NFTs have become a continuous part of the technological discourse in the last few years. The term has been used, misused, and overused due to the hype surrounding it. Non-fungible tokens are the term from which this buzzword gets its acronym.
What does the term NFT mean anyways? NFTs are digital tokens lacking fungibility— considered a primary characteristic of fiat money.
An NFT cannot be considered equal to another due to its non-fungibility. Every NFT ever created is unique. Unlike a $100 bill equal to all other $100 bills worldwide (this is fungibility), no two NFTs are the same.
Places where NFTs are bought are called NFT marketplaces. In this article, we will explore NFT purchasing, highlighting some market trends and issues and guiding you on buying an NFT yourself. So if you’ve ever asked, “How to buy NFT tokens?” this article is for you. Let’s get into the details.
NFT marketplaces are, as their name implies, places to buy and sell NFTs. They are an online-hosted infrastructure that facilitates the buying and selling of these digital assets. If you’re wondering where you buy NFTs, your answer is— NFT marketplaces.
These sites allow creators to mint their NFTs and put them up for sale and, in some cases, allow auctions. As with every other type of marketplace, the goal is to connect sellers and buyers.
Most of these NFT marketplaces develop communities and create opportunities for artists and creators to thrive. Even though most of them collect a surcharge for their services, they work for the greater good and help create and regulate the platforms needed to buy and sell NFTs.
Buying your first NFTs might seem daunting, but the process is quite straightforward.
First, you will need to set up a crypto exchange account while also getting a crypto wallet. A crypto wallet helps to safeguard your digital assets and tokens which also includes your NFTs.
Some marketplaces (e.g. NBA Topshots) might allow you to make purchases with credit cards, however others would only accept cryptocurrency. Hence, why you need a crypto exchange. The Ethereum token is usually a good place to start, as most marketplaces run on the Ethereum blockchain.
Once you buy your NFT on a marketplace, it will be transferred to your crypto wallet, making you its current owner. The NFT will remain yours until you decide to sell. Below, we highlight the top marketplaces, in no particular order, to purchase your NFTs.
The first on our list is OpenSea; it is also one the oldest marketplace on the list, as it goes back as far as 2017. A time when a lot of us weren’t entirely sure what NFTs were.
This marketplace has been nicknamed the E-bay of NFTs due to its immense success and rapid growth since its launch.
OpenSea uses an architecture that supports all forms of digital content. Everything from art to music, videos, and video games is supported on the platform.
OpenSea is the most popular NFT marketplace. It also boasts the highest daily trading volume, making it the major shareholder and beneficiary of the NFT market.
One significant influence it has that makes it a force to reckon with is its extensive library. The platform has a large community of artists, creatives, and buyers.
This makes it a great place to find any kind of NFT and an excellent place to sell your art.
Launched in October 2022, Blur is a fast-rising NFT marketplace. Less than four months after its launch, Blur toppled major marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible to claim the majority of the NFT market share. Blur was intentionally created to serve pro-traders. However, it has managed to clinch the attention of NFT enthusiasts outside its intended audience.
Blur is built on the Ethereum blockchain. Blur NFT Marketplace also supports a wide range of digital wallets, enabling seamless transactions and a streamlined user experience. The platform has gained popularity in the NFT market due to its customer-targeted airdrops, native tokens, user-friendly interface, and fast transaction times.
Remarkably, Blur has been able to attract a large number of collectors, who are eager to invest in rare and unique NFTs. As of February 2023, Blur commanded about 80% of the NFT marketplace share, when a year before then, it did not even exist.
SuperRare is another big name on the list. This NFT marketplace lets you buy everything from videos to pictures and even NFT tokens.
This platform is built mainly to foster high-quality NFTs and is extremely picky about the submission it accepts.
To get a clear understanding, the platform is like an art gallery but for NFTs. Imagine Christie’s in NFT style.
If you’re looking for NFTs that resemble traditional art or anything classical, SuperRare is the place to go.
The fees on this platform are a bit over the industry standard. They charge a 15% fee on the first primary market sale and a 3% flat fee on the buyer on other transactions.
Rarible is the NFT marketplace made famous for three strong reasons. First, its incredibly low fees, a wide range of token support, and its social networking system.
Rarible offers fees as low as 2%, splitting the fee equally between the buyer and seller at 1% each. It also offers users the option of purchasing NFTs with Ethereum, Tezos, and Flow.
Lastly, users can follow and share their collections. Its native token, RARI, is used by holders to participate in all policy and decision-making processes democratically.
Axie Infinity is a popular fantasy game that has established a strong name for itself after slowly rising in the NFT gaming niche. The game allows players to trade fantasy creatures called Axies and other in-game utilities.
The Axie marketplace, where all the trading goes on, is powered by NFT tokens called Axie shards to trade on the platform.
Axie shards are also readily available on other NFT platforms and some exchanges. This creates a flowing continuity for users to move around different marketplaces. Axie Infinity has been estimated to be a little above a billion in market capitalization.
NBA TopShot is another top NFT marketplace to try out. If you’re a fan of the NBA, you no longer need to ask yourself, “where can I purchase NFTs,” you have your answer right here.
NBA TopShot makes it possible for NBA lovers to collect rare NBA moments, shots, and plays as NFTs.
So, if you have a favorite highlight or play from any NBA game, you can collect it as an NFT and truly make it yours. Some clips and videos sell for just a few dollars, even though other historical moments are sold for thousands.
The NBA backs the marketplace, and the primary reason they set up this marketplace is to allow NBA lovers to own these special moments. With NBA TopShot, you, too, can be a part of it.
Larva Labs CryptoPunks is an NFT marketplace that is widely considered one of the pioneers in the NFT space. Launched in June 2017, CryptoPunks is a collection of 10,000 unique 8-bit pixel art characters, each with its own distinct attributes, including different hairstyles, accessories, and clothing. The NFTs are stored on the Ethereum blockchain, making them unique and verifiable, and ownership can be easily transferred between buyers and sellers.
CryptoPunks have become a popular collectible within the NFT market, with some selling for millions of dollars. The platform has gained popularity due to its unique concept, scarcity, and exclusivity, with only 10,000 CryptoPunks in existence. The popularity of CryptoPunks has also led to the creation of similar NFT projects that utilize the same concept of unique, limited-edition digital assets.
One of the reasons for CryptoPunks' success is its community-driven approach. Larva Labs have somewhat maintained a hands-off approach, allowing the market to determine the value of each NFT. The platform has also encouraged community involvement, with fans and collectors creating their own derivative works and collaborating with other CryptoPunk owners.
Nifty Gateway is in some ways similar to SuperRare. The platform is known for its collaborative NFT projects. The company focuses on exclusive drops, usually aimed at providing big brands and celebrities with the necessary visibility.
The Winklevoss twin-owned company Gemini backs the platform financially and administratively. If you’re looking for an NFT collection exhibiting your favorite celebrity, you’ll most likely find it in Nifty Gateway.
The BoredApesYachtClub is a popular NFT project that has continually done excellent numbers in the market.
If you’ve seen those popular pictures of a monkey grinning from ear to ear on a pastel-colored background, you might know what we are talking about.
The project is made up of 10,000 unique apes with different features. BAYC was launched in 2021 to wide internet acclaim. They seem to be the standard for a successful NFT project.
Launched in 2017 by NFT pioneers Larva Labs, these collections of 10,00 pixellated characters resembling 1900s game animation are among the most successful NFT projects ever. They helped start the revolution and have stayed on through it.
The project has been marked by some very impressive sales and even higher resale numbers, proving that the economics of scarcity works with NFTs.
Last but not least on our list is the CryptoKitties project launched by Axiom Zen in 2017. This game-based NFT project is still one of the most influential to date.
The game's architecture is what makes it stand out. The CryptoKitties game allows users to breed their kitties with other kitties, creating new kitties with shared parental characteristics. Players can also trade their kitties for some in-game assets.
This simple multiplicity makes it a fan favorite and a rewarding community to be a part of.
NFTs are usually bought with the token they are hosted on. Many NFT projects are hosted on the Ethereum, Solana, or Tezos networks. You can use any of these tokens to buy. Some platforms, like Blur, also have a native token that you use to buy NFTs.
Yes, you need a crypto wallet to buy an NFT; that’s the only way to hold or possess the NFT. However, if your NFT is game-based, like AxieInfinity or CryptoKitties, it can be kept in the game.
Minting is the process of legally imprinting your work of art or media into the blockchain, making it one of a kind. Minting makes it impossible for art or media with the same digital characteristic to be used as NFTs.