OpenSea is a DeFi marketplace where users can buy or sell NFTs (non-fungible tokens). The platform was founded in New York City in December 2017 by Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah. Inspired by the release of CryptoKitties, the pair joined NFT related Discord groups and eventually began developing a platform where people could buy and sell digital artwork.
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. In August 2021, OpenSea sold a record $3.4 billion in assets as the market booms. To put the rapid growth into perspective, the company sold $21 million total in all of 2020.
OpenSea’s UI is clean and easy to use. Buyers use filters to sort through over 34 million pieces of digital art to find what they are seeking. Not only do they have categories for the type of art (GIF, video, still images), but they people can also search by artist (Beeple), the supported currency on the Ethereum blockchain, or specific collectibles (Decentraland, Cryptopunks, Mutant Ape Yacht Club).
Originally operational solely on the Ethereum blockchain, OpenSea now is considered a cross-chain market that utilizes both Klatyn and Polygon. The platform is operated on smart contracts on the Ethereum network that allows users to trade their digital collectibles.
What is SuperRare?
SuperRare was created by John Crain and his co-founder, Jonathan Perkins. The Delaware-based company wanted to create a platform that offered exclusive NFT art from talented creators that isn’t available anywhere else.
The platform was launched in early 2018 and stayed a small, but tight-knit community until taking off in 2020. In 2021, the platform averaged between $25-30 million in sales volume per month.
Bridging the world of traditional art galleries with selling digital items has been SuperRare’s goal from the beginning. While the growing site sees 1,000 new collectors per month, they haven’t left their roots of wanting to create a place where artists can shine. In all, the platform has helped collectors find 15,000+ NFT masterpieces for their collections.
Artists sell their work on SuperRare either through instant transactions or through auctions. All transactions are conducted on the Ethereum blockchain through personal web3 wallets. The creator of the NFT will pay a 15% commission to the platform when selling each piece. That being said, they will receive 10% royalties every time that digital asset is sold in the future.
OpenSea vs SuperRare: Audience
OpenSea was the first NFT platform that operated as a market. They didn’t create a niche focus and it now serves as a large database of digital products. Their grassroots in passionate Discord servers have helped cultivate their loyal community of supporters and the platform itself generates a lot of hype around trending pieces.
SuperRare has been designed to be a gallery for digital art. In their own words, the brand compares itself to Christie’s, which is a well-known gallery that holds prestigious auctions and private sales. The platform is very exclusive in whom they will work with and will only add a few new artists to their database each month. People who prefer a gallery-style NFT market will appreciate platforms like SuperRare and MakersPlace.
OpenSea vs SuperRare: Supported Currencies
While SuperRare only allows you to use ether (ETH) to buy and sell, OpenSea allows you to use both ETH and DAI as well as over 150 Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies, including REVV, UNI, WHALE, and WKLAY. Neither platform will allow users to purchase fiat currency (USD, GBP, AUD, etc), bitcoin, or non-Ethereum based currencies.
SuperRare also has its own native currency, RARE, which is used to create the SuperRare DAO, which allows holders to oversee the future of the platform. They make decisions about the treasures, how the platform operates, and their spaces. The company airdropped 15% of the curative token to their loyal user base in July 2021. The rest will be mined during transactions on the platform.
There may be a slight concern in the future of $RARE. A similar token, RARI, is used by Rarible. Unfortunately, some of their users incorporated wash trading in order to generate more tokens for themselves, which compromised their value.
OpenSea vs SuperRare: Supported Wallets
While OpenSea suggests working with the browser extension MetaMask, users can also use the following: Bitski, Coinbase, Arkane Network, Fortmatic, Dapper, Authereum, and Torus.
SuperRare currently only works with MetaMask, Fortmatic, and Wallet Connect.
OpenSea vs SuperRare: Other Differences
Some of the other ways OpenSea and SuperRare differ are as follows:
Platform Fees – As far as NFT marketplaces go, OpenSea has one of the lowest transaction fees at 2.5% to the buyer. On the other hand, SuperRare charges commission based on whether or not the sale is the primary sale or a secondary sale. The platform charges a 15% commission for all primary sales, and a 2.5% transaction fee for all secondary sales.
Royalties – Digital Artists who create tokens on OpenSea can choose to set a variable percentage for future royalties (most choose between 5-10%). SuperRare automatically sets a 10% royalty for all secondary sales, meaning an artist will know that they have the potential to continually earn on their hard work for years to come.
Minting Gas Payments – OpenSea allows users to upload NFTs without paying the gas fees until the time of transaction. This is called “lazy minting.” On the other hand, SuperRare creators will pay gas fees upfront.
Smart Contracts – OpenSea works with both ERC-1155 and ERC-721 smart contracts, whereas SuperRare works exclusively with ERC-721 contracts. ERC-721s are considered to be the NFT gold standard, with all metadata stored on the Ethereum blockchain. This makes ownership and other information easy to track, unlike the alternatives. That being said, gas fees to mint them are nearly 10 times higher than ERC-1155 contracts.
OpenSea vs SuperRare: Conclusion
Based on a thorough analysis of both platforms, Opensea will likely be the ideal choice for the majority of NFT buyers and sellers. This is primarily due to the lower fees and larger user-base.
That being said, both marketplaces are both trusted and safe to use. Neither OpenSea nor SuperRare will ever take custody of your assets. Instead, it will only allow you and other users to connect wallets at the point of sale.
It is also far easier to mint NFTs on OpenSea than it is on SuperRare. That being said, if you can get accepted as one of SuperRare’s contributors, you are likely to have more discoverability from the SuperRare platform. Regardless, it is important for all NFT artists to promote their work through social media and other methods.