OpenSea: What it is and how to buy NFTs on the largest marketplace?

The secrets of the largest non-fungible token market, with a step-by-step guide to buying assets on the platform.


What is OpenSea?

OpenSea is a decentralized marketplace specializing in NFT (non-fungible token) trading.

It is one of the main platforms for those interested in buying or selling NFTs, which are digitally certified assets on the blockchain.

The marketplace’s name translates to “open sea” in English.

Origin and history of OpenSea

  • OpenSea was founded in late 2017, based in New York, USA. Its creators are Alex Atallah and Devin Finzer.
  • According to the founders, the intention was to create a sort of Amazon for NFTs and digital art, in reference to the main e-commerce platform.
  • In 2018, the entrepreneurs raised just over $1.5 million in a funding round, which served as a launchpad for the later takeoff of the project.
  • In 2021, in another funding round, they received around $100 million, a sum that accelerated the growth of the marketplace and consolidated it as the reference in its field.
  • At the beginning of 2022, the company was valued at $13.3 billion.
  • In April of that year, OpenSea integrated the Solana blockchain, which hosts decentralized platforms.

How OpenSea works

OpenSea works on the following parameters:

  • It is an online market for direct buying and selling of NFTs.
  • Transactions are carried out at a fixed price or through offers.
  • Its interface is designed based on blockchain technology (Ethereum network).
  • The platform is based on the Ethereum ERC-721 standard and the Ethereum Polygon 2 scaling solution for layer 2.
  • OpenSea is built on the Ethereum network, although it supports other cross-chain blockchains, such as the Polygon Blockchain and Klatyn.
  • The well-known NFT marketplace has over 150 payment tokens, with the main cryptocurrencies being WETH, USDC, and DAI.

Later in this article, in “How to buy on OpenSea? Step by step,” we will delve into more details on the functioning of the main NFT marketplace.

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What is the number of NFTs in OpenSea?

Some of OpenSea’s statistics in January 2023 are:

  • It houses around 24 million collectible assets.
  • There are approximately 200 categories of NFTs.
  • It has over 2 million active users.

Is it reliable to buy NFTs on OpenSea?

The reliability of OpenSea is associated with the security of the Ethereum network, which as we previously indicated, is the basis for the operation of this NFT marketplace.

Beyond the high level of trust that the platform offers, it has not been without controversy.

In 2021, OpenSea’s Product Director, Nate Chastain, was fired after it was discovered that he used confidential information to buy NFTs advantageously.

At the beginning of 2022, OpenSea was the victim of a phishing attack in which hundreds of NFTs valued at 1.7 million dollars were stolen, according to The Verge publication.

How to buy on OpenSea, step by step?

To buy NFTs on OpenSea, a series of factors must be considered, which we will review below.

  • The first requirement is to have a hot wallet. OpenSea recommends using the Metamask wallet.
  • Next, cryptocurrencies must be entered into the wallet; keep in mind that Ether is usually used to buy NFTs.
  • To buy on OpenSea, it is necessary to create an account on the marketplace; doing so is easy and does not take much time.
  • Once the account has been created, the wallet must be linked to the platform: this is the step in which the wallet will be validated.
  • It’s time to search for the NFT that is of interest; it is possible to do so through categories, filters or using the search engine.
  • It is essential to review the reputation of the non-fungible token creator, the comments of the community, the transaction history, etc.
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There are two main options for buying on OpenSea:

  • “Buy now”: with a fixed price and immediate transaction.
  • “Make an offer”: the owner of the asset must accept it.

In addition to buying, the OpenSea user can also upload their own NFTs to the platform.

In general, the OpenSea interface offers an intuitive use that should not generate friction for users accustomed to shopping on e-commerce stores. Naturally, it is necessary to be aware of certain technologies, such as electronic wallets, the available cryptocurrencies and the basic concepts of blockchain.

What to know before buying an NFT?

Before buying an NFT on OpenSea, it’s important to be aware of some variables such as the information contained in the listings, the categories available, and the fees charged by the marketplace.

It’s crucial to check these items:

  • If the NFT is verified.
  • If it’s a mintable token, subject to shared smart contracts.
  • Validate the number of people who saw the NFT.
  • Check the details of the Smart Contract.
  • Outside of OpenSea, it’s also important to check the reputation of the NFT’s creator.

What are the categories of NFTs on OpenSea, according to the mode or state of sale?

  • On Sale: tokens that are on sale.
  • Actions: those offered in an auction.
  • Has Offers: those that received an offer.
  • Pre-Sale: NFT launches ahead of time.
  • Has Bounty: tokens with rewards.

Finally, what are the fees on OpenSea?

When buying on the NFT marketplace, you should know that the platform takes a commission on each transaction. Importantly, the fees are for the seller, not the buyer.

How is the commission amount determined? According to an official support page of OpenSea, the platform keeps a commission of 2.5% of the sale price.