What is OpenSea?
Founded in 2017 by Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah, OpenSea is one of the best NFT marketplaces for crypto collectibles known as NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and is the currently the largest. The decentralized platform operates by the Wyvern Protocol, Ethereum smart contracts that allow users to easily trade NFTs and other digital assets.
How does OpenSea work?
OpenSea is a decentralized marketplace where users can buy or sell NFTs. The seller has full control over their assets until the point of sale when it is transferred to the buyer through web3 wallets, such as MetaMask.
Buyers can browse and search through millions of available graphics through the platform’s category system. Not only can you select search filters to separate art or music, but you can also choose which supported cryptocurrency on the Ethereum blockchain you wish to use.
OpenSea originally ran on Ethereum smart contract alone, but is now a cross-chain marketplace, utilizing Polygon and Klatyn.
What currencies can you use on OpenSea?
The two main currencies used on the OpenSea NFT marketplace are ether (ETH) or DAI. The platform also supports other Ethereum-based tokens including WHALE, REVV, WKLAY, UNI, and MANA. In all, over 150 currencies are supported.
Buyers have the option to look at digital assets listed for all currencies or filter by the coin of their choice. They also have the option to look at the USD value of the non-fungible tokens.
What types of NFTs can you buy on OpenSea?
You can find nearly every imaginable type of NFT on OpenSea. While there are dozens of categories, the platform has chosen to combine each in 8 basic categories to help you find the crypto-collectibles you desire. These categories are as follows:
- Art – The art category umbrellas all forms of gifts, memes, MP4s, images, and graphics that have been created as art. The movement was started by 10,000 randomly generated CryptoPunks images in 2017 and has grown in popularity since.
- Music – You will find full songs, sound effects, beats, remixes, and other forms of music. Some will come with an accompanying video and you can listen before you buy. NFTs are allowing artists and fans to connect in new, experimental ways that are likely to give both more value over time.
- Domain Names – A blockchain domain name has two different uses. You can either use them to turn a hexadecimal wallet address into a readable name, or you can enable censorship-resistant websites.
- Virtual Worlds – Including assets from projects such as Somnium Space and Decentraland, you can search through created alternate realities and select some for your very own. Some act as art, while others are game items.
- Trading Cards – All collectors know that trading cards can be very popular and grow in value over time. Whether you are searching for NFT Pokemon cards or are looking for those belonging to Sorare or @MEME, you are likely to find assets on OpenSea.
- Collectibles – Whether you are looking for rare assets from Axie Infinity or want to collect as many Mooncats as you can, the platform hosts millions of collectible NFTs that are in high demand.
- Sports – Many sports brands are selling valuable tokens, including Animated NBA logos and Formula 1 NFTs.
- Utility – Many web devs are creating products, rewards, and memberships that can be redeemed through the purchase of a non-fungible token. You can search this library for assets that are valuable to you.
You can also filter the listings by a specific NFT collection. CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club are just two of the collections that are showcased on the marketplace.
How do you buy an NFT on OpenSea?
Fortunately, it is easy to buy NFTs on OpenSea once you get the hang of the process. To use Opensea, you will need to complete the following:
Step 1: Purchase ether (ETH) from a widely-trusted cryptocurrency exchange.
Step 2: Create a web3 wallet with MetaMask (or another trusted crypto wallet compatible with the platform) and transfer your ETH to it.
Step 3: Create an OpenSea account by connecting your web3 wallet to it.
Step 4: Sign in to the platform and visit the marketplace.
Step 5: Browse the available non-fungible tokens and either click the “buy now” option to purchase them at a fixed price or make an offer to the seller.
Step 6: Approve the purchase on MetaMask. Note that, as the buyer, you will be responsible for the transaction fee (Ethereum gas fees).
Once the transaction has been processed, you will be able to view them (and any of your own NFTs that you’ve created and uploaded) on your account’s profile page.
Do you need to store your NFTs? How do you do so?
After purchasing your NFTs through OpenSea, your asset will be stored on the blockchain and can be accessed using your web3 wallet. OpenSea will never assume custody of them.
That being said, while there isn’t anything that you explicitly need to do in order to save your NFTs, it is a good idea to purchase a hardware wallet to make them very secure. The process is less complicated than it sounds as you can easily connect MetaMask to one in a few simple steps. Hardware wallets are crucial to protecting your non-fungible tokens should your computer or browser get compromised.
While MetaMask is the automated dapp browser that the platform suggests, OpenSea will work with several others, including Bitski, Coinbase, Arkane Network, Fortmatic, Dapper, Authereum, Torus, and a few others.
How do you sell an NFT on OpenSea?
Whether you have created your own NFTs or have purchased some that you want to resell, you can easily use OpenSea to set up price listings and find customers. Here’s how:
Step 1: Connect to the platform with MetaMask or the web3 crypto wallet of your choice.
Step 2: From your profile page, browse your personal collection and select the NFT you wish to sell.
Step 3: Click “Sell” in the top-right corner of the screen.
Step 4: On the following page, choose the type of auction, your desired price, and other details about your asset.
Step 5: Once you have finished, click the blue “Post Your Listing” button. As a first-time seller, you will be charged 2 transaction gas fees on your first listing. You will not need to pay this again in the future.
You can view your listed NFTs at any time by clicking the activity tab on your profile page. If you choose to edit one of your posts, simply click on the pencil icon to make your desired changes.
The base marketplace will only work with ERC1155 and ERC721 smart contracts, though you may be able to create a custom integration with the platform to sell other digital assets (such as game items).
Selling options on OpenSea
Whether you want to sell your own NFT creations or resell those you have purchased in the past, the platform offers the following selling options:
- Fixed price – If you are set on receiving a specific price on your own NFTs, you can choose this option to keep it steady.
- English Auction – This option works similarly to some eBay listings. The seller lists the NFT for sale with a minimum price and allows for bidding. After a specified amount of time, the buyer can choose to accept the highest bid if it is lower than the minimum amount. If it is higher than the minimum amount, Opensea will automatically accept it.
- Dutch Auction – With a Dutch Auction, a seller can set a higher price on an item that will drop over time. Potential buyers are allowed to make offered bids on the item. The seller can either choose to accept one or wait to see if higher bids are received. If the price falls to a buyer’s bid, they will receive the NFT right away.
- Bundles – You can choose to list up to 30 different NFTs in a single bundle, allowing you to sell multiples in a single transaction. This is a good way to up the price on one or two less valuable assets by pairing them with those of high value. Purchasing a bundle will also save people on gas fees since they will only need to pay for 1 transaction instead of 30.
It is free to open and use an OpenSea account. The only fee the platform charges is a 2.5% transaction fee that is paid for by the buyer.
NFT collections can also set up their own royalty fee of up to 10%. These will be on an asset-by-asset basis, so it is important that you do proper research.
As a buyer on OpenSea, you will be charged 2.5% to OpenSea, up to 10% in royalties, and gas fees.
OpenSea doesn’t charge gas fees, but you will still need to pay them when interacting with the Etherum blockchain. Here is what you should expect:
- First-time seller fee – When putting your first NFT up for sale, you will need to pay 2 transaction gas fees. This is a one-time occurrence.
- Returning seller fee – You will not need to pay gas fees to “mint” subsequent items up for sale. Instead, the platform chooses to operate with a “lazy minting” system, meaning fees will be paid at the point of sale.
- Gas fees – Who pays the gas fee on sales will be determined by the type of transaction. Buyers will pay it if they purchase an item at a fixed price, whereas sellers will pay it if they accept an offer.
Is OpenSea safe to use?
There are a couple of reasons to feel secure when using NFT marketplace on OpenSea.
First, Opensea is a completely decentralized platform. You do not need to upload your digital assets to it (in fact, you can’t) in order to use it. The program simply serves as a marketplace to connect one cryptocurrency wallet to another.
Secondly, since the platform neither holds your assets or your funds, you won’t run the risk of losing them if they are hacked or face DDOS attacks.
That being said, every time you choose to do business on the platform, make sure that you are properly on opensea.io and not a phishing site. As the largest marketplace for crypto digital assets, many scammers have taken to duplicating it in order to steal from you.
You should also note that OpenSea currently does not have a mobile app. There are a few that use the name, but they are not affiliated with the company.
Pros and cons of OpenSea
- Mass quantity – Not only is the site currently the largest NFT marketplace available but all of the assets are sorted into categories so that you can focus your efforts on your favorite niche.
- Easy UI – The user interface is very intuitive and easy to use. You will master the navigation within minutes.
- Low fees – The platform offers low fees compared to other available marketplaces. For example, while Rarible is also relatively low, they charge a 2.5% fee to both the buyer and the seller (unless the seller chooses to pay the full 5%).
- Decentralized – As a decentralized platform, you can rest assured that both your crypto funds and your NFTs are not in jeopardy when you use the site.
- No fiat support – As with many crypto platforms, OpenSea does not support fiat currency (USD, GBP, AUD, etc). You also cannot purchase items using a standard credit or debit card. All purchases must be made through currencies that run on the Ethereum blockchain.
Frequently asked questions
It is free to sign up with OpenSea and the platform charges very little in fees. New sellers will be charged 2 gas fees as a one-time event and 2.5% of each sale will go to the company.
If a collection stipulates royalties in a sale, OpenSea will pay royalties on any sales once per month (provided the account has reached at least $60 worth of fees). Sellers can stipulate up to 10% in royalties on each listing.
The person who pays the gas fee is determined by how the asset is sold. If an item is sold at a fixed price, the buyer will pay. If a seller accepts an offer, they will pay the fee.