The NFT marketplace LooksRare was launched in early January 2022. The founders of the platform are currently anonymous but are known as Guts and Zodd. Together, they wanted to build a market that put their users first by rewarding them for trading on their platform.
Within the first week of its launch, Dune Analytics showed that there was more than double the trading volume on LooksRare as there was on OpenSea, which dominated the market last year. Much of this volume is due to wash trading, the practice in which users will trade to a secondary account that they own in order to take advantage of LooksRare’s incentive program.
For the first two years of its existence, whenever a user trades on the platform, they will receive LOOKS tokens that they can then sell or stake on the platform. That benefit coupled with the fact that trading fees are 2% (in comparison to OpenSea’s 2.5%) has many investors excited about transitioning to the new marketplace. This marketing strategy has been dubbed the vampire attack, as LooksRare is directly targeting the previous top NFT marketplace.
Many users have been selling their valuable assets (such as Meebits or Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs) on LooksRare rather than OpenSea to benefit from the new incentives and lower fees.
What is OpenSea?
OpenSea was launched in late 2017, as the first DeFi NFT marketplace. It was founded by Alex Atallah and Devin Finzer, who were inspired to create a safe place where enthusiasts could buy and sell non-fungible tokens without having to worry about scams.
The duo spent a lot of time in early Discord communities to learn what people wanted and needed in a platform and built OpenSea.io as a result. Until the launch of LooksRare, OpenSea was king of the NFT crypto market, doing more daily volume than other markets combined. That being said, they are still the most trusted in the NFT community at the time of writing, boasting more than 300,000 users. At the time of this writing, LooksRare had less than 2,000 users (according to DappRadar).
OpenSea operates by the Wyvern Protocol, Ethereum smart contracts, allowing users to easily trade their digital assets and non-fungible tokens. While they don’t offer trading rewards like LooksRare, they still maintain a large transaction volume that isn’t as compromised by wash trading.
The platform has a large library of NFT collections, including over 34 million graphics, GIFs, videos, and other digital assets. This crypto art is easy to sort through using its category system and search functions. Users can also search by each art’s supported cryptocurrency. The platform works with the Ethereum blockchain as well as Polygon and Klatyn.
LooksRare vs OpenSea: Audience
Not only was OpenSea the largest NFT marketplace as far as trading volume is concerned, but it has also been around the longest. For that reason, many of its users within the NFT community remain loyal to it despite any new NFT marketplace that arises.
Even though LooksRare is new to the game, they have amassed a large amount of support mainly through the incentives they are offering their users. This trending company is rewarding users with their own LOOKS token every single time they make a transaction. Users can then stake the tokens they’ve received from transactions, purchases, or airdrops to earn more in the future.
Both platforms work with non-fungible tokens that are listed on the Ethereum blockchain, although OpenSea also works with Klatyn and Polygon (Cardano). Some NFT collectors are hesitant to purchase an Ethereum NFT due to possible environmental reasons, which may lead them to continually work with those they can purchase with Cardano.
LooksRare vs OpenSea: Supported Currencies
LooksRare only works on the Ethereum blockchain, accepting ether (ETH) as their primary source of payment. They also pay out in WETH (and stakers will receive additional LOOKS tokens for their investment).
OpenSea, on the other hand, works with ETH, DAI, and more than 150 other currencies including REVV, MANA, UNI, WKLAY, WHALE, and more.
Neither platform allows their user base to purchase assets using bitcoin (BTC), fiat currency of any kind (USD, GBP, AUD, etc), or credit cards.
LooksRare does reward its users with their own currency, LOOKS rewards. These tokens will fluctuate in value, but many people have benefited from the “savings” already on the platform.
LooksRare vs OpenSea: Supported Wallets
MetaMask is the dapp browser extension that OpenSea recommends to its users. The platform also works with several other web3 wallets including Bitski, Arkane Network, Coinbase, Dapper, Authereum, Torus, and Fortmatic.
LooksRare also works with MetaMask and recommends it for their PC users. You can also use either Coinbase Wallet or Wallet Connect with the platform. LooksRare recommends Wallet Connect to their mobile users.
LooksRare vs OpenSea: Other Differences
Every platform will have a series of differences from other NFT places. Here are a few of the key differences between OpenSea and LooksRare:
Platform Fees – Both platforms have relatively low fees for trades (as some take 15% of primary sales). LooksRare charges a 2% transaction fee for every sale, whereas OpenSea charges 2.5%. Those who are trading NFTs with high valuations (such as BAYC) will be able to see the value in that extra savings on LooksRare (not to mention, they will receive LOOKS tokens).
Available NFTs – Both platforms will have non-fungible tokens that are not available on the other platform. LooksRare will showcase any NFT that has been minted on the Ethereum blockchain, whereas OpenSea will show most of them, as well as NFTs from Polygon and Klatyn.
Minting Availability – At this time, users cannot mint new NFTs on LooksRare. OpenSea does allow their users to mint on their platform through the “lazy minting” process, meaning they will only need to pay gas fees when the NFT sells. That being said, users should be aware that they will be charged gas fees every time they change the prices of their assets.
LooksRare vs OpenSea: Conclusion
Both LooksRare and OpenSea are easy to use and intuitive. While many investors that have used OpenSea for years may be wary of changing to a new platform, new NFT collectors may want to choose to work with LooksRare. Not only are fees lower, but you can also receive tokens for your trades.
That being said, if you are interested in minting on a platform, you will need to work with OpenSea, Rarible, or another NFT marketplace as those capabilities are currently not available on LooksRare.