These 5 NFT marketplaces could disrupt OpenSea in 2022

Time:2022-01-09 Source: 924 views NFT Copy share

Despite criticism from the community, OpenSea jumped to the dominant NFT market in 2021. Here are five rivals that have the potential to overtake it in 2022.

These 5 NFT marketplaces could disrupt OpenSea in 2022

OpenSea has been the dominant decentralized platform for users looking to mint, buy, sell and trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs). OpenSea is more of an NFT aggregator than a gallery. According to Dune Analytics, OpenSea locked up $3.25 billion in transaction volume in December 2021 alone, and from December 2020 to December 2021, the total Transaction volume increased by a staggering 90,968%.

OpenSea is no stranger to debate and criticism, and it has its dangers and pitfalls. Most notably, its former head of product Nate Chastain was caught using insider information to pre-empt and profit from selling the platform’s front-page NFTs.

The community's overall distrust was heightened after newly appointed chief financial officer Brian Roberts hinted at going public. However, he was quick to reiterate that OpenSea has no plans to go public anytime soon.

OpenSea may be the most traded NFT marketplace at the moment, but in 2022 there are sure to be some contenders looking to take over the giant.

Here are five NFT markets that could shake up this top contender in the coming months.

Coinbase NFTs

Coinbase seems to be leaning towards the centralized element as the main driver of mass adoption. Taking advantage of the growing popularity of NFTs, Coinbase is competing with OpenSea to launch its NFT marketplace, Coinbase NFT. The waitlist has reportedly exceeded 1.1 million, which is more than OpenSea's total active users.

These 5 NFT marketplaces could disrupt OpenSea in 2022

OpenSea monthly active traders Source: Dune Analytics

Announcing the launch of Coinbase NFTs is a signal that NFTs can gain more and more value as digital collectibles continue to go mainstream. Knowing how NFTs connect culture and commerce, Coinbase NFTs may change the order of things. Meanwhile, the project has partnered with collections such as World of Women, DeadFellaz and Lazy Lions.

While the marketplace hasn't launched yet, its waitlist alone suggests that many investors are either eager to get their hands on the technology for the first time or want an alternative to the technology they already use.

According to Coinbase’s statement, Coinbase NFT will be peer-to-peer (P2P) “…with an intuitive design based on a decentralized marketplace.” The product initially follows the ERC-21 and ERC-1155 standards, with plans to support multiple chains in the future.

Coinbase NFT will primarily function as a marketplace, but the company has hinted that it will also serve as a place to “facilitate connections.” To date, Coinbase operates in more than 100 countries and reports more than 73 million active users, while quarterly trading volume for Coinbase customers is $327 billion, proving that there is a considerable amount of liquidity in circulation.

In addition to trading volume, Coinbase also touts its robust user experience (UX) and streamlined, user-friendly and seamless user interface (UI) design. While many people on Twitter complain about OpenSea's UX/UI design, many other platforms have barriers to entry that OpenSea does not.

Contrary to Coinbase NFT, the FTX marketplace launched its Solana-based NFT series in October and expanded its series onto the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike OpenSea and Coinbase NFTs, FTX NFTs are not P2P platforms, which means it is centralized and custodial, and users’ data is recorded and stored on their specific network. This means that users and collectors relinquish ownership to some extent.

It is a centralized platform, meaning that the platform tends to impose fewer autonomous privileges on its owners, and more restrictions and constraints due to securities law considerations. Users of OpenSea have full autonomy over their digital assets before selling, while FTX NFTs implement a bidding mechanism. Brett Harrison, president of FTX.US, explained in a statement: "By not requiring gas fees for things like bidding, we're going to see more price volatility and price discovery on the platform, and we hope that in general this will Attract liquidity.”

Its law-abiding approach had such a huge impact on the Solana NFT family that many projects had to revoke previously promised royalties as FTX NFTs announced that they would no longer support projects that gave their owners this privilege.

The result comes amid concerns from U.S. regulators. Projects on the Ethereum network are also scrutinized to ensure they comply with securities laws and to ensure they are not knockoffs.

As such, OpenSea retains its value as it maintains a fairly broad line of NFTs.

Despite some hiccups, the market has gained traction and has a lower fee structure than its competitors. The fee structure for FTX NFTs is 2%, while the fee structure for Coinbase is 2.5%.

The platform does not seem to exclude users who end up using non-custodial wallets, but its main focus is value in terms of accessibility.


Long before OpenSea jumped to the top of the list, Rarible's monthly transaction volume was higher than OpenSea. Despite opening its platform to the community through its governance token, RARI, which OpenSea users have been expecting, Rarible has failed to maintain its lead over OpenSea.

In November, the platform’s total trading volume was 4% higher than in October, with an average estimate of $18.2 million. However, its total monthly transaction volume pales in comparison to OpenSea.

For Rarible, like the market for FTX NFTs, it understands the benefits of multi-chain strategic cooperation. Rarible has already launched support for NFTs on the Flow and Tezos blockchains, and plans to support Solana and Polygon in the near future.

These 5 NFT marketplaces could disrupt OpenSea in 2022

Monthly transaction volume (in primary and secondary) Source: Dune Analytics

With its decentralization philosophy and multi-chain support for NFTs, Rarible could be a strong contender in 2022.


Zora bills itself as a proponent of Web 3.0 and decentralization, as it advertises its completely "on-chain" permissionless platform. Since the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) leans toward these principles, the platform retains its value in historical purchases.

Zora has a zero-fee structure and focuses most of its energy on being the cornerstone of a permissionless protocol. Many crypto experts are drawn to the idea of artists and creators having more autonomy and ownership of their work. If these issues remain a concern in 2022, Zora could see an influx of new users.

Magic Eden

Magic Eden is currently the largest NFT marketplace on the Solana network, and one of the top ten NFT marketplaces according to DappRadar, with $267.14 million in transaction volume since its launch in mid-September 2021.

The number of unique wallets has rebounded over the past two months and has been growing steadily, making it a strong contender for OpenSea. Although it is important to note that users are known to hold more than one wallet address, which may mean that there may be fewer unique active users.

These 5 NFT marketplaces could disrupt OpenSea in 2022

OpenSea on-chain data Source: DappRadar

Low transaction fees of 2% give the platform a competitive advantage compared to other marketplaces, and, like FTX NFTs, users can list NFTs for free. As the chart below shows, Magic Eden typically doubles or even triples the number of transactions that OpenSea has.

These 5 NFT marketplaces could disrupt OpenSea in 2022

Magic Eden on-chain data: Source: DappRadar

While Magic Eden has a higher transaction count, the amount per transaction is less than OpenSea. According to DappRadar, Magic Eden has amassed more than 4.5 million transactions in the past 30 days, while OpenSea processed 1.7 million transactions less than half that number, but its total transaction volume is a little more than 5 times that of Magic Eden.

As the pace of NFT development has been set and digital collectibles continue to become mainstream, 2022 is likely to see more people entering, whose preferences may not be aligned with OpenSea. With an emphasis on accessibility, governance, and better user experience, these 5 NFT markets are strong contenders for the top spot.

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