The most important in short:
Since the digital collage of Beetles, NFTs have been on everyone's mind and a real trend has developed around the non-fungible tokens. However, to get in on the NFT hype yourself, you don't have to go to an auction house like Christie's or Sotheby's. Usually, NFTs are traded on online marketplaces. Known platforms are shown in the following table.
These and other marketplaces, as well as other interesting websites around the topic of NFT can be found in our Link Base.
The majority of NFTs are traded on Ethereum and Solana. Accordingly, a wallet is first required to gain access to the cryptocurrencies. Large wallet providers such as Metamask or Exodus are advisable here. The creation of a wallet is usually free of charge. Costs are only incurred when actually trading with NFTs, in the form of transaction costs and the price for the NFT.
Among the costs that arise are gas prices. These are paid to miners to validate transactions. The word gas is a metaphor of sorts. Namely, it is the fuel that keeps the Ethereum network alive, much like an automobile.
In addition, it is also possible to create and mint your own NFTs on the platforms, again incurring costs. In technical terms, minting is also referred to as "mint". This refers to the process in which artists convert their work into a token on the blockchain.
Of course, the marketplaces differ from each other. Some specialize in certain categories, accept different currencies or charge high fees. Especially for newcomers, it can get complicated. That is why in certain cases it makes sense to buy NFTs on a classic crypto exchange like Binance or FTX.
There, interested parties can buy cryptocurrencies in addition to NFTs, which they usually need as a means of payment anyway. Moreover, the access is optimized for users with little affinity. Trading is intuitively possible there without much prior knowledge, but there are limitations in the selection of NFTs.
The primus among the crypto exchanges is Binance. With its own blockchain and cryptocurrency, it is only logical that Binance also offers a marketplace for NFTs. The NFTs on Binance are traded on the in-house Binance Blockchain, payment is preferably made with the Binance Coin (BNB). Alternatively, Binance also accepts Binance USD (BUSD) or Ether (ETH).
There are three ways to buy NFTs on the platform: through the marketplace, through special events that promise exclusive NFTs from celebrities, musicians or professional athletes, or through mystery boxes. Mystery boxes contain random NFTs and are classified by rarity value.
As usual with NTFs, some come with a fixed price on Binance, while others can be purchased within an auction. The transaction fee for buying an NFT on Binance is one percent. It is not yet possible to mint your own NFTs on Binance, but this should be possible in the near future.
The counterpart to Binance on the NFT market is OpenSea. As the first ever exchange for NFTs, the platform has already existed since 2017. From then on, OpenSea has become the world's largest trading center for the non-fungible tokens.
OpenSea's offering is divided into different categories. Thus, there are NFTs in the field of art, music, sports, but also domain names, trading cards and utility tokens. The latter come with an exclusive utility. In total, there are more than 20 million NFTs on OpenSea. In addition, NFTs from other platforms can be traded there.
To become active on OpenSea, interested parties need an Ethereum wallet and the corresponding small change in Ether. These are not only needed for trading, they are also a prerequisite for minting an NFT. Those who sell a work on OpenSea have to pay 2.5 percent fees for it. This makes Opensea one of the cheapest trading venues.
FTX is a well-known crypto exchange that also offers NFTs for sale. Here, too, interested parties can buy cyber currency and NFTs at the same time. Users have over 700 NFT collections at their disposal.
Unlike many other trading places for NFTs, FTX figures the prices in US dollars. Thus, everyone knows approximately where they stand. However, the fees on FTX have it all. While trading classic digital coins is cheaper than on almost any other platform, NFTs come at a price. Five percent fees per transaction are paid by both buyers and sellers.
Anyone who wants to mine their own NFTs on FTX must fill out an application form to do so. This is also the case with many other trading venues.
For real art lovers, the SuperRare platform comes into question. The NFT marketplace specializes in particularly rare, digital works of art. SuperRare users can also participate in digital art exhibitions and prove their talent in art competitions.
Each work on SuperRare is created by an artist from the network. It is considered a privilege there to coin your own NFTs. The designers are carefully selected within an application process and the rush is great.
In general, the community is an important part of SuperRare's concept. Users can create social profiles and interact with each other. Currently, there are about 26,000 NFTs available on SuperRare. The platform charges three percent for the purchase of an image. Payment is made in Ether as usual. Sellers pay 15 percent in the first round of sales and 10 percent in the second.
Another popular platform where users can buy NFTs is Rarible. Here, fans of digital art objects will find a wide selection. Whether pictures, videos, music or other funky motifs, there is something for everyone here. As is already the case on other NFT marketplaces, an Ethereum wallet is also a prerequisite on Rarible.
Using the cryptocurrency Ether, NFTs can then be traded. Anyone who has discovered an interesting piece can buy it immediately. If no price is deposited, bids must be submitted. The fees amount to 2.5 percent of the transaction amount for both buyer and seller.
Users can also create their own NFTs on Rarible and mint them. In contrast to other platforms, there are hardly any hurdles on Rarible. Accordingly, even hobby artists can give free rein to their creativity.
Nifty Gateway joins the ranks of the major trading sites for NFTs. Music icons such as Mick Jagger and Eminem have already sold non-fungible tokens here. The NFTs on Nifty Gateway are appropriately called Nifties. These are published on the platform in a drop process, but are only available there for a certain time. Those who were not lucky in the process can try again later on the marketplace.
Nifty Gateway only lists an exclusive selection of NFTs. For this, they work together with well-known artists and brands of the scene. What makes Nifty Gateway especially beginner-friendly - the platform requires neither wallet nor Ether. You can conveniently pay there with a credit card. The fees for selling an NFT on Nifty Gateway amount to 5 percent transaction costs plus a flat fee of 30 cents.
Those who wish to mint an NFT on Nifty Gateway themselves must apply. Admission is not guaranteed and the application may take some time to process due to high demand.
NFTs are based on two different token standards, namely ERC-721 and ERC-1155. The most common standard is ERC-721, which creates a smart contract for minting an NFT. This in turn manages the information on the token's metadata and its owner. The actual content of the token is not on the blockchain, but can be accessed via a link with the address of the smart contract and the token ID.
On platforms like OpenSea or Rarible, artists can create their own NFTs. This requires an Ethereum wallet like Metamask and the cryptocurrency Ether to pay for any costs incurred. The platforms can then be used to upload the image, video or audio file. Users should make sure that their file format is supported. After the successful upload, the NFT is provided with some additional information and can then be created.
As usual, some marketplaces have advantages over others. For beginners, it can make sense to trade NFTs on a crypto exchange like Binance or FTX. There, access is usually easier and no additional wallet is necessary. Otherwise, the NFT marketplaces OpenSea, SuperRare, Rarbile and Nifty Gateway offer a wide range of popular NFTs.
NFT collections are thematically coherent collections of art objects, mostly paintings. They can be visually identical and differ only by their numbering. Particularly valuable NFT collections are CryptoPunks or Bored Ape Yacht Club.