Guide to the best NFT Marketplaces
Investment in non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, continues to increase. With that comes a growth in collections to buy and more options for which NFT marketplace to use.
Where do you start if you are new to these ‘trendy’ digital assets, which encompass everything from outstanding art to celebrity and sports franchise tie-ups?
The NFT Marketplace
NFTs have been a runaway hit with investors. They have attracted buyers who understand the value of blockchain-linked assets and those purely interested in the subject, from cartoon apes to legendary NBA players.
The decline of the cryptocurrency market in 2022 helped boost the NFT marketplace. Uncertainty about crypto tokens, underlined by the most recent cash, saw investors turn to alternatives like NFTs.
Choosing an NFT Marketplace
Dedicated NFT marketplaces are the preferred option for most investors. While some offer multiple collections and artworks, others focus on a single subject or artist.
If your interest in NFTs is subject-led, your NFT marketplace options may be limited. If, however, your taste is broad or your interest is in potential value rather than subject, there is more choice in where to buy and sell.
As you look through the NFT marketplaces out there, you’ll notice they have differing functionality, appearance, personality, and interface.
Like any shop or physical market, different ones appeal to different people.
When it comes to making your choice, assuming you are not set on acquiring work from a specific collection or artist, it is important to select one you like.
Just like choosing a cryptocurrency exchange, ensure it suits you and how you want to interact.
Ensure it is safe and secure, just like you would with a crypto exchange.
The best advice is to take your time and do your research. Read independent reviews, check out what other users are saying online, and ensure you are entirely comfortable before engaging.
To help you begin your research and selection, here’s a brief look at some of the most popular NFT marketplace options.
Popular NFT Martketplaces
This is one of the most popular NFT marketplaces and styles itself as ‘the largest NFT marketplace’.
Its popularity has been helped by the provision of a wide variety of features, especially those making it easier for novice buyers to get involved.
OpenSea includes a step-by-step guide to creating NFTs and handles the whole minting and sale process.
While it is a user-friendly platform for NFT creators and investors, new and old, some caution must be exercised.
Twice in 2022, OpenSea has been targeted by phishing hacks. While this is not hugely unusual in the cryptocurrency space, it is worth being aware of.
Position as an art gallery in the NFT ecosystem, SuperRare is considered a venue for high-end NFT art. That is due to its selective approach on which NFTs to list – you won’t find simplistic ‘meme’-style art here.
The time taken to consider what to list gives buyers a feeling of confidence in the potential value of their acquisitions.
If you are looking for quality art, SuperRare might be the right choice, although do check the charges before you commit.
Nifty Gateway is similar to SuperRare in some respects. It is renowned for exclusive and expensive sales, such as the $91.8 million sale of The Merge, by digital artist Pak.
Here you will find an emphasis on ‘art’, with plenty of work from leading artists and related to celebrities. Demand is boosted by time-limited sales through its ‘open editions’ system.
It achieved greater prominence in 2019 when the Winklevoss twins’ business Gemini bought it.
What attracts some investors is that Nifty Gateway allows credit card purchases.
This NFT marketplace has a more diverse selection, spanning not only high-end art, but also collectibles, video game assets, and more.
Its popularity is encouraged by the fact that credit cards are allowed, you can deal in cryptocurrencies Ethereum, Flow, and Tezos, and there is a flat transaction fee (plus any related gas fees).
A point of difference is that Rarible is that not all management decisions are made internally. Holders of its native token, RARI, can vote on company policy.
Another boost to investor confidence came in 2021, when Rarible partnered with Adobe. The aim was to make verifying and protecting digital content metadata, including for NFTs, easier.
Rarible offers investors a more extensive selection of NFTs than many, gives users access to a wide network of connections, and still retains a decentralised mindset.
Binance is already one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges and entered the NFT world in 2021 when it launched its own marketplace.
You will find collections similar to most other general marketplaces, such as art, collectibles, and gaming items. An attraction for many is low fees and a user-friendly platform.
The layout and interface are similar to the Binance exchange. This makes dealing in NFTs relatively simple, especially if you are already familiar with Binance.
A further advantage is that Binance has its own blockchain.
Binance’s reputation and size give some confidence to those who are new to NFT investment.
NBA Top Shot
While this NFT marketplace is focused solely on basketball, its popularity means it warrants inclusion.
While this one is primarily aimed at fans of NBA basketball, general investors have taken an interest because of the sums involved.
The collections are NFTs of great moments in NBA history, including video clips, artworks, and play highlights. They are not cheap – a clip of a LeBron James slam dunk sold for $208,000 last year.
For those who are not major basketball fans, a real attraction of this marketplace is that the NBA itself runs it. That means you know you are dealing with a large and reputable organisation.
Another plus for investors is that NBA Topshot allows the use of popular cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Bitcoin, as well as credit and debit cards. As always, ensure you check the fees before committing.
I have listed some popular NFT marketplaces available. There are many more and you should conduct your own thorough research before choosing which to use, should you decide to become an NFT investor.
Before you do invest your own money, remember that digital asset values remain highly unpredictable. The headlines suggest NFTs are sound investments and talk about huge returns.
They are, however, still relatively new assets and the future is hard to know. Like cryptocurrency, NFT values are subject to volatility, and it remains to be seen whether the sky-high prices we see now can be maintained.
If you choose to invest, select your marketplace carefully, do your own research, and don’t spend more than you know you can afford to lose.
Author: Brendan Beeken
Moni Talks Founder and Chairman Brendan Beeken is an entrepreneur, commercial strategist, investor, and philanthropist. He writes on a wide range of subjects, including cryptocurrency, decentralised finance, blockchain, business advice, and professional wellbeing, for news and business websites, as well as Latest Moni and his personal site, brendanbeeken.com. Brendan draws from his own research and more than two decades of personal experience in business to offer a unique insight, perspective, and commentary on diverse subjects. He is passionate about making the cryptocurrency space more accessible and encouraging safer and more responsible trading and investing. Brendan's LinkTree is https://linktr.ee/brendanbeeken.