- There is a wide variety of NFT platforms and products catering to different industries and audiences.
- The use cases of NFT technology are virtually endless.
- NFT platforms and products are generally in their early phase of development.
From the sale of Beeple’s NFT piece for $69 million to the astronomical rise in Google's search trend, NFT has been the buzzword of the crypto community in both 2021 and 2022. Today, the market capitalization of the NFT sector is snapping at the heels of the global market value for traditional art. All these significant milestones underscore the mass adoption of this nascent technology. As NFT makes rounds in the mainstream media, it kick-starts a flywheel. The more users on-board, the higher the growth, which leads to more mainstream interest, and consequently, there are more users on-board. This adoption circle continues until a point of saturation is reached.
In a previous article, we introduced the basics of NFTs. Today we will be looking at some of the top platforms accelerating their adoption.
NFT, much like DeFi, is a nascent concept brought about by blockchain technology. However, relative to DeFi and other blockchain sectors, NFT has received greater mass adoption. This is largely due to its distinctly simple state and ease of apprehension.
The relative ease of on-boarding of the NFT sector is a major contributor to its growth. The current state of the ecosystem is such that anyone with little or no technical background can contribute or appreciate the growth of the technology. Thanks to NFT platforms and products responsible for converting this highly sophisticated technology into simple and appreciable devices.
The State of the NFT Ecosystem
The applications of NFTs are virtually endless. As the industry has evolved, several NFT platforms catering to various user needs have emerged. Two of the most common are profile pic (PFP) NFTs and in-game assets. PFP NFTs are digital pieces of artwork that represent users on the internet. This is akin to profile pictures on social media platforms like Twitter, Discord, Telegram, etc. The famous NFT collection CryptoPunks is often used in this way.
NFT Gaming assets are a core component of the blockchain Metaverse. It is worth noting that the function of PFP NFT is not limited to digital identification in the Metaverse, but can also function as other forms of in-game assets. For the sustenance of the in-game economy of Metaverses, NFTs (gaming assets) need platforms that facilitate the exchange of values.
Below are four examples of NFT platforms pioneering NFT development.
OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace by trading volume. The platform launched on Ethereum in December 2017 and was further deployed on other blockchains like Klatyn and Polygon to save on gas fees. OpenSea was founded by Devin Finzer, an American entrepreneur and technology executive. Examples of popular collections include Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunk.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is a collection of 10,000 unique images of degenerate ape NFTs that grants its holders membership to an exclusive community. The membership comes with several packages, such as private parties, airdrops, and other forms of giveaways. The Yuga Labs project is one of the most popular collections in the NFT space, catching the interest of the public and some celebrities like Snoop Dog and Jimmy Fallon, who are both members of the BAYC community.
Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) is a sister collection of BAYC created by Yuga labs. MAYC is a collection of up to 20,000 deviant-looking Apes that are created from the combination of a Bored Ape and a vial of mutant serum (another Yuga Labs NFT burnt to mint the mutant version of a BAYC).
Mode of Operation
OpenSea is a web and mobile (Android and iOS) application with a UI/UX akin to that of popular social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Users can mint, buy and sell a wide range of NFTs including art, music, virtual worlds, photography, sport, collectibles, etc.
OpenSea is the number one NFT marketplace by transaction volume. According to DappRadar, the protocol records an average monthly transaction volume of $2.12B, average monthly users of 410k, and over 1.1M users since its launch.
OpenSea supported wallets include MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, WalletConnect, Fortmatic, Kaikas, Bitski, Venly, Dapper, Authereum, Torus, Portis, OperaTouch (mobile only), and Trust (mobile only).
Magic Eden is the leading Solana NFT marketplace by trading volume. Launched in 2021 by Zhuoxun Yin and Jack Lu, the platform aims to provide an excellent user experience and advanced tools for NFT creators. Magic Eden's top projects include GGSG: Galactic Geckos, Degenerate Ape Academy, Shadowy Super Coder DAO, Aurory, etc.
Mode of Operation
Magic Eden is a web and mobile (Android and iOS) application that allows the minting, buying, and selling of a wide range of NFTs including art, music, photography, collectibles, etc. Contrary to platforms like OpenSea, listing NFTs on Magic Eden involves an application process. Users have to fill out a submission form to be reviewed by the project team. Forms not filled correctly or completely can be rejected.
According to DappRadar, the protocol records has an average monthly transaction volume of $41M and 112k average monthly users on the Solana network.
Magic Eden supported wallets include MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, WalletConnect, Sequence, Crypto.com, Phantom wallet, and Brave wallet.
PlayDapp is a blockchain gaming platform on Ethereum and Polygon, launched in 2017. The marketplace's purpose is to facilitate ecosystem value exchange between users.
Mode of Operation
PlayDapp Marketplace is a web application that allows buying, selling, and auctioning of PlayDapp games NFTs. To interact with the PlayDapp marketplace, users create and validate their accounts with an email address and connect to a crypto wallet.
According to DappRadar, the protocol records an average monthly transaction volume of $690k, 7.5k average monthly users.
Supported wallets on Ethereum and Polygon include MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, WalletConnect, Torus, and Portis. On the Solana network, supported wallets include Phantom and InstallGlow.
NBA Top Shot Marketplace
NBA Top Shot is a good example of how NFTs can be integrated with other non-tech-related sectors of the economy; in this case, sport. The NBA Top Shot marketplace is a platform where NBA fans and enthusiasts can express their interest in the game by participating in the transaction of unique NBA moments wrapped as NFTs. The marketplace was launched in October 2020 on Flow blockchain.
Mode of Operation
The platform requires users to sign up with an email to gain access. Payment methods include cryptocurrency and credit card options. Cryptocurrency wallet purchase gives the user full custody of their NFTs, while card purchased NFTs are in the custody of the marketplace.
Users collect, hold, and trade digital cards capturing unique moments in NBA history. Singular Top Shot NFTs can be bought on the secondary market, while card packs can only be bought directly from NBA Top Shots.
According to DappRadar, the protocol records an average monthly transaction volume of $478k, average monthly traders of 7.4k, and 17,264 total sales.
The above is but a shortlist of NFT platforms intended to give an idea of the current state of the ecosystem. The number of NFT platforms and products out there is only going to increase as new users come on board, and new use cases and blockchains emerge. Despite the immense adoption of the technology hitherto, there have been severe criticisms from different sectors of the economy. From environmentalists’ claim of its deterrence to a greener environment; to gamers' cry about fraud; and the rising chorus of public voices yelling, “it’s just another fad”.
Irrespective of the degree of validity of these claims, the fact is that research and development teams are working to resolve all issues hampering the growth of this technology. Moreover, increasing interest is being shown from big brands and investors, which validates the demand for the technology. Going into the future, we can be sure to expect more platforms and products that help integrate NFTs into other sectors of the economy.
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