Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are essentially the digital versions of trading cards, and they’ve been all over the news recently. Like cryptocurrency, these digital assets live on blockchains, but they’re non-fungible, simply meaning they’re unique. However, if you want to get your hands on one of these crypto collectibles, you’ll have to do so through an NFT marketplace.
That’s where the OpenSea marketplace comes in.
OpenSea is the world’s largest NFT exchange. You can buy, sell, and trade NFTs on the platform, and there are countless options to choose from. You’ll find everything from NFT hopefuls minting their first crypto collectibles to trending collections like CryptoKitties and Bored Apes.
But is the largest NFT marketplace also the best one to use? That depends on the features you want and need.
Key Features of OpenSea
OpenSea quickly rose to the top of its industry by providing its users a long list of quality features. These are some of the most exciting ones.
All cryptocurrency exchanges charge transaction fees, but OpenSea users pay less than users of most other platforms. You only pay 2.5%. To put that into perspective, SuperRare charges 3%, and Foundation charges 5%. Buyers don’t pay transaction fees.
You must also pay gas fees, which are fees for the processing power you must use to make the transaction when you sell and trade NFTs on the platform. Note that OpenSea has no control over gas fees. Instead, these are variable fees charged by the blockchain that houses the smart contracts at the center of NFTs. The fees vary based on demand.
That’s why it’s best to wait until late at night or very early in the morning, when demand is lower because most people are sleeping. Lower demand means lower gas fees, and buying at the right time can significantly decrease the overall price you pay to transact on the blockchain.
Largest NFT Marketplace in the World
OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace in the world, at least for the moment. Coinbase, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is expected to launch Coinbase NFT soon, and when it does, many expect it to become the largest NFT marketplace.
Nonetheless, there are considerable benefits when working with the leaders of an industry, especially when that industry is centered around the exchange of assets.
If your goal is to buy NFTs, you’ll have more collections to choose from than on any other platform. Moreover, if you’re interested in selling your own NFTs, OpenSea’s massive size makes that simple too. As the largest exchange online, there are more NFT collectors on OpenSea than on any other exchange, giving you a larger audience to market your digital art to.
Triple-Digit Payment Options
Most websites give you a few different options to pay, but OpenSea takes it to the next level. The NFT exchange supports hundreds of different payment options, from fiat payments like debit and credit cards to crypto payments like Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD Coin, and Dai.
No Gas Fees Until Products You Sell
One of the reasons creators gravitate toward OpenSea is because it’s free to mint your own NFT collections on the platform. It’s even gas-free. So you can mint your collection and put it on the marketplace to gauge demand before you invest a single cent in the process.
OpenSea needs to make its money, but it does so when someone purchases pieces of your collection. Once a buyer decides to snap up one of your NFTs, you pay both the 2.5% transaction fee and the gas fee the blockchain that houses the smart contract charges.
Supports Multiple Crypto Wallets
NFTs are valuable assets, and it’s essential to store yours securely. As with cryptocurrencies, you must store NFTs in a crypto wallet, and the exchange you choose must support the cryptocurrency wallet you use.
OpenSea supports 16 of the most popular crypto wallets online today. Some wallets the platform supports include MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, Magic (formerly Fortmatic), and Trust Wallet. You can find a full list of supported wallets in OpenSea’s help center.
4 Supported Blockchains
Ethereum is the most popular blockchain for the NFT industry, but it’s not the only one. Recently, more and more people have been using the Polygon, Klaytn, and Solana blockchains. OpenSea supports all four. It also supports over 150 cryptocurrencies and altcoins as well as fiat payment methods.
As with any other industry, the likelihood of success increases if you take the time to learn about NFTs before diving in. OpenSea’s help center is a convenient place to start your educational journey.
The help center features several educational articles that teach you to buy, sell, trade, and create digital collectibles. There are also informative write-ups on safety and security and resources for developers.
Advantages of OpenSea
There are tons of advantages to using the OpenSea platform. The most important include:
- Countless Collections. As of January 2022, OpenSea listed more than 2 million collections and had more than 80 million individual NFTs for sale. So there’s no shortage of assets to choose from.
- Intuitive Mobile App. Just about everything happens on the go these days. You can buy, sell, trade, and create NFTs on the go with OpenSea’s mobile app. The app is just as easy-to-use and intuitive as the desktop version.
- A Massive Audience. OpenSea has more than a million active users. So if you’re interested in breaking into the NFT industry, there’s no shortage of an audience to sell your digital art to.
- Low Fees. You only pay OpenSea a 2.5% transaction fee when selling or trading digital assets on their platform (buyers don’t pay a transaction fee). However, as with any other NFT exchange, you pay a separate gas fee on top of the transaction fee charged by OpenSea.
- Popular Crypto Wallet Support. The platform supports all the most popular cryptocurrency wallets.
- Payment Options. Whether you’d like to pay for NFTs using a credit card, Bitcoin, or one of the hundreds of other payment options, the platform has you covered. The core cryptocurrencies on the platform are Ethereum, wrapped Ether, Solana, USD Coin, and Dai. However, the company supports more than 150 other cryptocurrencies as well.
- Launch Collections for Free. Finally, if you’re looking to launch your own NFT collection, you’re in luck. You only pay a fee on OpenSea when someone buys your work. Until then, you can mint and promote your own NFTs on the platform free.
Disadvantages of OpenSea
Every rose has its thorns, and while OpenSea is a quality rose, it’s no exception. The most significant disadvantages of the platform include:
- Limited Customer Support. Unfortunately, its customer support options are minimal as well. You can only contact OpenSea by email or by submitting a support ticket. It’s unclear how long it takes OpenSea to respond to support requests. Some reviewers said they never received a response.
- Low Royalties. Many NFT creators attach royalties to their work, enabling them to make money any time it trades hands. You can do the same on OpenSea, but the royalty has a 10% cap, which is quite low compared to other platforms.
How OpenSea Stacks Up
OpenSea’s biggest competitor is Rarible. This chart shows how the two platforms stack up.
|Minting Fee||When they sell||When you mint|
|Number of NFTs||More than 80 million||About 400,000|
|Number of Users||More than 1 million||About 1.6 million|
|Blockchains||Ethereum, Polygon, Klaytn, Solana||Ethereum, Tezos, Flow|
|Payment Options||Credit, debit, and cryptocurrencies||Credit, debit, and cryptocurrencies|
If you’ve got questions about OpenSea, you’re not alone. Answers to the most common questions about the exchange include:
How Does Buying on OpenSea Work?
It’s easy to buy NFTs on OpenSea. Follow these steps to get started:
- Open the OpenSeaMobile App or Website. The mobile app is available on Apple and Android devices. You can also go to the website, OpenSea.io.
- Find Your NFT. Now, find an NFT you’d like to buy. You can do so by searching for the name of a collection you’re interested in or browsing through the website and looking into the different trending collections.
- Click the Buy Now Button. When you find an NFT you’re interested in, click the blue Buy Now button to the right of the image.
- Connect Your Cryptocurrency Wallet. A new menu will appear on the right side of the website with a list of the wallets the exchange supports. Click on the brand you use. If the asset is for sale, you can finalize the purchase once you connect your wallet. If you can’t buy the asset, continue to Step 5.
- Make an Offer. In some cases, NFTs on OpenSea aren’t for sale immediately, but you always make an offer. If the NFT you’re interested in isn’t for sale, click the Make an Offer button and type the price you’re willing to pay in the field that pops up.
- Send and Wait. Now, submit your offer. It’s up to the current owner of the NFT to accept it. Wait until you receive a response from the current token owner.
Is OpenSea a Legit Website?
That’s an interesting question, and the answer really depends on who you ask. OpenSea is a leader in the NFT marketplace industry. Not just a leader, the leader. However, some argue that the company doesn’t operate the way a legitimate business should, specifically in terms of its customer service. Unfortunately, customer support is minimal at best and nonexistent at worst.
So while the website is a legitimate place to buy, sell, trade, and create NFTs, you may be left up the creek without a paddle if something goes wrong.
How Much Do I Make on OpenSea?
The amount of money you make on OpenSea depends on your activities on the website. There are a few ways to do it.
- Minting Your Own NFT Collection. The first option is to mint your own NFTs and list them for sale. If your digital art is a hit, you could make a jaw-dropping amount of money. However, a tiny percentage of NFT collections make it big.
- Investing. Like other assets, you can purchase NFTs and hold them in hopes the price appreciates. Some investors have used NFTs to become millionaires by buying pieces in new, low-cost collections and waiting for those collections to gain in value.
- Trade. Some NFT enthusiasts have traded their way to the top. If you have a piece another collector wants or needs to complete a collection, they may be willing to trade an NFT that’s worth more than the one they want.
Do You Pay Gas Fees on OpenSea?
You pay gas fees any time you buy, sell, or trade NFTs. OpenSea doesn’t dictate these fees. The blockchains you need to use the technology do, and there’s no way around them.
OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace in the world, and it’s possible to use the platform as a means to generate money. However, it’s crucial to educate yourself about the industry and exchange before getting started. You may have difficulty getting anything of value out of the support team if you run into problems.
Nonetheless, OpenSea is the only NFT exchange that gives creators the ability to mint NFTs without paying gas fees until pieces sell. It also has the largest selection of NFTs online.
If you decide it’s time to get into the NFT space, do your research. As with any other investment, research is the foundation of sound investment decisions in the NFT industry.