Will Opensea be dethroned by this up-and-coming NFT marketplace?
Opensea, a leading non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, reached a staggering valuation of US$13 billion in January 2022. As a dominant player in the NFT market, Opensea has been the go-to platform for creators to sell their work. By the end of 2022, Opensea was so far ahead of the curve that no competitors could catch up. But all of that changed with the sudden rise in popularity of the Blur NFT marketplace, which was launched in October 2022. Within a short span of time, Blur became the talk of the town and posed a serious challenge to Opensea.
Blur is a marketplace and NFT aggregator that offers users the ability to buy multiple NFTs from various marketplaces all in one spot. Its rapid ascent to fame leaves one wondering: What is it that sets Blur apart from other NFT marketplaces? Let’s take a look at the reasons behind its success.
What is Blur?
Blur is an NFT marketplace on the Ethereum mainnet (i.e., the primary public Ethereum production blockchain) founded by Tieshun Requerre, an MIT graduate who goes by @PacmanBlur on Twitter. Designed primarily for professional NFT traders, the platform has its own native token called BLUR, which is valued at US$0.8125 (as of February 28, 2023).
The token has been airdropped several times in the past couple of months, with the latest airdrop being on February 14, 2023. During that airdrop, Blur released 360 million tokens, comprising about 12% of the total supply of the project, as a reward for its loyal users. BLUR is a governance token that enables users to make decisions about the marketplace’s future and gives them a stake in its profit through community ownership.
Blur has received financial support from various web3 businesses, such as Paradigm, Coinbase Ventures and eGirl Capital. As of writing this article, Blur has risen up the ranks of NFT marketplaces and now has a valuation of US$1 billion, a significant increase from the US$11 million it raised in 2022.
What makes Blur stand out from Opensea?
No transaction fees
Unlike Opensea, which charges a 2.5% fee for every transaction, Blur doesn’t charge any fees on the sale and purchase of NFTs. This allows traders to conduct batch transactions and sweep the floor (i.e., buy everything available at floor price). This makes it possible for both NFT traders and project owners to buy everything at floor prices and then resell it for a profit.
Low royalty fees
Besides the zero-trading fee, Blur only enforces a minimum royalty fee (i.e., payments to the original creator every time the NFT is sold) of just 0.5%, which is much lower than the typical 5-10% charged by creators.
Recently, Blur updated its policy to become an even competitor to Opensea by allowing creators to charge any trading fee they want, as long as they block the sale of their NFTs on Opensea. This move was made in response to Opensea’s policy, which automatically makes royalty payments optional if an NFT is being traded on Blur.
Fast processing speeds
Known for its processing speed, Blur claims to be ten times faster than other NFT aggregators. This means that users can stay ahead of price fluctuations and quickly process transactions. When compared to Opensea, Blur updates its listings four seconds faster, making it particularly advantageous for professional traders hoping to snipe rare NFTs (i.e., to purchase them at a lower price than what they are worth).
Another commendable feature of Blur is its interface, which provides users with detailed analytics of every NFT project and all of a user’s information in one place. In contrast, Opensea users have to move between different pages to view their account data. Mover, Blue users can see the activity of every single wallet, making it easy to track the trade of an NFT.
Additionally, Blur’s interface displays the rarity of the traits present in the NFT and the floor price for specific traits. This makes it easier for users to find the lowest-cost listings for each rare trait, enabling them to find good deals on NFTs much more efficiently.
Finally, Blur’s native token, BLUR, deserves a mention. The BLUR tokens are a means of governance and profit sharing. Blur uses loyalty scores, which are assigned based on how active a user is on the platform, and the quality of NFT holdings to determine how many tokens users will receive during each airdrop.
The BLUR tokens are airdropped to users as a reward for activity, which encourages more trades and results in higher trade volume. According to crypto analysis firm Delphi Digital, Blur’s recent airdrop resulted in a high trade volume of US$77.33 million. The company has recently announced that it will soon start “Season 2” of token airdrops. However, Opensea has no native token which would help them reach the same results, putting it at a disadvantage compared to Blur.
What does this mean for Opensea?
Well, Opensea isn’t going down without a fight. The company has been trying its hardest to keep up with the changing NFT market. On February 17, the company announced that it will temporarily forego its fees and change its royalty structures.
Earlier, Opensea provided users with a tool to add a code snippet that would ensure creator royalties, but now it has made royalties optional for NFTs without the code snippet. Whether these measures will help Opensea maintain its position is yet to be seen. As of February 24, Blur has captured 82% of all NFT trading volume, further blurring the lines between which of the two will emerge as the top NFT platform.
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Header image courtesy of Blur’s website