There has been no shortage of headlines this year when it comes to the NFT ecosystem. From Twitter integrating NFT avatars to its platform to Nirvana NFTs getting ready to be auctioned. No matter where you look, NFTs are probably part of the menu. If you are thinking about joining, you might be wondering what the top NFT marketplaces are.
With the craze still going strong, many crypto enthusiasts who have not joined it are starting to feel the allure. However, the rapid growth of the NFT space has given rise to a plethora of platforms and marketplaces, which might make choosing one more difficult. When you add to the mix the different networks that support NFTs, you get yourself a recipe for mass confusion.
One of the safest ways to venture into the world of NFTs is to go with one of the most popular NFT exchanges. After all, there are many reasons why they got so popular in the first place. To help you start (or continue) your journey, we have compiled a list of some of the top NFT marketplaces out there.
What Makes a Good NFT Marketplace?
Before taking a look at our choice of the top NFT marketplaces, we believe that it might be worth taking a look at what actually makes an NFT marketplace good. By doing so, we expect that you are able to evaluate any potential marketplace we have not listed. After all, what makes something “good” or “bad” is a matter of comparison in a space like this one.
Token Standard Support
While the blockchain space is becoming increasingly popular as it continues to grow, standardization is not the norm yet. As such, most networks that support NFTs have created their own token standards. This goes both for Fungible and Non-Fungible tokens, making it important for developers, artists, and buyers to have an idea of how they work.
In the case of Non-Fungible tokens, you are more likely to find that the big platforms support Ethereum’s NFT standards. However, other blockchains have seen an increasing demand for NFTs, which has resulted in new standards being supported. Cardano, Solana, and Binance Smart Chain are some examples of networks that have looked to capitalize on the NFT craze.
While the token standard is likely not to make a difference to many people, this remains an important aspect of a marketplace for creators. If you are one,make sure to do your research beforehand whether you opt to go with Ethereum (ERC 721, ERC1155, and ERC 994), Flow, BSC, Tezos (FA2), or other.
Blockchain and crypto were created around the idea of decentralization and trustless transactions. These two elements resulted in many privacy advocates embracing the technology due to the potential it has to make true privacy a reality. However, the increasing popularity of blockchain for centralized services brought privacy concerns back.
For better or for worse, most of the biggest NFT marketplaces are centralized platforms. As such, in some cases, you might be required to provide personal information and verify your identity. This is more frequent in the case of NFT creators, as this ensures the validity and authenticity of their creations, preventing scams.
Depending on your own values, priorities, and risk acceptance, you might want to take a close eye at the verification process the potential marketplace follows.
Incentives and Rewards
There are many ways in which an NFT marketplace can add value to your experience when using it. Of these, rewards and incentive programs are one of the most straightforward means to keep a community happy. With competition among platforms continuing to grow by the day, users like you have a lot to benefit from.
Most of the top NFT marketplaces will have programs that offer benefits like referral bonuses, discounts, preferential commission rates, drops, and much more. By taking advantage of these types of benefits, you will be sure to get more value from the NFT marketplace you choose to use. Make sure to check them out!
If you are not new to the blockchain world, you should already be familiar with what a crypto wallet is. If you are new, there are some great resources out there, like Binance Academy, that explain what a crypto wallet is in deeper detail. That being said, let us give you a quick summary.
A crypto wallet is a tool that stores your private keys, which in turn grant you access to your digital assets (NFTs, crypto, etc). These wallets can be an application you install on your computer or phone, a physical device you can take with you, or even a piece of paper with the data written on it. Without a crypto wallet, you won’t be able to store, buy, or sell NFTs.
There are a lot of available crypto wallets out there, with each of them offering different features and benefits to their users. As each wallet supports different networks and cryptocurrencies, you will most likely have multiple of them. This means that as your portfolio grows, so will the number of wallets you need to have and track.
The same is also true for NFTs, as the top NFT marketplaces offer different degrees of support for cryptocurrency wallets. If your current wallets are not supported by the marketplace you are planning to use, you have 2 options: create a new wallet or use another NFT marketplace. That being said, popular wallets like Metamask are widely supported, which means that if you use a popular wallet you are likely to be okay to go.
This is an obvious one: different marketplaces offer different features. When it comes to choosing the best marketplace, you need to ensure it offers all the features you are looking for at the moment. However, planning ahead is also a great idea: your interests and needs might expand, after all.
By features, we are referring to those that anyone would come to expect from a marketplace: advanced search, listings, integration with other platforms, ratings, support channels, and more. However, there are other features that are not so obvious and can change everything for a creator or a collector.
Features like price discovery, split royalties, token fractionalization, and more, will ensure that you have more ways to capitalize on your NFT journey. While you might not find yourself in the need of a certain feature right now, you might in the future. Having the feature you are looking for already supported is a great way to save time and effort!
As with any crypto platform, fees play an important role when it comes to determining the top NFT marketplace for your needs. Fees will vary depending on the role you are expecting to play in the NFT ecosystem. For example, if you are a creator, you might find that some NFT marketplaces can charge you for minting your NFTs while others don’t.
NFTs are a great means to invest your money at this time. Finding the lowest fees will increase your profit and make it easier for you to move into the NFT market. These fees will also depend greatly on the network you are planning to use, as gas is a huge consideration when launching a collection in networks like Ethereum. However, as we said before, there are more networks in the NFT ecosystem than ever before, which means there are a lot of options.
Top NFT Marketplaces
Now that we have discussed some of the aspects to consider when choosing the best NFT marketplace for you, it’s time to actually talk about them. We have chosen 8 platforms that we believe are some of the top NFT marketplaces out there. While you might disagree with some of our picks, this intends to be a list that most NFT enthusiasts can benefit from.
Now, and with no particular order, let’s get started!
Any list of the top NFT marketplaces has to mention OpenSea. Founded in 2017, this marketplace has become probably the biggest in the NFT space over the past years. With over 600k users and 2 million daily transactions, OpenSea has processed more than $10 billion in volume.
OpenSea was founded by Devid Finzer and Alex Atallah with the mission to build “the most accessible marketplace for buyers, sellers, and creators”. The marketplace has grown so big in the NFT ecosystem, that investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase, Blockchain Capital, and YCombinator have backed it financially and strategically. This list also includes names like Mark Cuban, 3Lau, Ben Silberman, Alexis Ohanian, Ashton Kutcher, and more.
If you are looking to buy or sell NFTs in categories like art, collectibles, music, photography, sports, virtual worlds, or domain names, OpenSea has you covered. With a vast collection in all of these categories, the marketplace is a favorite for collectors looking to acquire a variety of NFTs.
OpenSea is also known for how easy it is to use, which is a huge plus for any beginner. With a variety of resources and a vast knowledge base, you are likely to find whatever information you are looking for. If you are still unable to do so, the platform’s customer support team will provide top-notch service.
One of the major advantages creators have when using OpenSea is that they won’t need to pay a minting fee before selling. This is because NFTs created using the platform won’t be written into the blockchain until after the sale. However, an initialization fee is shared before creating any NFT, as this allows the platform to connect to your Ethereum wallet with the necessary permission. You can expect to pay a 2.5 % commission on any sale that takes place in the platform, which can be levied on the seller or buyer.
OpenSea supports 3 different networks: Ethereum, Polygon, and Klatyn. When it comes to supported cryptocurrencies, you will be able to choose between WETH, DAI, and USDC, as well as over 150 tokens.
Rarible is also widely considered one of the top NFT marketplaces by many people… and we agree with that assertion. Rarible has achieved more than $274 million in trading volume, which is the result of more than 405k NFTs being created and its 1.6 million users.
With support for Ethereum, Flow, and Tezos, Rarible has distinguished itself from OpenSea by supporting some of the most popular blockchains after Ethereum. In addition to this, personalities like Pak, Lindsay Lohan, and Floyd Mayweather Jr have chosen Rarible as their go-to platform. This has resulted in Rarible being involved in some of the biggest sales in the NFT space.
In terms of features, Rarible also shines strongly. The marketplace offers creators and buyers the chance to use multiple editions of NFTs, timed auctions, advanced royalties systems, messaging systems, and many more. All of these features are supported across digital art, collectibles, music, video, domain names, metaverse land, wearables, and more categories.
Rarible is backed by companies like CoinFund, Coinbase, Parafi, and 1kx but remains committed to its community. The marketplace’s “Rarible protocol” is completely run by its users via a DAO governance model, for example. Unlike OpenSea, Rarible makes use of its own cryptocurrency: Rari.
Rari is not only used to pay for NFTs but also works as the governance tool of the platform, which allows it to work in a decentralized manner by having its holders vote. This is a reflection of the platform’s high emphasis on its users, as we said.
While Rarible used to charge for minting in advance, it introduced a new feature that will have the buyer pay for minting gas fees upon purchase back in October of 2021. This means that as a creator, you won’t need to pay the minting fee and risk not selling your NFT. However, just like with OpenSea, you will need to pay a fee for connecting your wallet with the platform to initialize your account. Expect to pay 2.5% in commission fees when using Rarible, just like with OpenSea.
Another big player in the NFT space, Superare has helped artists earn more than $128 million in primary sales while also generating $84 million in secondary sales. SuperRare self-describes itself like an “Instagram meets Christie’s” platform focused on art, culture, and digital collections.
SuperRare relies entirely on Ether (ETH) as it runs on the Ethereum network and charges 3% in transaction fees to its buyers. However, artists must pay 15% in commissions for primary sales while receiving 10% commission in all secondary sales by default.
If you are looking for simplicity, SuperRare might be the best platform for you. With a straightforward layout, the platform makes it easy to explore art and find NFTs you might want to invest in. If you are looking for something specific, the filtering functions also make it easy to find it.
SuperRare might not be the place for you if you are looking to acquire some of the most “popular” tokens. This is because the focus of the marketplace is on “exclusive” digital art, which is the distinctive feature that has set it apart.
Foundation is one of the newest players in the NFT space, having been around for less than a year. Launched in February of 2021, the marketplace has generated over $125 million for its creators and gained the praise of major collectors and artists.
Ethereum was the network chosen by Foundation’s developer to run the foundation with the aim to boost the growth of the NFT space. In the words of the team, the platform “bridges crypto and culture to foster a network of mutual support between creators and collectors”.
As a platform operated by artists for artists, Foundation has become one of the top NFT marketplaces for those looking for great works of digital art by exclusive artists. If you are looking for a tight-knit of NFT enthusiasts, Foundation is right for you!
Expect to pay 15% in service fees when using Foundation if you are a creator, which is on the higher-end when compared with other marketplaces. This fee doesn’t include gas fees, which means you will also need to consider those. All fees and prices in Foundation must be paid using ETH, as the platform doesn’t support other currencies.
This is another of the top NFT marketplaces out there and one you probably have heard of. Nifty Gateway is behind some of the biggest sales in the NFT space, being the go-to platform for artists as popular as Beeple. This marketplace was created with the mission to make NFTs universally accessible, even claiming “We will not rest until 1 billion people are collecting NFTs”.
Nifty Gateway is owned by Gemini, the crypto exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins and one of the biggest out there. This marketplace characterizes itself for offering curated collections, which means that artists must go through an application process. Due to its relationship with some of the biggest NFT artists, Nifty Gateway is a great platform to find exclusive content.
One of the biggest advantages for creators using Nifty Gateway is that creating an NFT comes at no cost. That’s right, Nifty Gateway covers 100% of the gas fees for the minting. This also translates to other gas fees, as in the words of the marketplace “we try to take care of most of the gas fees for you.“. This, in addition to the user-friendly interface and features, make it a favorite among beginners.
Nifty Gateways charges a 15% fee which consists of a 5% service fee and a 10% artists fee. Every secondary sale will result in a 5% +30 cents fee. One of the major advantages of Nifty Gateway is that its users can use more than just crypto, as it also supports fiat. This makes it perfect for those who are wary of or unfamiliar with crypto. This makes it one of the top NFT marketplaces you will find!
While not as well-known as our previous entries, NFTX has made a name for itself among the top NFT marketplaces in the crypto space. This is because of the marketplace’s unique approach toward creating liquid markets for NFTs. When using NFTX, users deposit their NFTs in vaults and receive a “vToken” that represents the claim over it… kind of.
By using vTokens, NFTX allows its users to stake minted tokens to earn rewards, facilitates price discovery and distribution, and allows for the instant selling of NFTs. This is because the vToken actually grants a claim over a random NFT in the same vault as the original NFT. This makes the swapping of NFT random when using NFTX.
If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, worry not. Selling and buying NFTs in the usual way is also possible with NFTX. However, it is this innovative mechanism that we believe sets the marketplace apart, making it one of the top NFT marketplaces you should consider using.
One of the first NFT marketplaces to emerge in the Cardano network, CNFT claims to be the biggest NFT marketplace in the network. The marketplace has been around since July of 2021 and is the result of a decentralized team’s efforts.
CNFT has gained quite a following ever since launching not only for its reliance on the Cardano network but also for its non-custodial nature. The platform also supports all of the biggest Cardano wallets, including Daedalus, Nami, Yoroi, and ccVault.
An important aspect to consider about the platform is that it is still under development. For example, royalties were not supported until less than 2 weeks ago, a feature that most artists would certainly expect when creating NFTs.
Linking your wallet with CNFT will have a charge between 2 and 3 ADA (less than $4.5 at this time), which you are refunded afterward. This, combined with the 2.5% commission – 1 ADA on sales, makes CNFT one of the cheapest NFT marketplaces to operate with.
That being said, CNFT is one of the best examples of the growing trend of both the NFT and blockchain ecosystem. With Cardano growing in popularity and advancing in its roadmap, CNFT will certainly become a force to be reckoned with. While this might not be the best option for most NFT enthusiasts at this time, Cardano supporters will certainly find it a great match for them.
With the success of NFTs during the past years, it was just a matter of time before the big players in the crypto space joined, with Binance being one of them. Launched in June of 2021, has grown to become one of the most popular exchanges out there due to the already huge user base the exchange has.
Let’s start with the fees as Binance NFT has some of the lowest with only 1% in trading fees for all sellers and creators. As you have seen, this is unseen in the NFT space as most exchanges will charge considerably more than that. Unfortunately, this also translates to lower royalties for creators as sellers only pay 1%.
Binance NFT runs on the Binance Smart Chain and uses the BEP-721 NFT standard, in addition to supporting the Ethereum network and its standards. However, as Binance Smart Chain has proven to charge smaller fees for transactions and faster settlement speeds, most users choose to use it.
As the official NFT marketplace of the biggest crypto exchanges out there, users of the platform can use any of the payment methods available to Binance. This means hundreds of fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies can be used in the platform both for withdrawals and deposits.
Binance NFT is a great option for those who are just starting the NFT journey, buyers, and sellers. While it really is not the most creator-friendly platform out there due to its royalty mechanism, it certainly allows them to reach a wider audience than other platforms.