Non-fungible tokens (NFT) have undoubtedly become one of the most important sub-sectors of the crypto space, thanks to the success of several NFT initiatives such as early pioneers CryptoPunks, millionaire flex toys Bored Yacht Ape Club and play-to-earn (P2E) phenomenon Axie Infinity, to name a few. With new projects launching every day, ranging from digital artworks, virtual land, in-game assets and domain names, these decentralised digital certificates of ownership promise a brand new paradigm of investments and asset provenance.
One of the main catalysts of NFTs’ meteoric rise in popularity (mimicking that of DeFi in 2020) has been the proliferation of various NFT marketplaces that are making it easier and cheaper to mint, buy and sell unique assets online. In this guide, we will compare 2 of the largest NFT marketplaces, Rarible and OpenSea.
What are NFTs and NFT marketplaces?
Before we get into NFT marketplaces and how they function, it is best to understand exactly what NFTs are. You can think of NFTs as immutable digitised certificates of any real-world or digital asset, inferring ownership over said asset. For example, you could purchase a football NFT that could give you a beautiful artwork as well as exclusive benefits, such as early bird ticket prices and a signed player jersey. NFTs can essentially represent ownership of any object and are designed to be unique and immutable, preventing anyone but the owner from accessing them. For a more in-depth explanation, you can visit our NFT guide.
Today, several marketplaces have been established including OpenSea, Rarible, Nifty Gateway, and SuperRare, all allowing users to mint, purchase and trade NFTs in a clean and sleek interface powered by a blockchain.
What is Rarible?
Rarible is a decentralised peer-to-peer marketplace for NFTs created by digital artists and creators. Users can purchase different types of NFTs including digital artworks, memes and other metaverse-based assets. For more information about Rarible, check out our in-depth guide.
What is OpenSea?
OpenSea is one of the first decentralised NFT marketplaces in the space, and was once proclaimed as the “eBay for Crypto Kitties”, but has since expanded far beyond mere collectibles, offering nearly all types of NFTs including domain names, virtual worlds and music. Perhaps the most notable distinction of the platform is its implementation of lazy minting, a program that allows creators to list NFTs as they wish and only pay for gas when they are sold. Here is a guide we made for a more in-depth explanation of OpenSea.
Buying NFTs on OpenSea vs Rarible
On Rarible, you can buy an NFT with ETH. Initially, you’ll need to sync your digital wallet with the interface of the marketplace before you can start buying NFTs from the listings. Rarible is only available via its webpage, rarible.com.
OpenSea offers an almost similar function where you need to connect your digital wallet to start trading NFTs. It has an easily accessible listing for any trader, allowing anyone to select which NFT they wish to purchase. You can connect to the marketplace via its webpage and mobile app. Moreover, OpenSea now incredibly supports over 150 tokens.
Selling NFTs on OpenSea vs Rarible
To sell an NFT on OpenSea, you need a profile, digital wallet and an NFT. If you already have an NFT to sell, head over to your profile and create either a “fixed price” or “timed auction” transaction. Auctions allow other users to place bids on your NFT. OpenSea also allows you to mint NFTs within the platform if you have a file ready.
On Rarible, you will be asked to create your own collectible first. This feature lets you define whether you’re only selling a single NFT or a collection, then you will be asked to upload the artwork you wish to sell. You can set the price of the NFT yourself or simply auction it.
When selling NFTs, the main difference between both marketplaces is that Rarible allows users to set up to 30% for creator royalties, sharing profits with them each time their NFTs are sold again. In OpenSea, you can only set it up to 10% to allocate for the creator’s royalties.
Creating NFTs on OpenSea vs Rarible
To create an NFT on OpenSea, you need to head over to your profile and click the “Create” feature. This will take you to the creation page where you can set the name of your NFT, upload its corresponding files, and add relevant descriptions. Then you can decide whether you want to add it to an existing collection or if you want to give it additional attributes, such as properties, levels or unlockable content.
Creating an NFT on Rarible works the same way. Go over to its homepage and click “Create”. Just like OpenSea, Rarible allows users to attach certain characteristics to their NFTs. However, there is a required gas fee payment for users before they can successfully mint an NFT.
It can be riskier and more expensive to create NFTs on Rarible than OpenSea, as the former doesn’t support lazy minting, which is the ability to list NFTs prior to minting them through smart contracts. Unless you already have an established following, there is no guarantee that anyone will be interested in your NFTs, which means that you could lose money from the gas fees on Rarible if your artworks don’t sell.
Fees on OpenSea vs Rarible
There are 2 main fees paid by NFT sellers.
|Royalty Fee||Up to 10%||Up to 30%|
Kinds of NFTs available on OpenSea vs Rarible
OpenSea and Rarible offer a wide range of NFTs in their respective marketplaces. Note that although both platforms list NFTs of any category, the number of listings and users in OpenSea dwarfs that of Rarible, so you might not have as many purchase options with the latter.
While both platforms offer similar types of NFT listings for users to buy, OpenSea retains its crown thanks to its popularity, large user base and many supported assets that help users to sell their NFTs faster. NFTs are notoriously difficult to offload in bearish markets. Therefore, it follows that the most popular marketplace is also your safest bet to get a good return (or at least your money back) on your investment. Of course, trends and narratives drive the prices of specific NFT collections, and it’s important to check message boards on sites like Reddit and Discord to find out where the movers and shakers list their digital collectibles. OpenSea also offers lazy minting, which eliminates the risk associated with creating NFTs and losing money when they don’t sell.
On the flip side, Rarible offers more leeway in terms of royalty sharing, offering up to 3 times more than what OpenSea currently allows. And while OpenSea obviously takes the cake features-wise, its recent insider trading debacle has caused many users to be wary of the platform.
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