The Leading Ethereum NFT Marketplaces
With the increasing adoption of NFTs for numerous purposes across the many consumer landscapes — there has also been a blossom in the number of NFT marketplaces and platforms designed to facilitate the trading of NFTs. With new marketplaces emerging all the time, we’ve taken a look at some of the more trafficked ones — to see what makes them unique. We will be adding new marketplaces and expanding their descriptions over time; so make sure to bookmark this site—to stay up-to-date as we publish new information. Note that this article only covers independent marketplaces—not those embedded in individual metaverse platforms, such as The Sandbox and Wilder World.
We’ll cover all of those in an upcoming article.
This is the world’s largest NFT marketplace, in terms of its sheer number of offerings — and it features countless projects, including ERC-721 and ERC-1155 assets, from 2D to 3D, to music and beyond. Think of OpenSea as a sort of Amazon-meets-Ebay: there’s everything anyone could ever want available, though you have to know what you’re looking for. They offer a wide range of NFTs, from art to virtual worlds and collectibles. Open Sea also allows users to create their own NFTs using their minting tool, allowing you to create an NFT collection for free without the need for a single line of code. Know though this is what’s called ‘pre-mint’; it will not be minted (or ‘published’, in web2 terms) on the blockchain until your item is actually sold. Until then, it’s just listed. A good beginner’s site. From developing your own smart contract for a game to creating or buying an NFT—you can easily get your collection added to OpenSea to be sold at a fixed price, Dutch auction listing, or by auction. It’s as basic as it gets.
This is a community-owned NFT marketplace, wherein its ‘owners’ hold the ERC-20 $RARI token — which is awarded to active users on the platform, who buy and/or sell on their NFT marketplace. The platform places a particular focus on art assets, allowing users to buy and sell NFTs — often centered on photography, games, worlds, music, domains, and memes, all from leading brands. Creators are also able to use Rarible to mint new NFTs to then sell these creations and show a peek of their creation to everybody who comes to Rarible, while views of the full project are limited to the purchaser. Rarible’s mobile app is unique and fun, in that it displays the estimated worth of your NFT portfolio based on the floor price of other NFTs for sale in the same collection.
This is the marketplace for one-off, mostly exclusive 2D art that is carefully sourced from a tightly selected pool of artists and creators, making them sort of an online gallery. They sell single-edition digital artworks. The marketplace describes itself as Instagram meets Christie’s, offering a way to interact with art, culture, and collecting on the internet. As NFT art collectibles all have a transparent record of ownership, they’re perfect for a social environment— and they’ve built a social network on top of the marketplace, in that users are able to like and follow other user profiles on the platform. Like Rarible above, they also have their own community-driven token named, which is named RARE. SuperRare’s commendable editorial platform has been publishing since c. 2020.
Just as SuperRare; this platform was founded in 2018 and is one of the OG NFT marketplaces in history. It’s known for the minimal ways it has developed its user interface, which makes it feel more classic than other marketplaces in this space. It is also very welcoming in the way it engages with its audience and therefore is also informative and educational. It has a dedicated ‘Journal’ section of its platform, which has been published since 2020. It is less editorial in nature and more focused on onboarding web2 users to the concept of NFTs and digital artists. Known Origin was acquired by Ebay, during June of 2022.
Of all the NFT marketplaces currently in existence, Foundation stands out from all others due to its full-on embrace of web3 in everything that they do— which is mirrored in the light and airy graphics of its user interface. Though the main reason that we mention them here is that they are unique in their building out of their own OS underneath their NFT marketplace. Which, they aim to make the (pun intended)—foundation of their marketplace. OS will be opened to developers for use. This will, eventually, allow new developers to utilize all the tools that Foundation has created for their own purposes, atop the OS ecosystem. Definitely be sure to check them out if you haven’t; they’re one to watch.
This marketplace is of note due to its focus on earnings as generated from trading, buying, and selling NFTs on the platform — which in turn allows for its own ecosystem. Like SuperRare, it has its own native token, called LOOKS. This sturdily designed platform is geared more toward earnings than it is in relaying the artistic value of the creators of the NFTs offered for purchase in its marketplace. 75% of the total LOOKS tokens have been reserved for the platform’s community. These features make it stand out among the others.
Like several other marketplaces, Nifty Gateway was founded in 2018 and was in 2019 privately acquired by Gemini Trust — its now parent company, which itself is a New York state-licensed cryptocurrency exchange platform. Nifty Gateway dabbles in schedule drops. The marketplace is focused on curated collections of various types of NFTs, though mostly 2D art or video clips that often have captured some sort of performance art, or other movement-based work. This is also one of the few marketplaces that act as a custodial wallet for new, and existing (if that’s your thing), NFT buyers and owners; this means that you do not need to have a web3 wallet to connect to their platform and that they will instead, ‘hold onto it’ for you.
This marketplace leans heavily in the direction of ‘crypto-art-centered’ platforms. They are also a platform that commissions some of the leading computer generative 2D NFT art, from some of the celebrated practitioners in this corner of the NFT art market. For instance, Aorist recently commissioned a work to be exhibited in Venice by Rafaël Rozendaal. They have also worked with the Dutch duo of designers, Studio Drift. Aorist is a bit ‘Design Academy Eindhoven’ meets fine art gallery, all in one — and again, it is focused on 2D and generative, computer (and sometimes internet) art. The marketplace also has a dedicated ‘Exhibitions’ section wherein they occasionally curate small shows, themed around one city per show. These exhibitions are all online, though they all have tie-ins to physical events that Aorist hosts, in each city.
We are the only 3D NFT marketplace focused on interoperability; we are the only marketplace curating who we work with on a one-to-one basis, in our metaverse-optimization-pipeline workshop. No other marketplace can claim this process. We are focused on solving interoperability by automating the conversion process to mint 3D assets that are metaverse-ready from day one. Our platform and technology enable IRL architects and designers, and 3D creators to mint, sell, and license 3D assets for use across the open metaverse; from Decentraland, to Voxels, to Somnium Space, to Spatial, and many more.
Our approach empowers 3D creators with the freedom to create their desired art — and allows the collector to easily acquire an NFT that can be used across many virtual environments. This solves three key issues for the metaverse: for creators, its ease of accessibility to 3D optimization, allowing them to build new worlds; second: the interoperability of these assets across games and different environments; third: ease of availability of 3D assets to collectors.
We’re transitioning from the engineering era of game development to the creator era, and we are providing the necessary tools for creators to own the future of the metaverse, and define how it will be experienced. We work with designers and artists and architects to help them enter into the metaverse, without prerequisite web3 knowledge for doing so—that’s where we come in.
We partner up with creators to help them make their master file the best possible design it can be, then optimize that for every metaverse, in intense dialogue, to ensure (to the best of humanly possible) a perfection of fluidity between the design that the creator had in mind, and the final result. Each of these optimizations, for each metaverse, is then clustered and placed inside one master NFT, which is then minted to the Ethereum blockchain. And then the artist is put through our editorial department, where we place creators on a glittering pedestal so that we can shine a spotlight on their designs, so they can share the ideas behind their work. We really look forward to welcoming you into our marketplace, which will be launching very soon. Stay tuned…
MetaMundo is a curated marketplace for 3D scenes and assets, enabling anyone to own high quality 3D NFTs for use across the open metaverse. Powered by web3 technology, the scenes and assets available on MetaMundo are verifiable on the Ethereum blockchain. We developed our own NFT, specifically for 3D scenes and assets, which are metaverse-ready. Each of our NFTs contain a bundle of 3D files, optimized for use across the open metaverse — including versions, which can be used in high fidelity game engines and environments. MetaMundo presents exclusive drops to collectors from the world’s leading 3D artists, designers, architects, and brands — with creators receiving royalties from future sales. Every 3D NFT minted by MetaMundo can also be resold by collectors on secondary NFT marketplaces.
MetaMundo is backed by acclaimed metaverse funds, advisors, and angel investors.