OpenSea is a decentralized marketplace that allows its users to buy and sell NFTs . There are many digital assets such as collectibles, game elements, works of art, music or domain names.
Created in December 2017 in the United States, OpenSea is the largest marketplace for buying and selling NFTs. Renowned artists sell their works at auction on the platform, such as Beeple, Damien Hirst, Snoop Dog, Calvin Harris or the Californian basketball franchise of the Golden State Warriors.
Appearance and ergonomics
Very well thought out, OpenSea is as pleasant to look at as it is to browse. The site directs you from its home page to two options: explore the available works or create your own. If you know exactly what you want, the search bar is at the top of the screen. You also have the option of browsing the works by category (sport, photography, music, etc.). Different projects are highlighted, and a ranking of the most popular among them is proposed.
The menu is made up of six tabs: “Explore”, “Stat”, “Resources”, “Create”, “Account” and “Wallet”. As can be deduced, the site is currently only available in English, which could put off non-English speaking users. Nothing insurmountable however, especially since a right click on your browser allows you to translate on the fly.
Each project has its presentation page indicating the number of works, the minimum price to acquire one as well as the number of owners. On the left is a menu to sort NFTs by different criteria. On a product’s overview page, you can see the transactions that have been made and the owner’s overview.
OpenSea is intended as a community platform. It is therefore possible to change its cover photo and its profile photo. On each user page is displayed the list of NFTs that you have created, that you collect or that you have placed in your favorites. To create your own page, you will have to create your profile, but also connect a portfolio to it.
Registration and supported wallets
Connecting to a ” crypto wallet ” is the first step in creating an account on OpenSea. These wallets take the form of an application or a physical device to store, store and retrieve cryptocurrencies and NFTs. From MetaMask to Coinbase Wallet to TrustWallet , many of the most popular wallets are represented.
Some are more suitable for use on the computer, others are only available on mobile. Some wallets also allow you to buy cryptos with a bank card, as is the case with MetaMask. Note that Wallet Connect allows you to connect any wallet supported by OpenSea, but also all those that are compatible with Ethereum.
Once your wallet is connected, you can configure the basics of your account: nickname, images, bio and links to your social networks. The contextual menu on the left displays the notification settings, but also the offers you have received for your NFTs as well as the winnings you have made on the platform.
From the site menu, you have access to your favorites and your “Watchlist”. The difference between the two ? Favorites are used to save individual NFTs, while Watchlist lets you add an entire collection to keep up to date with what’s new. Finally, the “Collections” tab allows you to custom create your collections and add the NFTs you have created.
Good to know
No matter which wallet you use on OpenSea, they all support ERC tokens with ERC20 and ERC721 standards. These determine how tokens work on the Ethereum blockchain.
ERC20 tokens are fungible, i.e. they all have the same value. On the other hand, ERC721 tokens are non-fungible: they are NFTs, unique collectibles. Obviously, there are NFTs that are based on other blockchains and are not ERC721 tokens.
OpenSea: prices, means of payment and miscellaneous costs
The choice of NFT on OpenSea is so vast that there is something for all tastes and all budgets. We go in a few clicks from works sold for a few dollars (fractions of Ethereum) to others which are exchanged for several million!
On OpenSea, the price of NFTs, as well as the associated transaction fees, are expressed in Ethereum (ETH), symbolized by a gray diamond-shaped icon just before the price. The disadvantage of going through the Ethereum network on OpenSea is that you will sometimes pay very expensive gas fees , that is to say transaction fees. The solution to pay less fees: use another network!
Indeed, on OpenSea, you always pay in Ethereum, but you can use several networks to do so: Polygon, Ethereum or Klaytn. The Polygon network thus makes it possible to buy NFTs on OpenSea while paying minimal fees compared to the Ethereum network. Unfortunately, each NFT has its favorite network.
To find the NFTs that are on Polygon, a little manipulation is required. Go to the “Explore > All NFTs” tab in the main menu. Once on the page, sort the NFTs, click on “Chains > Polygon”. If you click on the purple diamond icon, it will say “ETH on Polygon”. The difference is not negligible, because buying NFTs on the Polygon network can save several tens of euros at a minimum .
OpenSea is “free” in the sense that you don’t have to pay anything to use it: no subscription and no initial cost are necessary. On the other hand, the platform takes a 2.5% commission fee on each sale made on the marketplace. A reasonable price if compared to other platforms. Also note that some artists charge sales commissions when you resell their NFTs on the secondary market. Generally, its fees are between 5 and 15% of the resale transaction. A cost to consider.
Other aspects of the platform
The OpenSea mobile app
OpenSea also offers a mobile application, available on iOS and Android. Its ergonomics are excellent, and yet having a readable interface with so many NFTs was not an easy task. Available since September 2021, the OpenSea application is a real success that rewards platform users.
The possibility of creating your own NFTs is one of the interesting features of OpenSea. To do this, go to the “Create” tab. You must then add your NFT which can take the form of an image, a video, an audio file or even a 3D model (within the limit of 100 MB). It will then be necessary to give it a name and a description, then to specify its technical characteristics to add it to the platform. Simple and efficient.
Support and customer service
Only in English (like the whole site), the OpenSea help center is extremely comprehensive. You will find all the answers to the most frequently asked questions, classified by category. From setting up the account to setting up your wallet, buying and selling process, or even creating your own NFT, everything is clearly explained with the right illustrations.
OpenSea does not stop there and also offers other useful resources like a blog, newsletter, support and 24/7 open chat. The platform is also very present on social networks, with in particular a very active Discord group. OpenSea seems to be making a real educational effort to democratize the use of NFTs. At the same time, it is their business…
Is OpenSea a secure platform?
NFT security is a major issue for OpenSea’s reputation and the democratization of NFTs. Unfortunately, the platform has repeatedly been in the spotlight due to phishing attacks and NFT thefts . Some cite security issues, while others point to human error. Indeed, the thefts too often come from scammers who manage to get their message across as if it officially came from OpenSea.
To prevent this kind of problem, the loss of which can amount to several million dollars for some NFTs, OpenSea shares 10 tips to avoid scams and best protect your NFTs:
- First use the official support to ask your questions.
- Never share your recovery passphrase.
- Make sure your crypto wallet is the official one.
- Never click on unknown or broken links.
- Use a password manager.
- Use two-factor authentication (2FA).
- Use a physical crypto wallet.
- Limit approval of smart contracts.
- Avoid cold emails or files sent by strangers.
- If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
OpenSea: the opinion of Clubic
OpenSea does not owe its leadership position to chance. With a huge choice of NFTs and a user-friendly interface, both on computer and mobile, the company gives itself the means to achieve its ambitions. The tools offered to creators as well as the competitive fees encourage artists to enrich the platform’s library. Buyers will also find their account there, provided they pay attention to the sometimes high transaction fees for NFTs that pass through the Ethereum network.
The biggest obstacle to a more massive adoption of the platform is undoubtedly the obligation to have a crypto-wallet and to pay in cryptocurrencies. Being able to pay with a credit card, as is possible with some competitors, would help to democratize the world of NFTs a little more. Phishing NFT thefts are also detrimental to OpenSea, whose security remains a major issue to reassure (future) users of the platform.