customary for the relevant NFT Marketplace to charge a fee for enabling the sale. This fee is typically a percentage of the NFT's sale price and is normally paid by the buyer. This can be compared with how regular art galleries normally take a share of the sale of any paintings etc. hanging in the gallery when a sale is executed.
At OpenSea, the buyer pays 2.50% to the marketplace when purchasing an NFT, but there are no listing fees involved. The original creator of the NFT can also choose to take a fee on the final sale amount as well, but is under no obligation to do so.
Accordingly, if you purchase an NFT worth USD 100 at OpenSea, you will have to pay USD 102.50 in total (provided that the creator of the NFT has chosen not to charge a fee for himself/herself).
OpenSea - unlike 90% of all other NFT Marketplaces - has a referral program. This means that if you refer a friend to OpenSea, and this friend buys an NFT on the marketplace, you will receive 2.50% of the sale amount as a reward. Let's say that you refer someone who happens to buy a very exclusive and rare NFT on the platform for USD 100,000. You would then get USD 2,500 as a reward! This is very different also from crypto exchanges who normally give the referring party a share of the trading fees they charge, and not - like OpenSea - a share of the price of the trade.
OpenSea Payment Methods
A few of the NFT Marketplaces out there accept deposits and payments via credit or debit card, and some even accept PayPal-deposits.
OpenSea doesn’t allow withdrawals or deposits through credit/debit cards or PayPal. Accordingly, you need to have a previous holding of the cryptos supported by OpenSea in order to be able to interact on this particular marketplace.
If you have cryptos, and you want to explore the NFTs available at OpenSea, you can do so here.