Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have become one of the hottest crypto trends, generating billions in trading volume across various NFT marketplaces. But with new NFT platforms launching constantly, how do you decide where to buy, sell or trade NFTs?
This comprehensive guide examines the top NFT marketplaces across key factors like transaction volume, fees, blockchain support, and more to help you find the right marketplace for your needs.
Overview of Key Factors for NFT Marketplaces
Here are some key factors to evaluate when choosing an NFT marketplace:
- Trading Volume – The total value of NFTs bought and sold on the marketplace. Higher is better for liquidity.
- Blockchain Support – Blockchains like Ethereum, Solana, Flow etc. Marketplaces support different blockchains.
- Fees – Includes transaction fees, gas fees and commissions charged by the marketplace. Lower is better.
- Ease of Use – The user experience and simplicity of buying, selling and transferring NFTs.
- Curated Content – How much does the marketplace curate quality NFT content vs open listings.
- Security – How the marketplace secures transactions and NFT assets on the blockchain.
- Supported NFT Categories – Main NFT categories like art, collectibles, gaming assets, metaverse etc.
Let’s now dive into the top NFT marketplaces based on these factors.
Largest Open NFT Marketplaces
These platforms offer a wide range of NFT categories and open listings without much curation.
As the largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea leads in total trading volume and selection of NFTs with over 80 million assets. It supports the Ethereum blockchain and charges a 2.5% transaction fee. OpenSea offers a full marketplace experience with listings, profiles, favoriting and more.
However, there are some limitations. High gas fees on Ethereum can make transactions expensive. There are concerns around fake volumes and spam. The open nature means lots of low quality listings. But overall, OpenSea is the go-to for buying and selling all types of NFTs.
Rarible comes second to OpenSea in weekly volume, around $30-40 million. It offers multi-chain support for Ethereum and Flow blockchains. Rarible positions itself as a community-owned platform and innovator in the NFT space.
It provides features like fractional NFT ownership. But it has significantly lower liquidity than OpenSea. Users also complain about fake activity and bots inflating prices on Rarible. There are high gas and transaction fees.
Solanart is an emerging NFT marketplace on the Solana blockchain, which offers faster and cheaper transactions than Ethereum. Although limited in functionality currently, Solanart and other Solana based marketplaces have potential to grow given Solana’s advantages.
AtomicHub offers a clean interface for trading NFT collectibles on the WAX blockchain. It doesn’t charge listing fees and uses a unique staking system to incentivize curators. But AtomicHub sees lower trading activity than Ethereum marketplaces.
Top Category-specific NFT Platforms
These marketplaces focus on specific NFT verticals like sports, gaming or arts.
NBA Top Shot
NBA Top Shot only offers licensed collectible highlights from NBA games as NFTs. It operates on Dapper Lab’s Flow blockchain and has seen over $780 million in sales so far. But users have to research the pack system and appeal of basketball NFT clips.
On the Axie Marketplace, users can buy, sell and trade Axie creatures which are used in the Axie Infinity blockchain game. This strong utility has driven nearly $3.6 billion in Axie NFT trading volume. The high prices for rare Axies creates a barrier for new users.
SuperRare focuses solely on curated and verified digital arts NFTs on Ethereum. Each NFT is single edition and created by the artist. With $100 million in volume, it provides a more selective arts-focused marketplace. But the selection is much more limited in scope.
There are many other niche NFT marketplaces like NBA Top Shot emerging for special interest collections. But due to lower liquidity, their appeal may be limited to enthusiasts of that niche.
How to Choose the Right NFT Marketplace
Here are some best practices when selecting an NFT marketplace:
- Analyze your needs – buying, selling, curated vs open, primary NFT category etc.
- Evaluate marketplaces across key factors like fees, blockchain, ease of use etc.
- Compare trading volume and activity to gauge liquidity and network effects.
- Consider newer marketplaces for lower fees but less liquidity.
- Use multiple platforms if you want to buy/sell across different niches.
The NFT marketplace ecosystem is still evolving rapidly. While Ethereum based platforms dominate currently, solutions on cheaper and faster blockchains could disrupt the space. As the technology and choice of platforms mature, users will gravitate to marketplaces that focus on trust, security and a great user experience.
This guide has covered the top NFT marketplaces across both popular platforms and niche category-specific sites based on key factors like fees, blockchain support, trading volume etc.
Use it as a starting point for determining which NFT marketplace(s) meet your specific needs as a buyer, seller or trader. The marketplace you choose can significantly impact your overall experience and success dealing in NFTs.