There are some folks in my twitter feed that are making a killing from NFTs. They’re literally making millions of bucks. If you think I’m joking, their NFT buy and sell transactions are out there on the blockchain for anyone to verify. In this post, we’re going to look at the NFT art website where all of this money is being made, list out some alternative sites and why you might use them instead, and explain where to start to get a piece of the action (hint: it’s not an NFT art website!).
If you don’t know what NFTs are, here’s a quick read to get you up to speed.
- The Number 1 NFT art website in crypto
- The downside to Opensea
- Top alternative sites to Opensea
- NFT art websites on other blockchains
- Where to start looking for valuable NFT art
- Tips to create your own collection
- How to protect your NFT art
The number 1 NFT art website in crypto
So now you know what NFT’s are, let’s look at where all of the money is being made: website called Opensea.
Opensea recently raised $300 million in Series C funding, valuing the start up at $13.3 billion. For a company that start out in December 2017, that’s not bad growth.
But how did they deserve that kind of valuation? Well Opensea reportedly did $2.4 billion in sales volume in December 2021 alone.
And the website’s array of angel investors read like a list of top silicon valley start up investor-celebrities. Mark Cuban, Ashton Kutcher, Naval Ravikant and Tim Ferriss to name few.
So what does all this mean to you?
IT means Opensea is the Number 1 NFT art website in the crypto world, where you’ll find the most valuable NFT art, and where you’ll need to go to make serious money either creating or trading NFTs.
The downsides to using Opensea
Opensea marketplace features mostly NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. This currently means you’re going to pay exorbitant costs to transact or even transfer your NFTs using Opensea. These costs are not paid to Opensea itself (although they do take their cut of 2.5% of every transaction). The real costs are the fees you pay to use the Ethereum blockchain. High network gas fees on the Ethereum blockchain mean that for a large part of the Opensea NFT market, it’s not worth trading unless the price of the NFTs you buy and sell is above a certain floor. The gas fees you’ll end up paying to buy and sell will kill your profit potential.
The upshot is that Opensea is only for you if you have some capital to start out
You do have the option on Opensea of trading NFTs on the the Polygon blockchain. The fees are cheaper, but you don’t have access to the big collections that you will on Ethereum. So it’s a double edged sword if you’re looking to trade your way to wealth.
The Ethereum network can also be congested, so that NFT trades can sometime take hours to go through. Some trades even get ‘stuck’, usually because in the time it took to place a trade the network fees have gone up and your transaction can no longer complete. In the most insane cases, it can cost more in fees in unwind a ‘stuck’ ETH transaction.
So with these downsides of high fees and slow transactions, what are the alternative NFT art websites where you can still find cool NFTs but the fees are much cheaper to trade them and your trades are instantaneous? Let’s dive in.
The top alternatives to Opensea (on Ethereum network)
Firstly, we recommend checking out some direct competitors to Opensea that also use the Ethereum network. You’ll find different art and collections here, but you’ll also come across similar high transactions fees and sometimes network congestion in most cases.
- Rarible – Rarible lets you trade NFTs on Tezos and Flow (with lower fees) as well as on Ethereum.
- Nifty Gateway – Nifty Gateway is launching a feature that they advertise will allow you to trade NFTs on the Etherreum network but save you up to 75% on gas fees compared to other websites like Opensea.
- SuperRare – this is a curated NFT art website where only invited artists can mint their collections or creations.
We’re going to make special mention of looksrare NFT marketplace here. It’s the first one we’ve seen that offers incentives (rewards) for transacting NFTs on their platform. Rewards are in the token $LOOKs, which you can also Stake to support their tokenomics, and earn interest in return. Looksrare has a rapidly growing following on Crypto Twitter and the model is very appealing. Looksrare is also new, so it’s yet to be determined whether it’s sustainable.
NFT art websites on other (cheaper) blockchains
Since NFT exploded in popularity during 2021, users started looking for ways to get around the expensive transactions fees of Ethereum. Other solutions, like those listed below, began to emerge.
The first solution is Immutable X. Immutable X is the first Layer 2 NFT marketplace on the Ethereum blockchain. For this reason, it deserves its own mention. But what does that mean if your are looking for NFT art? It’s an NFT art website with the security fn the Ethereum blockchain, but with zero gas fees. Huzzah!
If high gas fees or congestion on Ethereum are a big hurdle and you can’t find what you’re looking for on Immutable X, then here are 4 alternative NFT art websites on different blockchains:
All of these websites market themselves as cheap to use and fast to transact. They won’t have the same trading volume (and therefore eyeballs) as Opensea does, but they may be a great place to get started in trading or if you want to create art and make a name for yourself. These are not the only NFT art websites that use alternative blockchain networks, but they are among the most popular.
Where to start looking for valuable NFTs (hint: it’s not an NFT art website)
If you’re looking to get into NFTs to make money and to enjoy the art, then the best place to start is not NFT art websites! If you want to find art with potential, you need to look at things like community, followers, project roadmaps and project team connections. Here’s a high level run down of how to kick things off looking for NFT art with potential:
The first way to make serious money from NFT art is to participate in the ‘minting’ of what turns out to be valuable collections. If you want to know what minting is, check out this article.
The trick is, to find these valuable collections before they are listed for open sale on marketplaces like Opeansea. You need to find great projects at the minting or presale stages. So how do you go about this? Here’s 4 steps to take:
- Find upcoming projects that have not yet released their collections.
- Understand the rarity ranking of the art work within different collections. Rarity.tool ranks art based on the characteristics that are valued by the community with respect to a specific collection. Here’s a good explainer.
- Apply basic supply and demand economics, using the rarity.tool. How many of the collection will ever be available? How many Twitter followers are there? How many Discord members are there? This will give an early indication of how much demand versus supply you’ll see when the collection goes up for presale.
- Take a look at their website roadmap. Understand what additional value NFT holders will get, on top of owning the NFT. Will there be Airdrops? Does the NFT give you access to cool play to earn games.Think about how realistic and achievable the road map really is. Great blockchain gaming takes years to develop…
Tips to create your own collection
Another lucrative way to make money with NFTs is arguably to create the art yourself. But you can’t just whack up some digtal art in a collection on an NFT art website like Opensea and hope for great things. You need a combination of some of these features to succeed:
- A stand out concept and great art.
- Early buzz or effective marketing.
- Social media followers. Twitter is the place to be.
- Sometimes you need to be part of a project that’s about more than just the artwork.
Creating your own NFT art is going to be even more lucrative if you embed ongoing royalty payments in the smart contract for your NFT art, when you mint it (register it on the blockchain). NFT smart contracts allow artists to take a percentage of every sale of the art into eternity as an ongoing royalty income. Not all NFT smart contracts are set up this way, but you’re going to create NFTs and sell them on an NFT art website, make sure you have this feature available to you, as the creator.
You can create your own art and then list it for sale on marketplaces like Opensea or the alternative blockchain marketplaces we’ve listed here. You don’t need to have any coding skills – the NFT art websites that we have linked here all make it super easy with a step by step guide of what to do to turn your art file into an NFT and list it on their sites.
How to protect your NFT art
Crypto is a self-custody asset – there are no banks or safety deposit boxes to keep your digital assets safe for you. NFTs are an extension of that ecosystem. If you want to protect your assets, you need to take measures into your own hands. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Our website is all about how to keep your crypto assets secure from theft and loss. So here’s the upshot – the minimum level security set up you need to protect your coins as you build your crypto nest egg:
Device security is your first like of defence. Set up security for your phone or computer as this is where you’ll interact with NFT files.
Firstly, you should set up up a password protector or manager for your various crypto accounts and online passwords (how many times have your passwords been exposed in a data leak?). Something like LastPass is free and effective. Then set up two factor authenticator in your device settings and download a 2FA app like Google Authenticator.
Next, buy and set up your cryptocurrency hardware wallet.
To really protect your NFTs you need to keep them offline where they are not exposed to cyber hack and theft. Online wallets are not the safest place for your nest egg assets. We recommend getting hold of the Ledger Nano X or the Trezor Model T hardware wallets. You can use these to store the private keys to your NFTs so that your art assets are never exposed to the internet. It’s simply the only way to really protect your digital wealth.
You can check out the Ledger website and purchase the Ledger Nano X here.
If you’re interest in the Trezor, we buy from the authorised reseller Privacy Pros.
For a simple explanation of all things crypto security, check out our FAQs page.
Safety back up
While your hardware wallet will safely store your private keys and therefore your coins, what happens if you lose your Ledger or Trezor? You will need your recovery phrase that was generated when you set up the hardware wallet. You can only recover the contents of your hardware wallet with this phrase. This of it as a master key for back up situations.
Some folks write their recovery phrase down but paper is a very risky strategy. We use seed storage wallets, otherwise known as metal storage wallets, to store our crypto recover phrase.
We suggest using the BillFodl metal storage wallet to store the recovery phrase to your Ledger or Trezor hardware wallet. We use it and it’s easy and pretty cool. You can buy the BillFodl direct from i’s maker Privacy Pros.