What is OpenSea?
Founded in December 2017, OpenSea was the first DeFi NFT marketplace that allowed buyers and sellers to easily sell on their platform. Since the beginning, co-founders Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah have continually worked to create a platform that is trusted by many. The platform has grown into the largest platform where collectors can purchase digital items and is widely regarded as the best NFT marketplace. In fact, OpenSea sold $3.4 billion worth of assets in August 2021.
The founders were inspired by the release of CryptoKitties and passionately networked with people in early NFT Discord servers to learn what the community wanted in a platform. Their UI is easy to use, allowing potential collectors to filter through their database of 34 million+ digital assets. Categories include the type of asset (domains, metaverse, GIFs), artists (Beeple, Jose Delbo), and specific collections (Mutant Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, Meebits).
Open originally ran on the Ethereum blockchain alone but has included utilization on both Polygon and Klatyn. The market allows users to buy and sell NFTs through smart contracts through blockchain technology.
What is Foundation?
Founded in 2020, Foundation is a DeFi NFT marketplace that prides itself in being a curator of fine digital art. Operating more like an art gallery, the company is particular about which artists with whom they choose to work, only inviting a few new NFT artists to create digital assets for them each month. Notable artists that work with Foundation include Pak, Kevin Roose, and Jack Butcher.
The platform operates as an auction house. When an artist mints an image, video, or virtual world, they will set a reserve price on the asset. After a potential buyer bids the minimum price or more for the item, it will automatically be placed in a 24-hour auction. If a bid is made within the last 15 minutes, the timer will reset to 15 minutes indefinitely until no further bids are made.
In order to sell their own crypto art on the platform, artists will need to be invited by a current creator on the platform. Many people fill out the invite form on the website in the hope that they will be picked next.
Similar to other gallery-style NFT marketplaces (such as SuperRare and KnownOrigin), Foundation takes a 15% commission on all primary sales on the platform. They also track the smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain to ensure that artists will receive 10% in royalties on all secondary sales.
OpenSea vs Foundation: Audience
Not only was OpenSea the first NFT platform that served as a market, but it is also the largest. The platform boasts an inventory of more than 34 million NFTs that can be bought, sold, or traded. They have a huge community of loyal supporters that began to follow them in grassroots Discord servers in 2017.
On the other hand, Foundation has cultivated a platform that is more akin to an art gallery or auction house (such as Christie’s, Nifty Gateway, MakersPlace, or SuperRare). The artworks they display are unique to the platform. New creators can only find their way onto the platform through an invite, creating an atmosphere that is more exclusive.
OpenSea vs Foundation: Supported Currencies
OpenSea allows its users to use ETH, DAI, and over 150 other Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies. Some of these include REVV, UNI, WHALE, and WKLAY.
Foundation only allows its users to buy non-fungible tokens with ether (ETH). Neither platform allows the use of bitcoin or fiat currency.
OpenSea vs Foundation: Supported Wallets
While Foundation only allows MetaMask on their platform, if you use OpenSea, you can use one of the following: MetaMask, Bitski, Coinbase, Arkane Network, Fortmatic, Dapper, Authereum, and Torus.
OpenSea vs Foundation: Other Differences
Some of the other ways OpenSea and Foundation differ are as follows:
- Platform Fees – Opensea has the lowest transaction fees of all the NFT marketplaces, charging only 2.5% to the buyer. Foundation, along with other gallery-style platforms, charges a 15% commission for all primary sales by the artist. They also charge a 2.5% transaction fee on all secondary sales.
- Royalties – When minting a new token on OpenSea, Digital Artists choose to earn future royalties by setting up a specific variable (most choose between 5-10%). Foundation, on the other hand, automatically sets a 10% royalty for all secondary sales. Artists who sell on the platform can earn indefinitely as long as their artwork is sold and resold. They don’t even have to be an active part of the current transaction.
- Minting Gas Payments – OpenSea uses a method called “lazy minting” which allows artists to pay gas fees at the point of the transaction rather than to pay it when initially mining it. Artists on Foundation will need to pay gas fees upfront.
- Smart Contracts – OpenSea allows both ERC-1155 and ERC-721 smart contracts to be bought and sold on their platform. Foundation works exclusively with ERC-721 contracts. ERC-721 costs more to initially mint but contains more data, making them more verifiable on the Ethereum blockchain. They are considered to be the “gold standard” of NFTs.
- Type of Sale – OpenSea allows its users to create auctions, place an NFT up for a specific amount, or accept offers. On the other hand, Foundation only works on an auction-based system.
OpenSea vs Foundation: Conclusion
After looking at both platforms thoroughly, we have come to the conclusion that OpenSea will likely be the best choice for most consumers. This is due to the fact that they have lower transaction fees, allow ERC-1155s, and have a very large userbase.
Regardless of which you choose, both marketplaces are secure, trusted, and very popular. Neither will ever take custody of your NFTs. Instead, they each work as a service that allows users to make transactions.
Artists who are not accepted to Foundation will still be able to mint on OpenSea. That being said, if you can get an invitation to Foundation, your work is likely to be more valued from the beginning.