Opensea Review: Everything You Need to Know

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Interested in buying your first NFT? These digital collectibles experienced an explosion of adoption across the globe in 2021, and there's certainly no sign of them slowing down.

Some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Coca-Cola, Nike, Adidas, Budweiser, TIME Magazine, and many others, have recently jumped into the NFT space, with many more big players coming very soon.

The best time to start collecting and investing in NFTs is now. If you've done any reading on NFTs, then you've probably heard about OpenSea, the world's largest NFT marketplace. When buying NFTs for the first time, most people start on OpenSea. 

They handle the most NFT sales, feature the most artists and brands, and make it as easy as possible to buy, sell, and mint NFTs. Keep reading below to learn all about using OpenSea to start building your NFT collection today.

How do NFT Marketplaces work?

NFTs are all the rage today, with several collections like CryptoPunk and Bored Ape Yacht Club being sold for millions of dollars. While some are still skeptical of NFTs, they are only growing in popularity and usage. 

By proving digital ownership, NFTs are predicted to revolutionize the way we think about property. For now, digital artwork is seeing its primary application, which is bought and sold on specialized platforms. As NFTs gain mainstream adoption, more and more of these NFT marketplaces are popping everywhere. 

Crypto exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, FTX, and Kraken have also either launched or are in the process of launching their own NFT marketplaces. South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb announced in Jan. 2022 that it is also developing an NFT marketplace in collaboration with “a large company.”

Even the Associated Press (AP) is launching an NFT marketplace for collectors to purchase the “news agency’s award-winning contemporary and historic photojournalism.”

Among the growing number of NFT marketplaces, OpenSea continues to rule the market. The broadest and most established NFT marketplace hosts art, music, photography, collectibles, sports, virtual worlds, and other types of NFTs.

The most used NFT marketplaces support more than 150 cryptos as payment options and boost the gas-free marketplace through cross-blockchain support.

Many different NFT marketplaces are available on the web today and many of these function in a similar way. Artists mint and sell NFTs on the platform, and collectors make a purchase using cryptocurrency. Platforms facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers. It creates a decentralized NFT marketplace, where peer-to-peer transactions are allowed to take place.

To use an NFT marketplace, you'll need to set up a cryptocurrency wallet in your internet browser, such as MetaMask. You'll buy cryptocurrency on an exchange like Coinbase, send it to your wallet, and make an NFT purchase on the marketplace. The NFT is then stored in your crypto wallet until you transfer it elsewhere.

All About OpenSea

So what is OpenSea? OpenSea claims to be the first NFT marketplace, having hit the scene in 2017, when NFT collections like CryptoPunks and CryptKitties first dropped. It was founded in New York City by Alex Atallah and Devin Finzer, and it has been desperate to expand the team since then.

Shortly after launch, OpenSea won at the startup accelerator Y Combinator locking in early investment. OpenSea has since gone on to earn backing from people like Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher, becoming a multi-billion dollar company. With a valuation of $13.3 billion this year, OpenSea had its valuation rising about ten-fold from $1.5 billion just last July.

Founder and CEO Finzer said at the time that the company will use the new funds for product development, recruitment, and community investment. “We’re actively expanding our efforts across customer support, trust and safety, and site stability and integrity,” said Finzer. 

In 2020, before the big NFT boom, OpenSea had a sales volume of $21 million for the entire year. In August 2021, during the biggest NFT surge we've seen, OpenSea facilitated $3.4 billion in sales in one month.

The NFT mania is picking up speed again in 2022, with January volume on OpenSea already hitting a new all-time high at $3.69 billion, according to data from Dune Analytics. On January 9, OpenSea had its largest single-day volume of just over $261 million. 

The majority of this resurgence in NFT volume is driven by the price surge in NFT collections, Bored Ape Yack Club (BAYC), which account for about 10% of the platform’s volume, and BAYC’s sister collections Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) and Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC).

Much like volume, OpenSea’s users are also on an uptrend, with more than a million users have made at least one transaction, meaning either bought or sold an NFT on the marketplace, compared to a paltry 38k users at the beginning of 2021.

In the past 30-days, OpenSea has also generated nearly $63 million in revenue, currently the second-highest in crypto after Ethereum’s $1.1 billion, according to Token Terminal.

How Does OpenSea Work?

OpenSea is just like eBay; anyone who has an NFT on blockchains like Ethereum or Polygon can sell that NFT on OpenSea. It doesn't matter where the NFT was originally purchased.

You can search for well-established NFT collections, like CryptoPunks, BAYC, or Doodles, or you can sift through the 80 million or so NFTs and find a hidden gem or emerging artist.

You can purchase NFTs to use as a profile picture, digital art, assets to use in NFT video games, virtual land for the metaverse, music, domain names, and many other types of NFTs.

OpenSea charges a flat rate commission of 2.25% on all purchases. It supports multiple cryptocurrencies for buying and selling, but ETH is the most prevalent.

Blockchains Supported

Before going any further, let’s first cover the blockchains that OpenSea supports. Ethereum is the most popular blockchain for NFTs whose native asset ETH, is used to pay transaction fees. The second-largest network, however, is notorious for high gas fees, which fluctuate based on network usage. So, it would be best if you use this blockchain during low activity times to avoid paying hefty gas fees.

Ethereum side-chain Polygon is another blockchain supported by OpenSea, which provides cheaper and instant transactions with ETH, USDC, and DAI. However, to use this scaling solution, cryptocurrency must be “bridged” from Ethereum blockchain to Polygon. Since last July, users have been able to use Polygon to create, buy, and sell NFTs without paying transaction fees.

Yet another one is Klaytn, a blockchain developed by a Korean internet company, Kakao. OpenSea users can use the Kaikas wallet browser extension to buy and sell Klaytn NFTs on the platform.

Let’s get Started

If you want to buy, sell, or mint an NFT on OpenSea, first, you would have to get a digital wallet. MetaMask is a popular web wallet for NFTs, which if you are installing for the first time, be aware of phishing and make sure that you are using the correct website URL for downloading the crypto wallet.

To ensure your crypto assets and NFTs are stored securely, use MetaMask alongside the most popular hardware wallets, Ledger and Trezor. Also, make sure you also have your wallet funded with some ETH to pay for gas fees and other transaction fees charged by the platform. You can buy Ether from any cryptocurrency exchange such as Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, and Gemini. 

Once you have the wallet installed, connect it to OpenSea. To do so, go to the NFT marketplace and click on profile. It will redirect you to a new page and prompt you to connect your wallet. Now, choose MetaMask out of all the available options. Once you have accepted the Terms & Conditions and granted all the required permissions to your wallet, you would have to sign the signature request. 

Buying an NFT

Now, if you want to buy an NFT, the process is pretty simple and straightforward. Go to your OpenSea profile and click “Explore,” which will take you to thousands of NFT collections available on the marketplace. You can also filter your search as per Trending, Top, Art, Collectibles, Photography, Utility, Music, Spots, and virtual worlds.

When you find something that you like, you can either buy it directly or make an offer on it. As you hit “Buy now,” you would see the details of the NFT, following which you have to click on "Confirm Checkout."

As OpenSea connects your MetaMask wallet, you would see information regarding the purchase, estimated gas fees, and transaction processing time. While you can change your gas fees, lowering it would also reduce the transaction speed, so it’s best to buy when the Ethereum network is not busy and fees, in general, are low. 

Once you hit confirm, your transaction will process, and in a matter of a few seconds, you will have your NFT, which you can see in your collection.

Minting an NFT

Now, if you want to mint your very own first NFT on OpenSea, go to your profile on the platform, select “My Collection,” and hit “Create”. Following this, you would be required to fill in the properties, starting with the URL of your collection on the platform, a description, and links to your website and social networks for people to find you and your work. 

You would also have to choose the cryptocurrency that you would like to buy or sell your items in. Once selected, you are done, and you can start with the actual NFT minting process.

To get started with this, go to your collection and click on the “Add Item” at the top right bar. Here you will upload an item, which could be an image, audio, video, or meme. Now, provide details about the items, including a name and a description. 

Once done, click “Create” and that’s it, you can see your NFT in your collection. You can either put it on display only or sell it to your highest bidder.

Selling an NFT 

If you wish to put your NFT for sale, simply go to the “Sell” option at the top right bar of the website. As you are redirected to a new page, here, you'll be required to fill in all the details of the sale.

You would have to choose between either selling the NFT at a fixed price or going for a timed auction. Listing an NFT on OpenSea is free, but, of course, you would have to pay a 2.5% fee that the platform charges on every buy and sell.

In case you don’t see your NFT on your MetaMask wallet, worry not, as you can add it manually. This process involves clicking on your NFT, scrolling down to the details section, where you’ll find “Contact Address.” Clicking on this will redirect you to Etherscan for the specific addresses of your NFT, and copy this address.

Now, go back to your MetaMask wallet, where you’ll find an option to “Import Tokens.” Click this and then choose the “custom Token” option. Then, paste the address you copied from Etherscan, a block explorer and analytics platform for Ethereum. There, you will find your NFT right below your funds.

How Much Does it Cost?

To get started on OpenSea, first-time sellers are required to pay an initialization fee. This one-time fee is charged through a smart contract for transactions running on the Ethereum blockchain. This fee is not fixed and varies depending on the price of the gas at the time. So, to save money, set up your account on days when gas prices are lower.  

This fee is paid in Ether and because of that, the price of ETH also affects how much you are paying in terms of USD. Besides the initialization fee, OpenSea takes a 2.5% cut on every transaction that happens on the platform.

As for cryptos supported for payments on OpenSea, including Ethereum (ETH), Wrapped Ethereum (WETH), and stablecoin DAI and USDC. Users can also set a royalty of up to 10%, which is known as programmed royalty. It is one of the interesting facets of NFTs. By encoding royalties into the smart contract, NFTs allow creators to be rewarded fairly, automatically, and immediately as their works get re-sold. 

To set your royalties on OpenSea, simply go to your collection editor and adjust the percentage fee field. Then, specify the payment address where you want to receive the fees.

Unlike another NFT marketplace, Rarible, OpenSea doesn’t allow for splitting revenue or royalties to multiple addresses at this time. This means if you are creating a collection in collaboration with someone or as part of a group, there is no contract level splits allowed for now, and you have to handle the revenue split between parties on your own side once received.

Facing Criticism and Competition

OpenSea currently remains the undisputed leader in the NFT marketplace, but only for now, as it continues to face criticism from its users who want OpenSea to decentralize its operations. 

The platform’s policies around delisting hacked or exploited NFTs and enforcing IP have also made it a target for critics, who say it’s a rent-seeking middleman in a decentralized ecosystem. ​​

“When OpenSea receives a credible report or learns that an item is stolen, we lock the item so it cannot be bought, sold, or transferred using OpenSea,” reads the website.

Not long ago, an art gallery operator and NFT collector said that OpenSea has “frozen” his BAYC NFT collection worth $2.28 million, which had observers calling out a scarcity of decentralization.

Call for a Token

OpenSea users have also called for the launch of a token and spoken out against the lack of rewarding the early and loyal users through a token airdrop. Late last year, OpenSea hired former Lyft CFO Brian Roberts and shared plans to take the company public, which received much backlash from the community. 

“When you have a company growing as fast as this one, you’d be foolish not to think about it going public,” said Roberts, who was integral to ride-sharing app Lyft’s successful IPO in 2019.

As the company continues to raise money from investors, the latest talks of IPO left the community crushed who feel the company has abandoned its users in favor of investors. Many OpenSea users and NFT enthusiasts believe the company should launch a token instead. 

To be clear, OpenSea hasn’t said that it will not issue a token and could very well choose a hybrid model with a traditional IPO as well as a community token, but that remains to be seen. While OpenSea later backtracked on its plans of an IPO, the chatter for the same has observers thinking that the company has taken its decision and that it may not turn to decentralization.

Meanwhile, competing NFT marketplaces like Rarible and SuperRare have launched their governance tokens RARI and RARE respectively. 

“We are trying to be a Web3-native company—decentralized as much as we can,” said Rarible CEO and co-founder Alexei Falin in an interview.

Vampire Attack

Back in Sept. 2021, OpenSea also came under scrutiny when one of its employees was found to be involved in NFT-related insider trading, front-running NFTs on the OpenSea website. Nate Chastain, head of product at OpenSea, was then asked to resign.

Besides all this, OpenSea users are not happy with the platform’s performance, with users calling out the lack of customer support and new features. Popular crypto influencer Pranksy, an NFT investor, collector, and founder of NFT subscription service NFTBoxes.io bemoaned a list of technical issues. This comes after the company earned the freshly raised capital for site performance and stability. 

Also, complaints against OpenSea have been rising amidst a new rival launching a ‘vampire attack’ against the platform.

Many new entrants are actually challenging the platform and trying to chip away at its dominance. In 2022, OpenSea is facing competition from the newly launched decentralized marketplace LooksRare (LOOK). 

LooksRare gave away free LOOKS tokens to OpenSea users, offering incentives to participate on the platform, and is distributing 100% of its fees among its token holders, unlike OpenSea, whose fees go to the company.

For seven days in a row, LooksRare has actually been recording much higher, more than double, the daily volume of OpenSea. However, there have been concerns that this new hot NFT marketplace is rife with wash trading.

Enter the Wide World of NFTs

While the marketplace faces strong criticism with many expecting it to lose its dominance, OpenSea is a clear winner and continues to gain traction, volume, and users.

And now that you know all about OpenSea, you can get started building your NFT collection with confidence. This is likely where you'll spend most of your time searching for, buying, and selling NFTs. And if you ever want to experiment with your own NFTs, OpenSea makes it super simple to mint your own.

At last, OpenSea might or might not maintain its dominance in the NFT space, but NFTs are surely here to stay. The fact that NFTs are following their own trend instead of being correlated to Bitcoin like the broad crypto sector has made it even more interesting for market participants. 

In fact, NFT prices and volume have been “showing strength” amidst macro concerns and the crypto sell-off.

With NFTs a “significantly broad category” including collectibles, music, art, gaming assets, financial assets, fantasy sports, and more, “it's possible that NFT commerce in one specific vertical grows while others decline or fluctuate over time,” according to Mason Nystrom, senior research analyst at cryptocurrency analytics company, Messari.

After the success in 2021, NFT gaming is particularly receiving a lot of attention and funding. NFT financialization, which covers NFT loans, liquidity, insurance, etc., is another one that offers users the opportunity to earn a yield on their NFTs.  

NFTs are just getting started, and in 2022, they are already seeing increased interest, so you must take time to understand this development and participate in it to prepare for the future.

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Gaurav Roy
19.1.2022

Opensea Review: Everything You Need to Know

Marketplaces

8

Interested in buying your first NFT? These digital collectibles experienced an explosion of adoption across the globe in 2021, and there's certainly no sign of them slowing down.

Some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Coca-Cola, Nike, Adidas, Budweiser, TIME Magazine, and many others, have recently jumped into the NFT space, with many more big players coming very soon.

The best time to start collecting and investing in NFTs is now. If you've done any reading on NFTs, then you've probably heard about OpenSea, the world's largest NFT marketplace. When buying NFTs for the first time, most people start on OpenSea. 

They handle the most NFT sales, feature the most artists and brands, and make it as easy as possible to buy, sell, and mint NFTs. Keep reading below to learn all about using OpenSea to start building your NFT collection today.

How do NFT Marketplaces work?

NFTs are all the rage today, with several collections like CryptoPunk and Bored Ape Yacht Club being sold for millions of dollars. While some are still skeptical of NFTs, they are only growing in popularity and usage. 

By proving digital ownership, NFTs are predicted to revolutionize the way we think about property. For now, digital artwork is seeing its primary application, which is bought and sold on specialized platforms. As NFTs gain mainstream adoption, more and more of these NFT marketplaces are popping everywhere. 

Crypto exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, FTX, and Kraken have also either launched or are in the process of launching their own NFT marketplaces. South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb announced in Jan. 2022 that it is also developing an NFT marketplace in collaboration with “a large company.”

Even the Associated Press (AP) is launching an NFT marketplace for collectors to purchase the “news agency’s award-winning contemporary and historic photojournalism.”

Among the growing number of NFT marketplaces, OpenSea continues to rule the market. The broadest and most established NFT marketplace hosts art, music, photography, collectibles, sports, virtual worlds, and other types of NFTs.

The most used NFT marketplaces support more than 150 cryptos as payment options and boost the gas-free marketplace through cross-blockchain support.

Many different NFT marketplaces are available on the web today and many of these function in a similar way. Artists mint and sell NFTs on the platform, and collectors make a purchase using cryptocurrency. Platforms facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers. It creates a decentralized NFT marketplace, where peer-to-peer transactions are allowed to take place.

To use an NFT marketplace, you'll need to set up a cryptocurrency wallet in your internet browser, such as MetaMask. You'll buy cryptocurrency on an exchange like Coinbase, send it to your wallet, and make an NFT purchase on the marketplace. The NFT is then stored in your crypto wallet until you transfer it elsewhere.

All About OpenSea

So what is OpenSea? OpenSea claims to be the first NFT marketplace, having hit the scene in 2017, when NFT collections like CryptoPunks and CryptKitties first dropped. It was founded in New York City by Alex Atallah and Devin Finzer, and it has been desperate to expand the team since then.

Shortly after launch, OpenSea won at the startup accelerator Y Combinator locking in early investment. OpenSea has since gone on to earn backing from people like Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher, becoming a multi-billion dollar company. With a valuation of $13.3 billion this year, OpenSea had its valuation rising about ten-fold from $1.5 billion just last July.

Founder and CEO Finzer said at the time that the company will use the new funds for product development, recruitment, and community investment. “We’re actively expanding our efforts across customer support, trust and safety, and site stability and integrity,” said Finzer. 

In 2020, before the big NFT boom, OpenSea had a sales volume of $21 million for the entire year. In August 2021, during the biggest NFT surge we've seen, OpenSea facilitated $3.4 billion in sales in one month.

The NFT mania is picking up speed again in 2022, with January volume on OpenSea already hitting a new all-time high at $3.69 billion, according to data from Dune Analytics. On January 9, OpenSea had its largest single-day volume of just over $261 million. 

The majority of this resurgence in NFT volume is driven by the price surge in NFT collections, Bored Ape Yack Club (BAYC), which account for about 10% of the platform’s volume, and BAYC’s sister collections Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) and Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC).

Much like volume, OpenSea’s users are also on an uptrend, with more than a million users have made at least one transaction, meaning either bought or sold an NFT on the marketplace, compared to a paltry 38k users at the beginning of 2021.

In the past 30-days, OpenSea has also generated nearly $63 million in revenue, currently the second-highest in crypto after Ethereum’s $1.1 billion, according to Token Terminal.

How Does OpenSea Work?

OpenSea is just like eBay; anyone who has an NFT on blockchains like Ethereum or Polygon can sell that NFT on OpenSea. It doesn't matter where the NFT was originally purchased.

You can search for well-established NFT collections, like CryptoPunks, BAYC, or Doodles, or you can sift through the 80 million or so NFTs and find a hidden gem or emerging artist.

You can purchase NFTs to use as a profile picture, digital art, assets to use in NFT video games, virtual land for the metaverse, music, domain names, and many other types of NFTs.

OpenSea charges a flat rate commission of 2.25% on all purchases. It supports multiple cryptocurrencies for buying and selling, but ETH is the most prevalent.

Blockchains Supported

Before going any further, let’s first cover the blockchains that OpenSea supports. Ethereum is the most popular blockchain for NFTs whose native asset ETH, is used to pay transaction fees. The second-largest network, however, is notorious for high gas fees, which fluctuate based on network usage. So, it would be best if you use this blockchain during low activity times to avoid paying hefty gas fees.

Ethereum side-chain Polygon is another blockchain supported by OpenSea, which provides cheaper and instant transactions with ETH, USDC, and DAI. However, to use this scaling solution, cryptocurrency must be “bridged” from Ethereum blockchain to Polygon. Since last July, users have been able to use Polygon to create, buy, and sell NFTs without paying transaction fees.

Yet another one is Klaytn, a blockchain developed by a Korean internet company, Kakao. OpenSea users can use the Kaikas wallet browser extension to buy and sell Klaytn NFTs on the platform.

Let’s get Started

If you want to buy, sell, or mint an NFT on OpenSea, first, you would have to get a digital wallet. MetaMask is a popular web wallet for NFTs, which if you are installing for the first time, be aware of phishing and make sure that you are using the correct website URL for downloading the crypto wallet.

To ensure your crypto assets and NFTs are stored securely, use MetaMask alongside the most popular hardware wallets, Ledger and Trezor. Also, make sure you also have your wallet funded with some ETH to pay for gas fees and other transaction fees charged by the platform. You can buy Ether from any cryptocurrency exchange such as Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, and Gemini. 

Once you have the wallet installed, connect it to OpenSea. To do so, go to the NFT marketplace and click on profile. It will redirect you to a new page and prompt you to connect your wallet. Now, choose MetaMask out of all the available options. Once you have accepted the Terms & Conditions and granted all the required permissions to your wallet, you would have to sign the signature request. 

Buying an NFT

Now, if you want to buy an NFT, the process is pretty simple and straightforward. Go to your OpenSea profile and click “Explore,” which will take you to thousands of NFT collections available on the marketplace. You can also filter your search as per Trending, Top, Art, Collectibles, Photography, Utility, Music, Spots, and virtual worlds.

When you find something that you like, you can either buy it directly or make an offer on it. As you hit “Buy now,” you would see the details of the NFT, following which you have to click on "Confirm Checkout."

As OpenSea connects your MetaMask wallet, you would see information regarding the purchase, estimated gas fees, and transaction processing time. While you can change your gas fees, lowering it would also reduce the transaction speed, so it’s best to buy when the Ethereum network is not busy and fees, in general, are low. 

Once you hit confirm, your transaction will process, and in a matter of a few seconds, you will have your NFT, which you can see in your collection.

Minting an NFT

Now, if you want to mint your very own first NFT on OpenSea, go to your profile on the platform, select “My Collection,” and hit “Create”. Following this, you would be required to fill in the properties, starting with the URL of your collection on the platform, a description, and links to your website and social networks for people to find you and your work. 

You would also have to choose the cryptocurrency that you would like to buy or sell your items in. Once selected, you are done, and you can start with the actual NFT minting process.

To get started with this, go to your collection and click on the “Add Item” at the top right bar. Here you will upload an item, which could be an image, audio, video, or meme. Now, provide details about the items, including a name and a description. 

Once done, click “Create” and that’s it, you can see your NFT in your collection. You can either put it on display only or sell it to your highest bidder.

Selling an NFT 

If you wish to put your NFT for sale, simply go to the “Sell” option at the top right bar of the website. As you are redirected to a new page, here, you'll be required to fill in all the details of the sale.

You would have to choose between either selling the NFT at a fixed price or going for a timed auction. Listing an NFT on OpenSea is free, but, of course, you would have to pay a 2.5% fee that the platform charges on every buy and sell.

In case you don’t see your NFT on your MetaMask wallet, worry not, as you can add it manually. This process involves clicking on your NFT, scrolling down to the details section, where you’ll find “Contact Address.” Clicking on this will redirect you to Etherscan for the specific addresses of your NFT, and copy this address.

Now, go back to your MetaMask wallet, where you’ll find an option to “Import Tokens.” Click this and then choose the “custom Token” option. Then, paste the address you copied from Etherscan, a block explorer and analytics platform for Ethereum. There, you will find your NFT right below your funds.

How Much Does it Cost?

To get started on OpenSea, first-time sellers are required to pay an initialization fee. This one-time fee is charged through a smart contract for transactions running on the Ethereum blockchain. This fee is not fixed and varies depending on the price of the gas at the time. So, to save money, set up your account on days when gas prices are lower.  

This fee is paid in Ether and because of that, the price of ETH also affects how much you are paying in terms of USD. Besides the initialization fee, OpenSea takes a 2.5% cut on every transaction that happens on the platform.

As for cryptos supported for payments on OpenSea, including Ethereum (ETH), Wrapped Ethereum (WETH), and stablecoin DAI and USDC. Users can also set a royalty of up to 10%, which is known as programmed royalty. It is one of the interesting facets of NFTs. By encoding royalties into the smart contract, NFTs allow creators to be rewarded fairly, automatically, and immediately as their works get re-sold. 

To set your royalties on OpenSea, simply go to your collection editor and adjust the percentage fee field. Then, specify the payment address where you want to receive the fees.

Unlike another NFT marketplace, Rarible, OpenSea doesn’t allow for splitting revenue or royalties to multiple addresses at this time. This means if you are creating a collection in collaboration with someone or as part of a group, there is no contract level splits allowed for now, and you have to handle the revenue split between parties on your own side once received.

Facing Criticism and Competition

OpenSea currently remains the undisputed leader in the NFT marketplace, but only for now, as it continues to face criticism from its users who want OpenSea to decentralize its operations. 

The platform’s policies around delisting hacked or exploited NFTs and enforcing IP have also made it a target for critics, who say it’s a rent-seeking middleman in a decentralized ecosystem. ​​

“When OpenSea receives a credible report or learns that an item is stolen, we lock the item so it cannot be bought, sold, or transferred using OpenSea,” reads the website.

Not long ago, an art gallery operator and NFT collector said that OpenSea has “frozen” his BAYC NFT collection worth $2.28 million, which had observers calling out a scarcity of decentralization.

Call for a Token

OpenSea users have also called for the launch of a token and spoken out against the lack of rewarding the early and loyal users through a token airdrop. Late last year, OpenSea hired former Lyft CFO Brian Roberts and shared plans to take the company public, which received much backlash from the community. 

“When you have a company growing as fast as this one, you’d be foolish not to think about it going public,” said Roberts, who was integral to ride-sharing app Lyft’s successful IPO in 2019.

As the company continues to raise money from investors, the latest talks of IPO left the community crushed who feel the company has abandoned its users in favor of investors. Many OpenSea users and NFT enthusiasts believe the company should launch a token instead. 

To be clear, OpenSea hasn’t said that it will not issue a token and could very well choose a hybrid model with a traditional IPO as well as a community token, but that remains to be seen. While OpenSea later backtracked on its plans of an IPO, the chatter for the same has observers thinking that the company has taken its decision and that it may not turn to decentralization.

Meanwhile, competing NFT marketplaces like Rarible and SuperRare have launched their governance tokens RARI and RARE respectively. 

“We are trying to be a Web3-native company—decentralized as much as we can,” said Rarible CEO and co-founder Alexei Falin in an interview.

Vampire Attack

Back in Sept. 2021, OpenSea also came under scrutiny when one of its employees was found to be involved in NFT-related insider trading, front-running NFTs on the OpenSea website. Nate Chastain, head of product at OpenSea, was then asked to resign.

Besides all this, OpenSea users are not happy with the platform’s performance, with users calling out the lack of customer support and new features. Popular crypto influencer Pranksy, an NFT investor, collector, and founder of NFT subscription service NFTBoxes.io bemoaned a list of technical issues. This comes after the company earned the freshly raised capital for site performance and stability. 

Also, complaints against OpenSea have been rising amidst a new rival launching a ‘vampire attack’ against the platform.

Many new entrants are actually challenging the platform and trying to chip away at its dominance. In 2022, OpenSea is facing competition from the newly launched decentralized marketplace LooksRare (LOOK). 

LooksRare gave away free LOOKS tokens to OpenSea users, offering incentives to participate on the platform, and is distributing 100% of its fees among its token holders, unlike OpenSea, whose fees go to the company.

For seven days in a row, LooksRare has actually been recording much higher, more than double, the daily volume of OpenSea. However, there have been concerns that this new hot NFT marketplace is rife with wash trading.

Enter the Wide World of NFTs

While the marketplace faces strong criticism with many expecting it to lose its dominance, OpenSea is a clear winner and continues to gain traction, volume, and users.

And now that you know all about OpenSea, you can get started building your NFT collection with confidence. This is likely where you'll spend most of your time searching for, buying, and selling NFTs. And if you ever want to experiment with your own NFTs, OpenSea makes it super simple to mint your own.

At last, OpenSea might or might not maintain its dominance in the NFT space, but NFTs are surely here to stay. The fact that NFTs are following their own trend instead of being correlated to Bitcoin like the broad crypto sector has made it even more interesting for market participants. 

In fact, NFT prices and volume have been “showing strength” amidst macro concerns and the crypto sell-off.

With NFTs a “significantly broad category” including collectibles, music, art, gaming assets, financial assets, fantasy sports, and more, “it's possible that NFT commerce in one specific vertical grows while others decline or fluctuate over time,” according to Mason Nystrom, senior research analyst at cryptocurrency analytics company, Messari.

After the success in 2021, NFT gaming is particularly receiving a lot of attention and funding. NFT financialization, which covers NFT loans, liquidity, insurance, etc., is another one that offers users the opportunity to earn a yield on their NFTs.  

NFTs are just getting started, and in 2022, they are already seeing increased interest, so you must take time to understand this development and participate in it to prepare for the future.

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