OpenSea’s NFT trade quadruples to 10 billion in under three months but Axie Infinity continues to be the crowd favourite

OpenSea’s NFT trade quadruples to 10 billion in under three months but Axie Infinity continues to be the crowd favourite
NFT trade on OpenSea quadruples in under three months to cross $10 billionBI India
  • The world’s biggest marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), OpenSea, has quadrupled its value in less than three months to cross the $10 billion mark.
  • The platform is facing competition from the likes of Axie Infinity and AtomicMarket, which have more traders on their blockchains.
  • The rise of alternatives to Ethereum may threaten OpenSea’s dominance in the NFT space, according to DappRadar.
In the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) universe, OpenSea continues to be king. The world’s largest NFT platform has surpassed the $10 billion mark to hit an all-time-high, when it comes to lifetime trade volume.

However, Axie Infinity has it beat when it comes to the number of users, according to data aggregator Dapp Radar.

Top five NFT marketplaces by value
NFT marketplaceVolume since launch
OpenSea$10.35 billion
Axie Infinity$3.06 billion
CryptoPunks$1.59 billion
NBA Top Shot$726.55 million
Solanart$518.23 million
Source: Dapp Radar

Both of these companies saw exponential growth this year as the hype around NFTs boomed. In August, OpenSea hit an all-time-high of $1.5 billion in 30-day trading volumes. At that time, it’s total lifetime trade volume — since its launch in December 2017 — was only at $2.4 billion. Barely three months down the line, that value has now quadrupled.

Axie Infinity’s adoption saw a jump with people looking for alternative ways to earn money during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its play-to-earn (P2E) model has triggered the development of other blockchain-based games and more focus on the role they play in the larger ‘metaverse’ conversation.


OpenSea’s somewhat bumpy ride to $10 billion

Backed by Mavericks owner and Shark Tank judge, Mark Cuban, OpenSea managed to achieve this milestone despite facing some controversy in September — a month that saw a slump across the crypto market, including conventional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and others. The company disclosed that it had uncovered evidence of insider trading on its platform by an employee. Even though OpenSea did not disclose the name of the employee, ‘Crypto Twitter’ pointed the finger at Nate Chastain, who leads the company’s products department.

OpenSea mostly uses the Ethereum blockchain for transactions, which accounts for 97% of the volume for NFTs. To be fair, it also accommodates Polygon with future plans to introduce the Flow blockchain to its marketplace as well.

Newer NFT players threaten OpenSea’s dominance

OpenSea may have the highest transaction volume, but its dominance is under threat against newer players in the market that seem to be more popular with investors.

Axie Infinity, which launched in March 2018, has served a million unique crypto wallets. The Atomic Market, which only launched earlier this year, has 739,000 unique crypto wallets under its umbrella. Whereas OpenSea only has 637,296 unique addresses to its name.

Top five NFT marketplaces with the most traders
NFT marketplaceNumber of traders
Axie Infinity1.1 million
NBA Top Shot473,451
Source: Dapp Radar

According to DappRadar, OpenSea’s dependence on the Ethereum blockchain may be the reason why. While Ethereum is popular, it comes with high gas fees. And, until Ethereum 2.0 kicks in that problem is unlikely to go away.

Axie Infinity, on the other hand, is Ethereum compatible but has Ronin as its native token. AtomicMarket operates exclusively with WAX. The difference in average prices of NFTs being sold is more than ten-fold, making OpenSea a pricey option as compared to its counterparts.

Average price of NFT across Axie Infinity, AtomicMarket, and OpenSea
NFT marketplaceAverage price
Axie Infinity$234.72
Source: Dapp Radar


Solana, which recently jumped to become the fourth biggest cryptocurrency in the market, also features among most valuable NFT marketplaces with Solanart. The platform only launched a couple of months back and seems to have already caught the fancy of investors making another case for developers and investors looking beyond Ethereum to serve their needs.

While some call the hype around NFTs a bubble, others are betting on the market to grow even bigger. Gartner, the global consulting behemoth, predicts that 50% of publicly listed companies will have some sort of NFT underpinning their brand or digital ecosystem presence by 2024. And, by 2026, NFT gamification will propel an enterprise into the top 10 highest valued companies.

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