Where to buy NFTs – best marketplaces for every blockchain
|— NFTs are a unique and exploding digital asset, gaining exponential traction as both gifts and personal collectibles – so you might be wondering where to buy NFTs|
— NFT marketplaces are used for buying, selling, minting, and storing NFTs – but knowing where to start can be tricky
— Marketplaces are based on particular blockchains, with the main ones catering for NFTs on Ethereum, Solana and Tezos networks
— Here, we explain the specifics of each one, what you need to get started and how to choose which blockchain you use
You’ve heard the buzz, but you might be wondering where to buy NFTs. Here, we give you the ultimate guide for every blockchain.
If you have followed developments in crypto, you should know that the term ‘NFT’ is a big buzzword this year.
But this sudden rise in popularity means there are a lot of different uses and marketplaces popping up in quick succession, which can make the space challenging to navigate. With numerous use cases and plenty of hype, NFTs are an important topic in 2021.
Even if you already trade crypto, getting started with NFTs can be confusing. Today, we’ll dive into NFT marketplaces to look at how they’re used and some of their biggest benefits for crypto enthusiasts.
What are NFTs?
Non-fungible tokens are digital assets that use blockchain technology to create unique, traceable proof of ownership. NFT ownership is cataloged through metadata that no other token can replicate. For this reason, NFTs can be used to prove ownership of just about anything digital or physical, from a piece of digital art to a digital representation of a physical deed to a house.
Maybe you’re already a crypto user and know where to buy Bitcoin and how blockchains work. It’s important to understand that NFTs are a little different. While NFTs are paid for with cryptocurrencies, they are still a little bit different: NFTs are essentially cryptocurrencies with a different token standard and unique identification codes. While stored on a digital ledger like ‘normal’ cryptocurrencies, NFTs can also be associated with digital media such as videos and audio files. In other words, NFTs are digital assets that are valued both by their financial value and, usually, their artistic or cultural value because they can turn digital media and art into verifiable assets.
The functions of NFT marketplaces
Certainly the rising popularity of NFTs are one of the must-know crypto trends to monitor this year. But how can you get in on the action? That’s where NFT marketplaces come in.
NFT marketplaces are where you can buy, sell, create, and visualise your digital assets. Creating a new NFT is called minting, just like new quarters come from the US mint. This process can vary slightly for each marketplace, but the basic process is this.
Markets allow you to browse NFTs and collections and have search functions for finding what you want.
Marketplaces provide a platform for sellers to market their NFTs in exchange for a small commission at the point of sale. They get access to clients, and the platform gets a cut.
They provide a platform where you can see your own NFT collections and check out other people’s through profiles on the platform (similar to social media, only without interaction). As for NFT storage, people have been discussing crypto storage challenges for years.
Marketplaces are where you can bring NFTs to life by putting them into circulation on their blockchain. On most marketplaces, you can ‘Create’ a new NFT by uploading whatever file you want to store or sell, such as a work of art or music. Voila – you just transformed your file into an NFT.
There is also the option of lazy minting (available on certain platforms), which only mints the NFT once a buyer wants to purchase it – and also charges the buyer instead of the seller. This reduces the barrier to entry for creators, since it doesn’t require paying up front to create one. You’ll also have to pay a gas fee, or a fee based on a unit of measurement on how much power a transaction needs in order to register on a blockchain network
Oh yeah – and did you know, you can even make your very first steps into the world of cryptocurrency via NFT marketplaces? We’ll talk about that below.
Popular NFT Marketplaces
Marketplaces allow for an easy exchange of assets for NFT fans, but just as there are many cryptocurrencies, there are many NFT marketplaces for different uses.NFT marketplaces are tied to a particular blockchain, meaning they can only support listings of NFTs that exist on the same blockchain. With that in mind, let’s explore some of the main platforms on each blockchain, and what they offer users.
Ethereum Based NFT Marketplaces
Some marketplaces sell all manner of NFTs. Easily the most popular is OpenSea, which carries everything from trading cards to domain names.
OpenSea is great for NFT beginners because it is free to join and browse, and it’s easy to mint your own NFT or to buy, with over 150 payment forms accepted.
Alternatives like Rarible and SuperRare are also good all-purpose platforms. They are both built on the Ethereum blockchain and use Ether for purchasing, but Rarible also uses its own governance token, called Rari, to decentralise the running of the marketplace and allow its community to vote on big decisions.
It’s worth noting that SuperRare is more particular about who can mint, and also operates on an invite only basis, so you might have to become more established as an artist before you join that market.
Something that’s interesting about all these platforms is that you don’t need to have any crypto already when you start. You can now on-ramp into crypto directly through these NFT platforms by using your credit card to buy your first tokens, instead of going to a crypto exchange. It’s a sign that NFTs are increasingly becoming a gateway to the wider world of crypto and DeFi.
OpenSea and Rarible
OpenSea is notable for being one of the very first NFT marketplaces, and today offers virtually any type of NFT imaginable, including audio files, digital media, and virtual worlds. OpenSea allows lazy minting, meaning you have the ability to list NFTs before they are minted via a smart contract and then pay the gas fee only once the NFT has been sold.
Rarible is also a decentralized peer-to-peer marketplace where people can purchase NFTs (such as artwork and digital media) that were made by digital artists.
Take note that Open Sea and Raribe are very similar, with the main point of difference being the creator royalties, meaning Rarible is more appealing to long term NFT artists while OpenSea is more appealing to beginners or those seeking quick sales.
Exciting news: you’ll soon be able to interact with Rarible directly using just you Nano! But for now, check out our article explaining how to leverage MetaMask Wallet with your Ledger device to maximise your security as you transact on Ethereum based platforms.
SuperRare is a digital market for Ethereum that permits the buying and trading of single edition artworks in digital format. It caters to the top end of the market, and its focus is on exclusivity, uniqueness, and high end art. To keep it exclusive, it utilizes an invite only approach.
Nifty Gateway is a centralized NFT platform, and it comes with the associated risks. You can store your private keys in the platform’s own hot wallet. Using it means you’ll need to keep your assets in the platform’s native hot wallet, meaning that your coins aren’t truly yours as long as they’re there. This is convenient, since you don’t need to worry about managing your private keys, but it also means you don’t fully control your assets, andbecause you’re relying on the platform’s own security instead of your own.since the wallet is not yours.
If you’re looking to start your NFT journey on Ethereum and want to use any of these marketplaces, you’ll need to use MetaMask wallet. Not sure what that is? Check out our article here, where we explain how to use it safely with a Ledger Nano.
Solana Based Marketplaces
Solana is taking the world of NFTs by storm with its promise of tiny gas and minting fees and low energy cosumption. If that sounds good to you, you might consider grabbing yourself a Solana based NFT.
The most popular Solana NFT marketplace is SolSea – to get started, you’ll likely need to use Phantom Wallet, which is designed for interacting with dApps on Solana. Check out our article about how you can optimise your safety on SolSea using a combination of Phantom Wallet and Ledger’s very own Nano.
Tezos Based Marketplaces
If you’re interested in getting started with NFTs – but you’re finding some of the price tags a bit steep, and prefer to dip your toe in the water – Tezos blockchain based NFTs coud be a great starting point for you.
A popular marketplace for Tezos native NFTs is Objkt, which is a decentralized platform used for bidding on and selling tokens – you’ll need Temple Wallet to interact with the platform.
One of the key selling points of Tezos blockchain is its low energy consumption, but another advantage for users is the low gas fees. While it’s a smaller NFT market, there is much to be said for taking your first steps via Tezos.
Go forth and explore
In the age of Web 3.0, NFTs are an essential element of the transition that will see our digital existence become less and less separate from our real life. Non-fungible tokens aren’t just for technology experts: by allowing us to digitally transform processes that were previously difficult to track, they give many groups, including artists, gamers, and more a way to digitally own – and control – their digital experience.
Now you’ve got an overview of the expanding ecosystem – and where to buy NFTs no matter what you’re looking for – you’re equipped to get started on your own journey.