Cryptocurrency, by definition, is bank-free digital money that’s found on different blockchains, the unchangeable registries that can track the buying and selling of tangible and intangible goods (especially graphic art), from virtual land and property to rare collectibles. NFTs are digital assets that serve as proof that you bought something that lives on the internet, and they come in several different formats, such as graphics like JPEG images, audio recordings, and video GIF files and short films. NFT stands for non-fungible token. It's generally built using the same kind of programming as cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, but that's where the similarity ends. Physical money and cryptocurrencies are “fungible,” meaning they can be traded or exchanged for one another
10 top NFT marketplaces
Here are some of the best NFT marketplaces right now.
OpenSea is the leader in NFT sales. OpenSea has all sorts of digital assets available on its platform, and it's free to sign up and browse the extensive offerings. It also supports artists and creators and has an easy-to-use process if you want to create your own NFT (known as "minting").
The marketplace supports more than 150 different payment tokens, so the platform's name is appropriate. For an introduction to the NFT world, OpenSea is a great place to start.
2. Axie Marketplace
Axie Marketplace is the online shop for the video game Axie Infinity. Axies are mythical creatures that can be bought and trained and then pitted against other players' Axies to earn rewards. On Axie Marketplace, players can buy new Axies, as well as entire lands and other items, as NFTs for use within the game.
Axie Infinity tokens (called Axie Shards) are built on the Ethereum blockchain. As such, they can be bought and sold on a variety of other NFT marketplaces, as well as on some cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN).
3. Larva Labs/CryptoPunks
Larva Labs is best known for the viral CryptoPunks NFTproject. They were originally given away for free back in 2017, but some CryptoPunks have sold for millions of dollars since then. Larva Labs has other digital art projects going such as Autoglyphs, as well as other Ethereum blockchain-based app development projects.
Larva Labs' CryptoPunks NFTs are sold out, but they can be bid on and bought from various third-party marketplaces. Nevertheless, Larva Labs' various projects are worth keeping tabs on -- including the Meebits, which can be bid on directly from the company's built-in marketplace.
4. NBA Top Shot Marketplace
NBA Top Shot is the National Basketball Association and Women's National Basketball Association's foray into the NFT world. On its marketplace, collectible moments (video clips and play highlights) and art can be purchased from the world's premier basketball leagues.
The NBA built it as a closed marketplace (you can only buy and sell on Top Shot) using the Flow blockchain built by Dapper Labs. It's easy to sign up and buy directly on the Top Shot marketplace website. Collectible moments can be purchased for as little as a few dollars.
Rarible is another large marketplace for all sorts of NFTs, similar to OpenSea. All kinds of art, videos, collectibles, and music can be bought, sold, or created on the platform. However, unlike OpenSea, you'll need to use the marketplace's own token Rarible (CRYPTO:RARI) to buy and sell on the marketplace. Rarible is built on the Ethereum blockchain (although artwork can be managed on OpenSea as well using Rarible tokens).
The company has partnered with some notable companies. Yum! Brands' (NYSE:YUM) Taco Bell has listed art on Rarible, and cloud software giant Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) recently partnered with Rarible to help secure NFT artists' and creators' work.
Similar to Rarible, SuperRare is also building a marketplace for digital creators. The site includes art, videos, and 3D images, but collectors can purchase artwork using Ethereum.
SuperRare recently announced its own token of the same name based on the Ethereum blockchain. The tokens will be used to find and curate new talent for the marketplace. Like Rarible, SuperRare NFTs can also be bought and sold on OpenSea.
Foundation.app was designed as a simple, no-frills way to bid on digital art. Sales are made using Ethereum. Since the marketplace's launch in early 2021, it has sold more than $100 million of NFTs.
Artists are invited to the platform by the Foundation community, and buyers simply need a crypto wallet funded with Ethereum to start making purchases. If you're looking for a quick and easy way to start creating your own NFTs, Foundation probably isn't the best place to begin, but the marketplace has plenty of artwork that can be perused in a simple format.
8. Nifty Gateway
Nifty Gateway has facilitated the sale of some of the most popular digital artists such as Beeple and singer/musician Grimes. It's an art curation platform powered by the crypto exchange Gemini (controlled by the Winklevoss twins). The NFTs, known as Nifties, are built on Ethereum.
Besides being a curated platform, Nifty Gateway also hosts any NFTs purchased -- meaning the NFTs aren't stored in your own wallet but are actually stored for you by Nifty Gateway and Gemini. While that may not work for NFT collectors who want more flexibility with their art investments, Nifty purchases and sales also can be made in fiat currency (e.g., U.S. dollars) without making a cryptocurrency purchase first.
Mintable, backed by billionaire Mark Cuban, aims to be an open marketplace similar to OpenSea. To participate in buying and selling NFTs on Mintable, you'll need Ethereum. The platform also supports minting of NFTs for creators of all types (from photographers to musicians) who want to sell their work as a digital asset.
An aspiring NFT collector or creator will need to purchase Ethereum from a crypto exchange first, then connect their wallet to Mintable to facilitate bidding and buying on the marketplace.
10. Theta Drop
Theta is a blockchain platform built for the decentralized distribution of video and TV on the internet. The NFT marketplace Theta Drop made its debut in 2021 with the World Poker Tour's digital collectibles. The World Poker Tour was an early adopter of ThetaTV and uses the platform to stream content.
Theta utilizes its own blockchain technology. To participate in the Theta Drop NFT marketplace, you'll need to purchase Theta Token (CRYPTO:THETA). Various crypto exchanges such as Binance support Theta, and the tokens and NFTs purchased with them can be stored in a crypto wallet, as well as in Theta's own crypto wallet app.