Maybe it’s the decentralized architecture? Or maybe it’s liquidity mining?
Whatever the cause, LooksRare, the newly launched NFT marketplace, pulled ahead of the centralized market leader, OpenSea, in terms of protocol revenue almost immediately, according to data site TokenTerminal.
In the last 30 days, LooksRare produced $307M in protocol revenue vs. $110M at OpenSea.
LooksRare launched with an airdrop of its LOOKS token to past OpenSea users, and it has been growth hacking marketshare ever since by giving more LOOKS to anyone who makes a trade on the platform (also known as liquidity mining). Though much of that volume has come from wash trading done to boost LOOKS rewards.
LOOKS currently trades at $3.44. Its high point so far was $7.07 on Jan. 20, according to CoinMarketCap. For context, daily rewards in LOOKS are worth roughly as much as trading revenue.
LooksRare launched on Jan. 10. By the next day, it was already bringing in more protocol revenue than OpenSea, according to TokenTerminal data. Daily LOOKS rewards will drop in half after the platform has been live for 30 days, however, and trading may also respond at that point.
OpenSea charges 2.5% for every trade, which goes to the company. LooksRare charges a 2% fee, and it looks to people who have staked LOOKS.
Total revenue on OpenSea has generally been higher than that on LooksRare since its launch, though it has gone back and forth. January was OpenSea’s biggest month for trading volume to date at just under $5B. LooksRare has done over $15B in total volume since its launch, according to this Dune Analytics dashboard.
LooksRare is just one of several more decentralized alternatives that have popped up to steal OpenSea’s thunder.
Representatives from OpenSea and LooksRare did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Defiant.
This isn’t the only upset the TokenTerminal data shows.
Through much of 2021, Axie Infinity, the player-v-player NFT gaming platform, has dominated protocol revenue stats, but in the last 30 days it has fallen behind LooksRare, OpenSea, DyDx (a derivatives exchange) and PancakeSwap (a decentralized exchange running on Binance Smart Chain).