Tokenized assets and rare digital collectibles are raking in billions of dollars across NFT marketplaces, and everyone, including celebrities and top-notch artists, is looking for ways to take part in the craze.
There are many platforms built on different blockchains that allow you to buy and sell non-fungible tokens. But before delving into the list of the top 10 best NFT marketplaces, let’s quickly look at the meaning of NFT and why there is a need for many NFT trading platforms today.
For those new to NFT, the next two sections contain brief yet valuable information that will give you an idea of the current state of the NFT market. For those who already know what NFTs are, this information may be common knowledge to you. If that’s the case, you should probably skip to the top 10 NFT marketplaces and make your pick, although you might learn a thing or two you didn’t already know.
What are NFTs?
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs for short, are cryptographic tokens stored on the blockchain that can be used to represent virtually any item. NFTs can be tokenized versions of sports playing cards, music, videos, images, cats, frogs, and, as bizarre as it sounds, even rocks.
These unique tokens provide holders with proof of authenticity and ownership of the underlying asset. And since they are non-fungible, they cannot be exchanged or traded for a different NFT, thus making them scarce and highly coveted.
Additionally, since NFTs are tokenized on the blockchain, their ownership cannot be modified or erased from the network upon which they are built.
You can learn more about non-fungible tokens in this NFT guide for beginners.
The Explosion of NFT Marketplaces
Non-fungible tokens exploded in 2021, and the number of websites that facilitate NFT transactions has been springing up on a much larger scale. These platforms are known as NFT marketplaces, and as mentioned earlier, they allow users to mint, list, buy, and sell crypto arts and digital collectibles.
Like decentralized exchanges and peer-to-peer trading platforms, most of these NFT marketplaces do not directly hold NFTs for users. Instead, they serve as a link that connects buyers to sellers.
While some NFT trading platforms focus on a particular niche, such as sports, digital arts, and the like, others embrace every type of NFT in the market, thus attracting a much larger audience.
According to a Chainalysis report, in 2021 alone, the NFT marketplaces recorded a massive inflow of more than $40 billion worth of assets traded across different platforms.
The industry has also captured the attention of several A-list celebrities, sports stars, and veteran investors, including Shawn Mendes, Melania Trump, Paris Hilton, Tom Brady, Mark Cuban, Justin Bieber, John Legend, and many more.
Top 10 NFT Marketplaces in 2022
While the majority of NFT marketplaces available in the industry are built on the Ethereum blockchain, the platforms mentioned in this section are built across other Layer-1 blockchains.
With that said, here’s our list of the top 10 best NFT marketplaces in 2022.
OpenSea is by far the largest NFT marketplace in the world by trading volume. The platform allows users to mint, buy, and sell a wide range of non-fungible tokens, including collectibles, digital art, virtual worlds, trading cards, and more.
It is built on Ethereum, but it has integrated Polygon for reduced gas fees. With OpenSea, users can access over 700 NFT projects with more than 80 million NFTs available for trading.
The NFT marketplace allows users to mint and set up their sellers’ profiles using its infrastructure for free. However, it charges a 2.5% fee on every sale made on its marketplace.
OpenSea currently has more than 600,000 users, and in 2022 alone, it recorded a total of $4.1 billion in sales, according to data from Dune Analytics.
At the time of writing, the most popular NFTs by trade volume on OpenSea are the Bored Apes, CryptoPunks, and Doodles.
SuperRare is an Ethereum-based NFT marketplace that works with a few select and reputable NFT artists. It is a pioneer of exclusive digital art with intentions of preserving the digital art collection culture.
The marketplace has strict vetting and approval processes before digital artwork is listed for sale. SuperRare seeks to stimulate creativity among the few established creators on its platform to ensure that digital art collectors get the most out of their collection.
While SuperRare is not as eventful as OpenSea, the marketplace has very exclusive digital art pieces. The platform charges artists a 15% fee on their primary sales.
Rarible is a community-owned decentralized NFT marketplace that offers users access to a wide variety of NFTs to buy and sell. The platform has a user-friendly interface that allows users to easily mint and trade NFTs.
Rarible supports three different blockchain networks: Ethereum, Flow, and Tezos. This multi-chain support ensures that users create, buy, and sell NFTs from any of those three blockchain networks on Rarible.
Just like OpenSea, Rarible charges a 2.5% transaction fee. However, it takes its decentralization up a notch by introducing a governance system that gives community members voting power via its in-house token, RARI.
The marketplace has processed NFT transactions worth more than $270 million, with a total user base of over 1.6 million.
Axie Infinity Marketplace
Axie Infinity, yes, the popular blockchain game, has also one of the most popular gaming-focused NFT marketplaces. However, while the previous marketplaces are for collections, the Axie marketplace is dedicated to its play-to-earn video game, which allows users to create, buy, and sell Axies and other in-game digital collectibles.
The Axie Infinity NFT marketplace is built on Ronin, a layer2 blockchain which runs as a sidechain on the Ethereum network.
The platform has a massive fan base of gaming and crypto enthusiasts, with daily active users surpassing two million. Axie Infinity’s intuitive and user-friendly interface has created a base for the gaming world.
One of the most expensive Axie Infinity NFT sold to date, a virtual land was sold for a whopping $2.3 million.
Nifty Gateway is often referred to as the NFT marketplace for elites. Managed by Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange run by the Winklevoss twins, the Ethereum-based platform allows users to buy, sell, and mint exclusive crypto arts.
The marketplace is popular for selling the artworks of some of the most popular artists in the world, including Grimes and Beeple. In one of the most expensive NFT sales, Beeple’s Crossroads NFT was sold for $6.6 million last year on this marketplace.
Nifty Gateway has a strong policy on creativity and authenticity, which prompts it to implement some of the toughest verification processes on artists. Only verified creators are allowed to mint and list NFTs on the marketplace, reducing any chances of scams. The platform charges a 15% commission on NFT sales.
Solanart is a full-fledged NFT marketplace built on the Solana network. It allows users to create, buy, and sell several Solana-based NFTs.
The platform features NFT collections from several NFT projects like Degenerate Ape Academy, Solpunks, and many more. It charges a transaction fee of 3% for every NFT sale.
Solanart also supports several digital wallets such as Solflare, Phantom, Clover, Sollet, Slope, Ledger, etc.
According to data from DappRader, the marketplace has a total trading volume of over $500 million despite being a relatively new NFT marketplace.
Binance NFT Marketplace
Built on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) network, the Binance NFT marketplace is an NFT platform that allows users to buy and sell all forms of digital artwork and collectibles.
The platform, which was launched by leading crypto exchange Binance – as you may have guessed – aims to link artists, creators, crypto enthusiasts, and avid collectors to create and trade NFTs.
Binance NFT Marketplace currently has more than 2.5 million NFTs available on its platform for trading. Interestingly, the marketplace has the lowest transaction fees in the industry, with 1% charged on all NFT sales, which is one of the perks of being owned by the world’s largest crypto exchanger.
Additionally, the marketplace offers several premium and exclusive NFTs created by leading artists and influential brands, with mystery box offerings featuring rare NFTs.
NBA Top Shot
NBA Top Shot is an NFT marketplace that allows gamers and NBA fans from across the globe to collect, hold, and trade digital cards representing significant short video basketball highlights, dubbed “moments.”
These limited-edition tokens feature videos and statistics depicting a rare moment, with users able to unlock extremely rare tokens by completing particular sets of tokens showcasing related moments.
The marketplace is built on the Flow blockchain and has witnessed some crazy sales since its inception earlier in 2019. Some NBA Top Shot tokens have been sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. For each NFT highlight sold, the platform charges a 5% transaction fee.
The top three NBA Top Shot tokens on the platform are Lebron James highlights, which were sold for $230,023, $210,000, and $208,000, respectively.
Launched in 2020, Decentraland is an NFT platform for the play-to-earn virtual world built on the Ethereum blockchain. It provides NFT artists and creators with full rights to their works.
Users get access to a wide range of digital collectibles on Decentraland, including land parcels, in-game clothes, and estates. The platform’s native token MANA is used to buy all these assets.
The platform has recorded several massive NFT sales, including a single virtual land on Decentraland that was sold for $2.4 million earlier in November 2021.
If you love privacy, then you’ll love this NFT marketplace. Stashh prides itself as the first marketplace for Secret NFTs. This means you can mint, buy, and sell NFTs that are private by default on the platform.
Stashh allows NFT creators to monetize their content and protect their IP while giving collectors and consumers trustless control over how they buy, sell, use, and display their digital collectibles.
This is possible because Stashh is powered by Secret Network, a privacy-focused layer1 blockchain network built with the Cosmos SDK.
The marketplace supports different categories of Secret NFTs ranging from gaming to art to sports and NSFW. At the time of writing, some of the most popular collections by trade volume on the platform are Annons, MetaRats, and Redacted Club.
Stashh charges a 2.75% fee on the sale price, which is automatically deducted after a sale is completed.
Now, it’s also worth noting that there’s another platform that recently emerged with their own governance token that was airdropped to OpenSea users, and that is LooksRare (LOOKS). It was an open vampire attack on OpenSea, much like SushiSwap targetted Uniswap users back in 2020. While it is one of the more popular platforms, it’s also important to note that a lot of reports came out that much of the volume results from wash-trading in a bid to increase the rewards that users get for staking LOOKS.
Things to Consider Before Choosing an NFT Marketplace
Being able to list your NFT for sale in a marketplace isn’t enough if it’s hard to find someone who will buy it from you. Before choosing a platform for your NFT trades, you’ll want to verify if the marketplace has sufficient trading volume for your collectibles. This makes it easy for you to sell your NFT to another trader.
Security is a top priority for crypto investors. As the NFT space becomes bigger, hackers and scammers are also finding more ways to prey on unsuspecting victims.
So when choosing an NFT marketplace, it’s important to consider the security measures that the platform puts in place to protect users. And in the event of a hack, the NFT marketplace should be able to compensate users for losses suffered just like OpenSea did.
Another important factor to consider before choosing an NFT marketplace is commission.
Most NFT trading websites in the market today charge transaction fees from anywhere between 2.5%-15% for every NFT sale. So check what each platform charges before making your choice.
Before you can successfully buy or sell NFTs, the transactions must be processed on the blockchain, and this costs money too in the form of netwo` rk/gas fee.
Some blockchain networks, like Ethereum, have exorbitant gas fees of up to $100 per transaction.
Considering this before choosing an NFT marketplace allows traders to maximize their profits and not spend them all on transaction fees.
The NFT market has grown so much in the last couple of years that the number of NFT categories is endless. While the market is still mainly dominated by digital art, in-game assets, music, sports cards/moves, there are still countless other varieties of NFTs. However, not all NFT marketplaces support every category, and some NFTs are exclusive to a particular platform.
- Utility: What type of NFTs Are You Getting?
Certain NFTs are created by established and recognized artists, tech companies, and organizations, while others are created by anyone. As such, the choice of an NFT marketplace is also dependent on the type of NFT collection that you wish to get.
Some marketplaces are for elite and premium NFTs from thoroughly vetted creators, while others allow anyone to mint and sell their work.
It’s also important to note that transactions in any NFT marketplace are not complete without the blockchain.
Most NFT platforms are based on Ethereum, but some are built on other networks like Polygon, Solana, BSC, and Cosmo.
Also, some NFT marketplaces offer cross-chain support to allow users to trade their tokenized assets across the supported networks.
You can’t invest in non-fungible tokens without going through an NFT trading platform. The NFT marketplaces listed in this guide are some of the best in the market, although we expect more platforms to spring up in the future as the industry continues to grow.
Here’s a more detailed guide on how to buy and sell NFTs on OpenSea.
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