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NFT Marketplaces Compared: OpenSea Vs. Rarible

NFT Marketplaces Compared: OpenSea Vs. Rarible

NFT marketplaces have many similarities but choosing the one that best suit your needs mostly depends on their differences. Skip your research and just read the article below to find out what they are.

Unlike some NFT skeptics may try to convince you, NFT is not just a simple .jpg, .mov, .gif, or any other common file on the internet. They are actually securely recorded on a blockchain – the same technology used for cryptocurrency – making NFTs one-of-a-kind and enabling legal owners to prove ownership of a specific NFT artwork.

Therefore, you can’t just go and buy an NFT on Etsy or similar websites because purchasing and selling NFTs are only available on specialized marketplaces that support blockchains that those NFTs are built on. What are those specialized marketplaces then, you ask?

This brings us to two of the most popular ones – OpenSea and Rarible.

In this post, you’ll learn a bit more about them, will go through their similarities and key differences, and, hopefully, will be able to easily decide which of these two is a better NFT marketplace for your needs – whether as a buyer or a seller.

What is OpenSea?

OpenSea NFT marketplace homepage

OpenSea is the leading NFT marketplace that enables its users to buy, create, and sell non-fungible tokens directly at a fixed price or through an auction. It’s also one of the first marketplaces of such kind, created in 2017 by Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah.

You can think of OpenSea like eBay for NFTs, only instead of different listed items, on OpenSea you can explore a variety of different types of NFTs. The platform is easy to use and navigate, therefore, is very suitable for beginners who are just learning the ins and outs of non-fungible tokens.

In January 2022, the number of active users (who have made at least one transaction) on OpenSea reached 1 million, according to the data from DuneAnalytics. In March (2022), the OpenSea website had nearly 80 million visits with the average session duration of more than 26 minutes.

What is Rarible?

Rarible, just like OpenSea, is an NFT marketplace that aims to link creators with buyers interested in this form of art. Using the platform, artists or, actually, anyone can create digital collectibles, secure them on the blockchain, sell them to people, and earn royalties afterward. If you’re more up for just owning an NFT, you can simply sign up with your crypto wallet and purchase an NFT you like.

Rarible is three years younger than OpenSea but has been steadily earning its way to the top the past two years. Created in 2020 by Alex Salnikov and Alexei Falin, Rarible now receives more than 3 million visits per month (March 2022) and has 1.6 million total users at the time of writing.

One of the most significant differences from the OpenSea NFT marketplace is that Rarible has its own token – $RARI – that allows holders to be a part of Rarible’s DAO community, shape the platform, and benefit from its growth.

OpenSea vs. Rarible: comparison of key functionalities

To get a better image of both platforms and how they differ from each other, let’s compare them side by side. We will go through the blockchains they support, available NFTs, crypto wallets you can use to connect, payment options, fees, security, and more.

Supported blockchains

Both OpenSea and Rarible are multi-chain platforms which means that you can sell and buy NFTs on more than one blockchain. In other words, this gives you more flexibility.

After adding support to its 4th blockchain, Polygon, in March 2022, Rarible got one step ahead of OpenSea who supported only 3 blockchains at that time. However, less than a month later, OpenSea welcomed Solana, ending this “battle” in a tie in terms of quantity.

Currently, OpenSea supports Ethereum, Polygon, Klaytn, and Solana while supported blockchains on Rarible are Ethereum, Polygon, Flow, and Tezos.

Types of NFTs available

You can find a wide variety of NFTs offered on both platforms, and many of them overlap, including such niches as art, music, photography, domains, and more.

However, while Rarible is more focused on digital art and collectibles, OpenSea offers a more diverse range, which is not necessarily related to art.

NFTs available on OpenSea are:

  • Art
  • Collectibles
  • Domain names
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Sports
  • Trading Cards
  • Utility
  • Virtual worlds

Meanwhile, on Rarible you can explore these NFT categories:

  • Art
  • Photography
  • Games
  • Metaverse
  • Music
  • Domains
  • DeFi
  • Memes
  • Punks
  • NSFW (adult content)

Both marketplaces made it easy to explore NFTs based on these categories; furthermore, you can also use several other filters to find an NFT you like, for instance, choose a specific blockchain, sale type, or price range.

Supported file formats

NFT marketplaces don’t limit you to just one file type, for instance, images. You can use different mediums, from images to sound or video files, to express your creativity and, well, sell the results to those who are interested.

As for the supported file formats, OpenSea has a leg up on Rarible.

To create your own NFT on Rarible, you can upload PNG, GIF, WEBP, MP4, or MP3 files.

OpenSea adds 3D file formats to its list, allowing GLB and GLTF files, besides more common JPG, PNG, GIF, SVG, MP4, WEBM, MP3, WAV, and OGG files.

Supported crypto wallets

On NFT marketplaces, a crypto wallet serves two purposes:

  1. You use it when creating, buying, and selling NFTs
  2. It also acts as your login, so you don’t have to create a new account. You just connect your wallet to the marketplace of your choice and you’re ready to go.

Rarible supports 18 cryptocurrency wallets while on OpenSea you can find 23 different options.

See the comparison below:

Comparison on supported cryptocurrency wallets - Rarible vs. OpenSea

Payment options

What cryptocurrencies you can use on each marketplace highly depends on their supported blockchains. Since OpenSea and Rarible have only two blockchains out of four in common, naturally, the cryptocurrencies you can use on these two platforms also differ.

The key cryptocurrencies that you can use on OpenSea are Ethereum (ETH/WETH), SOL, USDC, and DAI. However, those are just a few commonly used ones since the platform actually supports over 150 other tokens (like $UNI and $WHALE) that you can use for your daily transactions.

On the contrary, Rarible prioritizes Ethereum, although you have an option to choose from around 50 other tokens, including DAI, USDC, and Rarible’s native token – RARI.

Yet, unlike OpenSea, Rarible NFT marketplace also allows credit card payments (for fixed-price listings) which means that you don’t even have to own cryptocurrency to buy an NFT. This way, the price you pay is automatically converted to ETH and the seller still receives crypto.

Fees

Trading fees

Besides paying gas fees every time you interact with blockchains (e.g., accepting an offer, buying an NFT, canceling a bid, etc.), OpenSea and Rarible’s users should also be aware of a service fee that goes to the platforms.

Both of them take 2.5% on the buyer side, while Rarible takes another 2.5% on the seller side as well. So regarding the service fee, OpenSea has another advantage here.

Royalty fees

What’s also worth mentioning is royalty fees which are the percentage of the revenue generated from reselling NFTs. It means that from every secondary sale made, a part of the revenue goes back to the original creator.

This is the area where Rarible takes lead since creators can charge up to 30% royalty every time their NFT is resold. OpenSea, on the other hand, allows you to charge only up to 10%.

Moreover, on Rarible, you can split royalties which allows you to share your revenue with, for instance, other team members and collaborators. Unfortunately, such an option is not currently available on the OpenSea marketplace so you will have to sort this out on your own once the revenue is received.

Decentralization

Blockchains are the lifeblood of decentralization so technically, OpenSea and Rarible both are decentralized marketplaces where you can buy and sell NFTs. However, one is “more decentralized” than the other, and this time it’s Rarible that pulls ahead.

Rarible users who hold the previously mentioned RARI token are treated as the platform’s stakeholders and are empowered with decision-making rights, providing them with the ability to influence the future of the platform. You can earn RARI by buying and selling on the platform.

Meanwhile, OpenSea does not rely on decentralized governance, meaning that every decision made on the platform still fully depends on the developers.

Security

Generally, both platforms are safe, but they’re not completely fraud and error-free.

OpenSea positions itself as a trustful platform that takes security seriously and provides different security measures to prevent possible losses. These include monitoring the platform, removing fraudulent content, and educating users on how to stay safe.

The latter is especially important since OpenSea highlights the risks in Web3 and encourages users to inform themselves about potential threats (like the phishing attack in February (2022) that resulted in $1.7 million worth of NFTs being stolen). Therefore, the burden of not getting scammed mostly falls on users’ shoulders.

Rarible is in a very similar position regarding security – although technically safe, it’s not immune to various threats. For instance, a report from Check Point Research has recently discovered a security flaw in Rarible that could have resulted in stolen NFTs. It’s been fixed since then, but that just proves that you have to be extra aware while doing anything crypto-related.

So which NFT marketplace is better – Rarible or OpenSea?

No doubt, both OpenSea and Rarible have their strengths and weaknesses.

It’s likely that you don’t have to choose just one of these two NFT marketplaces as you can benefit from both. But if you actually had to choose either one or the other, which one would win this Rarible vs. OpenSea battle?

They both serve the same purpose, both face various security issues, and have many NFT categories that overlap. Therefore, you might want to look deeper into the differences between them, like service fees, supported blockchains, wallets and cryptocurrencies, etc., since in this case, they are what can help you make your decision.

At the end of the day, these are two of the leading NFT marketplaces with millions of users that trust them every day. Evaluate which one best suits your needs and have fun exploring the world of NFTs.