The Ultimate 2021 Guide to NFT Art Marketplaces

In this booming NFT art market, new marketplaces and platforms for artists to sell their works are popping up every week.


If you’ve decided that you want to create NFT artwork and “mint” an artwork on an NFT platform, congratulations! You’ve probably done quite a bit of research and discussing with others to get to this point.


But choosing an NFT platform can be a bit overwhelming since there are so many options.


This guide will walk you through the following top NFT art platforms to help you decide which option is best for you. Make sure to check out our Marketplace Comparison chart with fees, royalty rate and unique features!


Open Platforms

OpenSea

Rarible

Hic et Nunc

Zora

NFT Showroom


Invite-Only Platforms

Foundation

Nifty Gateway

SuperRare

MakersPlace

KnownOrigin

Portion

Async Art



Open Platforms

Below are some NFT marketplaces where you can freely mint artworks, without submitting an application and receiving an invite. Because these marketplaces don’t have a curatorial gatekeeper turning artists away, these sites tend to have more artists with various different levels of skills. This can make it a bit more difficult for collectors to navigate, but because the sites don’t need to vet artists joining the sites, their costs and transaction fees tend to be significantly lower, meaning you receive more money on the primary sales you do make.


OpenSea screencap

OpenSea

OpenSea is the largest marketplace for creator-owned digital goods, including digital art, collectibles, gaming items, and other digital assets. OpenSea is a decentralized marketplace that offers trading through a smart contract on the Ethereum network. This means that OpenSea never has custody of your artworks. The site currently offers over 4 million items and 200 NFT categories.


OpenSea also features NFT artworks from other marketplaces, including SuperRare, Rarible, and MakersPlace.


Appealing to new and experienced crypto creators, OpenSea makes it easy to mint your first NFTs, through an easy-to-follow onboarding experience along with numerous tutorials that will walk you through setting up your crypto wallet to making your first NFT sale. Further, OpenSea allows sellers to create a storefront to display their NFTs.


With so many NFTs available on OpenSea, it can be difficult to get collectors’ attention, but because OpenSea is the largest and one of the most respected NFT marketplaces, there are also many collectors searching OpenSea for their next NFT artwork.


For artists selling their work, the fees on OpenSea are very reasonable. You pay a one-time fee for listing your artwork, and then the 2.5% transaction fees are on the buyers.


Visit OpenSea



Rarible

Founded in early 2020, Rarible is a community-governed marketplace that focuses on NFT art collectibles, including digital art, memes, and even virtual land. Although Rarible does provide a good onboarding experience, the platform isn’t quite as intuitive for newbies to the crypto world as OpenSea is.


Further, Rarible’s fees can add up for the seller, who must pay the gas fees for each bid received, as well as the gas and transaction fee each time a piece is sold.


Rarible is one of the top marketplaces for NFT art with a large volume of users and artworks, and there is no curatorial gatekeeper. However, it has recently developed a reputation for not featuring the best quality of artworks.


Rarible’s ultimate goal is to evolve towards a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), where all decision rights will belong to the platform users. Currently, the platform uses RARI, their own cryptocurrency. The first governance token in the NFT space, RARI enables the most active creators and collectors on Rarible to vote on decisions related to the platform’s future and curation.


Visit Rarible



Hic et Nunc

Hic et nunc is the first NFT platform where users are able to mint, sell and trade NFTs on the less energy-intensive, proof-of-stake Tezos Blockchain network. Unlike Ethereum (ETH) marketplaces, Hic Et Nunc adheres to a "low-to-no" carbon emission model. This makes it the first-ever environmentally-friendly marketplace for digital collectibles.


The platform is very affordable for artists. All transaction costs are measured in dollars and cents, making it financially accessible to a broader number of artists. They also do not charge any marketplace fee for selling NFTs.


The platform is fully decentralized and anyone can upload art. Currently, the names of the artists are not listed next to the NFTs on the marketplace. Their reasoning for this is to “slow the replication of the traditional art star system” and to give newer artists equal opportunities.


Visit Hic et Nunc



Zora

Zora is an open NFT marketplace on the Ethereum network. This easy-to-use platform has a simple and intuitive user interface, as well as a strong support team. They also have a thriving Discord community where you can ask questions, get advice, and network with other artists and collectors.


Zora is an open marketplace, free of any curatorial oversight. In order to gain more trust from collectors, you can apply to have your account verified through your social media profiles. Verified accounts receive a blue checkmark next to their profile names.


Zora charges no fees for buying or selling. The only cost comes from gas fees when minting your artwork.


Visit Zora



NFT Showroom

NFT Showroom is an NFT art marketplace built on Hive, a fast and free blockchain that makes creating and collecting NFT art easy and accessible. The platform is open to artists working in all mediums, styles, and levels of skill.


Instead of paying gas fees that can hit $50 at peak times on the Ethereum-based NFT platforms, to mint an NFT with NFT Showroom you only need to pay 5 SWAP.HIVE + 1 SWAP.HIVE per edition. For example to mint a single edition 1/1 work, you would pay around $3.30 (based on the exchange rate on April 4, 2021).


To begin creating and collecting, you must set up a Hive account and Hive Keychain. To tokenize and purchase art, the platform uses a pegged token called SWAP.HIVE.


Interestingly, the platform also gives creators two options when creating NFTs: Private or Limited Reproduction Rights. Limited Reproduction Rights gives the buyer some commercial use rights over your work.


NFT Showroom charges a 10% commission when you sell an artwork for the first time. For secondary sales, it collects a 5% commission. Artist royalty is set at 5%, which is considerably lower than the industry standard of 10%.


Visit NFT Showroom


Invite-Only Platforms

The following platforms require that you apply and be accepted by the platform's curatorial teams or communities. Although getting onto these platforms can take a bit of work, you'll have access to more serious collectors.


Foundation

Foundation is a community-curated NFT marketplace focused on digital art. New in the space, Foundation was launched in February 2021 and has already experienced some major accomplishments, including the sale of the viral internet meme Nyan Cat for $590,000 and Pak’s Finite, which is now worth $809,789.


To join Foundation, you must receive an invite from a creator who is already a member of Foundation. In addition, you can apply to their Community Upvote program by verifying your account through Twitter or Instagram and having members from the Foundation community vote to support your work. Foundation regularly takes the top 50 artists with the most votes and admits them to their roster of artists.


Setting up your Creator Profile is super easy. Once you receive an invite link, all you need to do is connect your Crypto Wallet (Foundation uses MetaMask), and then “mint” your first NFT, set your reserve price, and run your first auction.


Visit Foundation



Nifty Gateway

Nifty Gateway was founded with a mission to make NFT collecting accessible to everyone. Teaming up with top artists and brands who usually have larger social media followings, the platform offers limited edition Nifties through very hyped up drops that usually take place every three weeks. Some of the artists who have sold on Nifty Gateway include Steve Aoki, deadmau5, Grimes, Kenny Scharf, Trevor Jones, and Beeple.


The platform usually offers limited edition works that are only available for a limited time. After the initial drop for a collection closes or sells out, you will only be able to purchase NFTs from that collection in the secondary marketplace.


To help make NFTs accessible for a wider audience, Nifty Gateway accepts payment in Ethereum or USD. If you purchase an NFT on Nifty Gateway, it will be listed under your profile. However, you can withdraw them to your wallet or an external account. At the same time, you can also import NFTs from external wallets into your Nifty Gateway account.


Anyone is free to apply to be a creator on the platform, and admission is invite-only.


Visit Nifty Gateway



SuperRare

SuperRare is currently the premier marketplace within the NFT art world. The platform vets artists through an extensive application process. Self-described as “Christie’s meets Instagram,” SuperRare is an NFT marketplace with a team of curators who focus on admitting only the top artists out there.


When an artist sells their artwork in a primary sale, they receive 85% of the purchase price. For each secondary sale after that, creators receive 10% royalty, which is fairly standard throughout the industry. (Check out our Marketplace Comparison chart at the end of this post for more details).


If you’re fortunate enough to be accepted to SuperRare, you’ll be perceived as a top NFT artist and will have easier access to serious collectors.


Visit SuperRare



MakersPlace

Founded in 2016, MakersPlace is a platform and community to discover and collect unique and authentic digital creations, by the world’s leading digital artists.


MakersPlace does seem to make it slightly easier than other marketplaces to search for and discover new artists based on medium and theme since they have a tag function set up on their “Discover” tab.


One of the core principles at MakersPlace is a model of openness and interoperability for the digital artworks offered through MakersPlace. When an artwork is created on MakersPlace, it is not restricted to the platform, but can be purchased and exchanged on any public platform outside of MakersPlace. Further, every artwork minted through MakersPlace is immediately available to the OpenSea community to bid, trade, or purchase.


For every primary sale, the platform charges a 15% fee on the sales price. Creators receive 10% royalty every time their art is resold.


Visit MakersPlace



KnownOrigin Screencap

KnownOrigin

One of the oldest NFT marketplaces, KnownOrigin is an artist-driven platform that makes it easy for digital creators to authenticate, showcase and sell the artwork they produce.


Their stated goal is to empower digital creatives around the world over to monetize their craft and to engage with their fan base and collectors on a meaningful, transparent and fair basis.


Like Nifty Gateway, KnownOrigin also has a large focus on regular weekly art drops.


For every primary sale, the platform charges a 15% fee on the sales price. On secondary sales, the platform fee is 3%. Creators receive 10% royalty every time their art is resold.


Visit KnownOrigin



Portion NFT Marketplace Screencap

Portion

Portion is a curated NFT marketplace on the Ethereum blockchain that does not charge artists a marketplace fee for selling their works. Portion claims to have a “mature community of collectors that are sure to take an interest to the many creators and their pieces on the platform.”


Joining Portion as a creator involves an application process to showcase your portfolio. Unlike other platforms where certain star artists get the most coverage, being accepted into Portion allows you more equal exposure among the rest of their approved creators.


Interestingly, they’re also one of the few NFT art platforms that currently have separate categories for photography and more importantly, physical art.


Visit Portion



Async Art

Async Art is an NFT platform devoted to the creation, collection, and trade of programmable art. This NFT movement asks “What if art could evolve over time, react to its owners, or pull data from the outside world?” These artworks consist of a master work and layers that are independently owned and controlled. Because the layers can be controlled by the owners, the Async Art users become a part of the art themselves.


For example, imagine a landscape painting where you own the sky or perhaps the stars. Meanwhile, an anonymous collector in Singapore owns the lone figure in the background, and an AI controls the snaking river running through the piece. All three of you could change the painting at any time within parameters designed by the artist. Depending on your mood or preference, you might change the sky from day to night while the Tokyo collector might not touch his layer for years. Throughout the entire time, the AI could adjust the saturation of the river’s water, based on daily stock market volatility.


This is their idea of 21st-century art.


Visit Async Art



Marketplace Comparison

Here is a quick comparison of NFT marketplaces. Please note that on many of these marketplaces you will be charged gas fees for minting your artwork, so that also should be taken into consideration.

2021 NFT Marketplace Comparison Guide Chart

Other NFT Marketplaces

Here are a few other noteworthy NFT marketplaces that are worth checking out.

  • Crypto.com: Newly launched platform for Art, Celebrity, Sports and Gaming NFTs. With Nifty Gateway vibes, it currently focuses on drops with multiple editions by popular artists. Currently accepting artists for its waitlist.

  • Kalamint: Tezos-based eco-friendly NFT art marketplace currently in beta version.

  • Cargo: NFT marketplace that gives creators the opportunity to mint multiple NFTs in one transaction

  • Mintable: NFT marketplace for art, collectibles, gaming and more

  • SIGN Art: SIGN Art is an eco-friendly NFT marketplace that offers gasless and free minting.

 

We hope this guide has been helpful. If you have any feedback or think we should update this to include another marketplace, please let us know at info@hi-arts.com!