NFT Aggregators Scale Trading as OpenSea Treads Water 

    New Breed of NFT Platforms Crank Up the Volume

    NFTAggregators2

    If you’ve bought an NFT in the past two years, chances are you purchased it on OpenSea.

    The NFT marketplace leader leveraged its early mover advantage and now absolutely dominates the sector with an astonishing 95% share of sales.

    Source: Dune Analytics @hildobby

    Even so, NFT traders constantly complain about OpenSea. The website goes down at inopportune moments, newly revealed NFTs sometimes take forever to update, and the feature set and interface have remained pretty much unchanged. 

    Most importantly, you still can’t buy or list multiple NFTs from a single page, a feature sorely needed by active traders.

    Competitors Emerge

    Well, things are starting to change in 2022.

    Welcome to the dawn of NFT aggregators and the scaling of trades in the burgeoning marketplace. This new breed is plying traders with a way to trade NFTs in size in one go instead of scrolling and picking through reams of offerings.

    The opportunity is clear. We saw multiple NFT marketplaces launch in the first quarter, and while most have fizzled out, LooksRare has emerged as a viable alternative to OpenSea and is slowly gaining market share. 

    The chart above is from a Dune Analytics dashboard with a wash trading filter applied. Early volume on LooksRare was inflated as traders sought to maximize their LOOKS rewards through wash trading.

    It’s been a herculean task for the upstart marketplace to take organic volume away from the incumbent, but the project continues to add new features.

    Apart from lower trading fees -— 2% vs 2.5% on OpenSea — buyers and sellers earn LOOKS tokens whenever a sale is conducted on the platform. LooksRare recently launched listing rewards, through which users can earn LOOKS by listing their NFTs for sale on the marketplace.

    Fragmentation of Listings

    Now, while competition fosters innovation and is great for the space as a whole, the fragmentation of listings poses a problem for larger traders looking to buy multiple NFTs at optimal prices.

    Similar to how DEX aggregators like Matcha source the best prices for crypto tokens from multiple exchanges, NFT aggregators source listings from multiple marketplaces.

    Gem and Genie are the most popular aggregators and have been steadily gaining users this year. Over 1.4M NFTs worth $1.3B have been traded through them since October 2021. 

    Let’s look at an example to understand why. Suppose I want to purchase five Akutars, the recently launched NFT collection from former MLB player Micah Johnson.

    Buying the five cheapest listings on OpenSea would cost 5.73 ETH.

    Source: OpenSea

    The same purchase would cost 5.618 ETH using Gem since there are cheaper listings available on X2Y2, another competing marketplace.

    Source: gem.xyz

    By using NFT aggregators, users can not only obtain the best prices but also choose from a wider range of aesthetics since they can access the entire available inventory.

    Selling Multiple NFTs

    Listing multiple NFTs for sale on any marketplace is a tedious task as they need to be listed one at a time. Both Gem and Genie offer convenient interfaces that let you list your NFTs on your marketplace(s) of choice.

    Genie’s listing interface.

    We can expect NFT aggregators to continue their growth as more users become aware of the convenience and gas savings on offer. OpenSea clearly sees the writing on the wall and acquired Gem on Apr. 25.

    If you’re active in the NFT space, I’d highly recommend trying out Gem and Genie. You could qualify for a potential airdrop and as a bonus, might never need to go back to OpenSea’s website.

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