Based in New York City, OpenSea is a DeFi marketplace where users can buy or sell NFTs (non-fungible tokens). In August 2021, OpenSea sold a record $3.4 billion in assets as the market booms. To put it into perspective, the company sold $21 million total in all of 2020.
Shortly after the release of CryptoKitties in 2017, Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah joined early NFT related Discord groups. Inspired by the passionate community, they began developing a new platform for purchasing digital artwork. The pair co-founded OpenSea.io in December of that year.
Not only was OpenSea the first NFT marketplace, but it also remains the largest platform for buying and selling crypto-collectibles, with more than 300,000 users. The decentralized platform operates by the Wyvern Protocol, Ethereum smart contracts that allow users to easily trade NFTs and other digital collectibles.
Buyers can browse and search through over 34 million graphics, GIFs, videos, and other digital assets through the platform’s category functionalities. Users can sort through the type of crypto art (music, art, video), artist (such as Beeple), specific collectibles (such as Axie Infinity, CryptoPunks, or Decentraland), or a supported cryptocurrency on the Ethereum blockchain they wish to use for the purchase.
OpenSea originally ran solely on the Ethereum blockchain, but is now a cross-chain marketplace, utilizing Polygon, and Klatyn.
What is Rarible?
Rarible is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) that allows its users to curate digital art on their platform.
Rarible.com was launched in early 2020 in Moscow by Alexei Falin and his co-founder, Alexander Salnikov. The trending platform is aimed toward a creative community that wants to be involved in future decision-making. Rarible showcases over 100,000 digital items uploaded by users.
Rarible allows creators to mint and index tokens on the site through smart contracts using blockchain technology. If the artist chooses to sell their work, they can set up royalties to earn a set percentage on all future sales.
Potential buyers are able to search for specific assets on the platform or browse by category. Rarible also displays the full history of an asset which will include past owners and transactions. They even offer this data as an open-source resource for off-platform developers.
As an NFT platform, Rarible has already facilitated hundreds of thousands of NFT sales as it has continually gained traction within the community.
OpenSea vs Rarible: Audience
As the first NFT marketplace, OpenSea has a large community that has trusted them for years. It was created to be a large database of NFTs that could easily be bought or sold through the platform.
Rarible is a little more creator-focused. While they also have a large database, the founders set it up so that their community could have a voice in the future of the company. Those who buy and sell on the platform will receive their governance token, RARI, which will allow them to vote on future updates.
Both platforms work with both ERC1155 and ERC721 smart contracts. ERC721 contracts are considered the gold standard of NFTs. Every token created is non-fungible and all metadata is stored on the blockchain, making ownership easy to track. That being said, the price of gas fees to mint NFT art is high.
ERC1155 tokens, on the other hand, are much more affordable to mint (at 90% of the cost). An artist can create both non-fungible and fungible tokens on this system. Unfortunately, it is harder to track ownership of ERC1155 tokens.
OpenSea vs Rarible: Supported Currencies
While Rarible only allows you to use ether (ETH) to buy and sell, OpenSea allows you to use both ETH and DAI as well as other Ethereum-based tokens. Some of these 150+ cryptocurrencies include WHALE, REVV, WKLAY, UNI, and MANA. Neither platform allows users to purchase NFTs with bitcoin or fiat currency (USD, GBP, AUD, etc).
Rarible also has its own native currency, RARI which is earned through liquidity mining during NFT transactions. The token is not used for trade. Instead, the governance token allows owners to vote on future changes for the platform. The project is backed by CoinFund.
Unfortunately, there are a few issues with the project, namely due to wash trading. Many Rarible users have created multiple accounts to buy and sell tokens from themselves in order to generate RARI tokens for themselves. This has compromised the value of the tokens and the marketplace.
OpenSea vs Rarible: Supported Wallets
OpenSea suggests working with MetaMask, a dapp browser extension, but it also works with several others including Bitski, Coinbase, Arkane Network, Fortmatic, Dapper, Authereum, and Torus.
On the other hand, Rarible also supports integrations with Coinbase Wallet, WalletConnect, MyEtherWallet, Torus, and Fortmatic alongside Ethereum and Metamask.
OpenSea vs Rarible: Other Differences
Some of the other ways OpenSea and Rarible differ are as follows:
Platform Fees – Compared to other NFT marketplaces, both OpenSea and Rarible have relatively low transaction fees. OpenSea charges 2.5% to the buyer while Rarible charges 2.5% to both the buyer and the seller. In comparison, many gallery-style marketplaces (such as SuperRare) take a 15% commission from primary sales.
Exclusivity – You can view (and even purchase) Rarible NFTs on OpenSea. However, you cannot see OpenSea products on Rarible.
Minting Gas Payments – OpenSea incorporates “lazy minting” which allows an artist to showcase an NFT for sale without officially creating a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain until it is purchased. On the other hand, creators pay gas fees to the blockchain at the time they are minted.
Training – While both platforms offer training on how to use their platforms, only Rarible offers video tutorials.
OpenSea vs Rarible: Conclusion
For most NFT investors, OpenSea is the best choice due to its large database of products, lower transaction fees, and lazy minting process.
OpenSea and Rarible are both trusted NFT marketplaces that are safe to use. Neither ever take custody of your assets and only serve as a transactional tool between wallets. Which to choose depends on your personal NFT goals.
If you are looking to be part of a community that shapes the future of a platform, you may want to visit Rarible. On the other hand, if you are a serious collector, you will want to visit OpenSea to browse their massive catalog of popular digital assets.