Ahoy mateys! Looking for NFT treasure? If so, OpenSea.IO may be the place to find them.
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are digital assets backed by the blockchain. Some NFTs are only worth a few dollars, but others sell for hundreds of ETH (tens of thousands of USD).
If you’re interested in NFT selling, investing, or collecting then you need to know about OpenSea as it's currently the largest marketplace for doing so. Here's what you need to know about the online platform.
- Buy and sell custom NFTs or NFT bundles
- No gas fees for creators until the NFT sells
- OpenSea takes a 2.5% commission on all sales
Mint, sell, and collect NFTs
What Is OpenSea?
OpenSea bills itself as a decentralized exchange for Ethereum-backed NFT. It's a marketplace for a huge variety of NFTs. While many people think of NFTs as collectible art, OpenSea supports transactions on a huge variety of digital assets. Users can purchase “parcels” in blockchain-backed alternative realities, game items, art, and even domain names.
OpenSea operates on the Ethereum blockchain and, by default, payments are made in Ether (ETH). But OpenSea supports 241 payment options in total including stablecoins (which are pegged to the US Dollar), wBTC, and other major currencies.
People interested in selling through OpenSea may collect future royalties on secondary sales if they mint the original NFT through OpenSea.
How Can I Mint An NFT On OpenSea?
OpenSea allows artists (and other developers) to “mint” NFT by creating blockchain-backed projects. This is similar to the process of minting an NFT on Rarible. The idea of minting an NFT is that you're the creator of it. And, therefore, you're allowed to sell it on the blockchain.
OpenSea has a step-by-step developer guide that show users how to create a “new tradeable ERC721” from scratch. This step-wise guide gives a detailed and easy-to-follow overview of how to create your first blockchain-backed NFT.
OpenSea also supports a Lazy Minting process. With this option, creators can load items to a storefront, but they won't be transferred on-chain until a purchase takes place. This means you don't have to pay any upfront gas fees to display your work on the marketplace which removes a big barrier to entry for people looking to get started with NFT creations.
Will I Earn Royalties In The Future?
When you initially create an NFT, you'll earn the full amount of the sale less a small service charge paid to OpenSea. However, your earnings don’t have to stop after the initial sale. OpenSea allows creators to set a secondary fee. The secondary fee allows the creator to collect royalties long after the initial NFT is minted.
At this time, royalties are limited to the OpenSea marketplace. If an NFT exchanges hands outside of the market, the royalties will not be paid out.
Royalties provide important incentives for creators who want to create “tradeable” NFT that will change hands frequently and therefore earn more royalties.
How Much Does OpenSea Charge For Its Service?
OpenSea charges a 2.5% service fee on every transaction. This is a modest fee compared with other major NFT marketplaces. For example, Nifty Gateway receives a commission of 5% + 30 cents of every secondary sale.
As a relative newbie to cryptocurrencies, I didn't realize that the Ethereum blockchain (not OpenSea) charges gas fees for transactions. For example, you'll be charged a gas fee if you need to transfer ETH or another supported coin to one of the wallets that OpenSea supports (shown in the screenshot below). So the amount you transfer could be around 1% lower when it arrives.
Once you have money in a supported wallet, you may be able to choose a “Buy Now” option on some NFTs. But others can only be bought through auctions which means potential buyers need to place bids. When a sale occurs, buyers pay the gas fees for fixed-price listings and seller pays the gas fees when accepting an offer.
Can I Use OpenSea To Buy NFT Investments?
OpenSea tries to help users differentiate between NFT investments and NFT copies. This article on How to buy NFT Safely is a must-read for anyone unfamiliar with the OpenSea platform. It helps users understand how to differentiate from something of real value and something that just looks cool but isn’t the highly-valued original.
As the largest marketplace for OpenSea, users can find some investment-worthy NFTs on the site. However, there is no guarantee that the NFT will be worth more when it comes time to resell. NFT are new assets that may or may not prove to have value in the long term. As with all alternative investments, be careful before investing a large portion of your net worth in these digital assets.
Is It Worth It?
OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace right now. That's a good thing if sheer inventory volume is most important to you. But I also found the site difficult to use. And, in my opinion, it wasn't ideal for browsing.
Nonetheless, the site has more checks and balances than other digital marketplaces. And it tries to help users differentiate between valuable NFT and digital kitsch.
The user experience on OpenSea is also likely to be much better for people seeking out specific items from known sellers. However, if you're looking for an NFT marketplace that's easier for "window shoppers" to navigate, you may want to check out Rarible.
Mint, sell, and collect NFTs
Fixed-price and Auction
Ether (by default) and 240 other currencies
Supported File Types
Maximum File Size
Future Royalties Allowed
Can integrate with any existing mainnet ERC721 project
Allows NFT Gifting
No (cryptocurrency wallet required)
Customer Service Options
Support tickets only
Social Media Profiles
Mobile App Availability
Ease of Use
OpenSea is a large, decentralized NFT exchange where users can create, sell, or buy crypto collectibles and digital goods.
- Reasonable transaction fees
- No upfront cost to create NFTs
- 200+ payment options
- Allows secondary sales (royalties)
- Interface is a bit clunky
- Very limited customer support
- Must have an Etherum wallet to use the platform
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
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