Competition across the most popular NFT platforms have been heating up this year – we take a closer look at market share across the top 6 NFT marketplaces: Blur, OpenSea, Magic Eden, X2Y2, CryptoPunks and LooksRare.
What is the Top NFT Marketplace?
The top NFT marketplace is Blur, with a market share of 56.8% and a trading volume reaching a high of $1.07 billion in February 2023. This came on the back of the well-received BLUR token airdrop in the middle of the month.
Former market leader OpenSea fell to the position as the second largest NFT marketplace. OpenSea had only captured a market share of 36.5%, despite trading volume increasing to $0.69 billion in February, from $0.41 billion the month before.
Blur and OpenSea’s competition for market leadership has crowded out the other top marketplaces. As of February 2023, the third largest NFT marketplace was X2Y2 with a market share of just 2.6%, followed by former second place Magic Eden (2.1%), LooksRare (1.0%) and CryptoPunks (0.8%).
Top 6 NFT Marketplaces by Market Share (February 2023)
Market share of the top 6 NFT platforms by trading volume, as of February 2023.
|Rank||NFT Marketplace||Market Share (%)|
OpenSea Loses Dominance
OpenSea has been dominating the NFT marketplace sector since the start of 2022, with a market share of 89.7% as trading volumes reached a high of $5.19 billion in January. Through the year, with increasing competition and numerous NFT marketplace developments on Ethereum, OpenSea's market share has steadily declined from 89% in March to plateau around the 70% range in May through August 2022. In September, its market share dropped by 26 percentage points to 61%, attributed to the rise of Magic Eden that cannibalized its share.
OpenSea’s dominance has been on the downtrend ever since. Its lowest share was 29.7% in December, when its stagnated trading volume of $0.25 billion was first overtaken by Blur.
In both December 2022 and February 2023, Blur has successfully flipped OpenSea in terms of market share, and currently holds only 36% of the market among the top 6 NFT marketplaces.
Blur Gains Market Share & Overtakes OpenSea
When Blur first launched in October 2022, trading volume totaled $23.39 million, giving it a market share of just 4.2%.
Since then, Blur has captured a meaningful share of the NFT market, as trading volume rose steadily. In just its second month of operating, Blur recorded a market share of 23.5% and displaced Magic Eden as the second largest NFT marketplace.
Blur first managed to flip OpenSea in December 2022, when trading volume on Blur again increased to $476.16 million or 54.6% market share.
It remains to be seen whether Blur will be able to cement itself as the biggest player among NFT marketplaces, once the second BLUR airdrop has concluded.
Magic Eden’s Market Share Declines to 2.1%
Prior to Blur’s arrival and the collapse of FTX, Magic Eden captured a 22% share of among the top 5 NFT marketplaces in September 2022. It doubled its month-on-month (MoM) volume, jumping from 11% in August to 22% in September, while the rest of its competitors saw their respective market shares sliding, including OpenSea that lost 11 percentage points of market share.
Its growth in Q3 2022 reflected Solana NFTs’ mainstay, and can be attributed to its foray into Ethereum and the coveted y00ts launch. Magic Eden had established itself as the top NFT marketplace on Solana, claiming over 90% of the market and achieving a valuation of $1.6 billion in June.
However, in October 2022, the platform’s dominance weakened as rivals, both new and established, enticed traders with the promise of zero-royalty transactions that enable traders to maximize profits by circumventing fees of up to 12% per trade. Coupled with FTX’s demise and consequently, Solana’s (SOL), Magic Eden’s market share declined steadily, dropping from 22% in September to 17% in November, and subsequently capturing only 10% of the NFT platform market in January 2023.
Regardless, it is worth noting that Magic Eden is not the first NFT platform on Solana. Solanart launched in June 2021 and was very popular at the time. MagicEden launched three months later in September 2021 and had to overcome the first-mover advantage. With a better user experience and website performance, on top of some eye-catching capital raises, Magic Eden quickly outpaced Solanart, growing by 236% in 2022. This is in spite of OpenSea’s expansion to Solana in April 2022, which has negligible trading volumes in Solana NFTs when compared to Magic Eden.
Due to the lack of perceived cultural value and relevance, it is somewhat rare for NFTs outside of the Ethereum ecosystem to establish any level of mainstay. Yet, Solana has managed to break the mold, and have successfully built a cultural moat of NFT communities and projects, with Magic Eden fronting it.
LooksRare Loses Its Advantage, Slips in Market Share
Community-first marketplace LooksRare had the second-mover advantage against OpenSea when it first launched in January 2022. In order to attract users onto its platform, native tokens are rewarded to traders based on the percentage of volume traded. In normal circumstances, this method can be costly due to platform trading fees and royalties; however, it becomes financially feasible if the value of tokens earned exceeds the fees, for specific collections without creator royalties. This ultimately results in wash trading, a common phenomenon on NFT platforms that rewards traders with their native tokens.
Excluding wash trading volumes, LooksRare peaked in May 2022 with 10% of the market share, but has declined by 7 percentage points to command just 1.0% of the market as of February 2023. At its peak, LooksRare was the only alternative to OpenSea that executed a vampire attack on OpenSea users – but has since diminished in share when rival X2Y2 launched in April 2022 with a similar strategy, but with lower trading fees.
X2Y2’s Market Share Slides to 2.6%
Excluding wash trades, NFT platform X2Y2 managed to acquire an 11% market share at the end of Q3 2022.
A few factors have propelled X2Y2’s initial growth – first, the growing popularity of NFT aggregators like Gem and Genie allow buyers to purchase NFT collections across different marketplaces in a single transaction. Added features like rarity rankings and cheaper gas costs are also attractive and can turn users marketplace-agnostic.
With a simplified user experience, price (sale fees) becomes the most critical consideration. X2Y2 is currently the cheapest on Ethereum, with just a 0.5% sale fee (the fees were lowered in July). Compare this with OpenSea at 2.5% and MagicEden and LooksRare at 2%. Other platforms allow creators to dictate their royalty fees.
|NFT Marketplace||Sale Fees|
In August 2022, X2Y2 undertook a controversial decision to remove royalty fees for collections, giving buyers the choice of whether to pay royalties or not. This came about after Sudoswap’s launch in July, a decentralized protocol that allows users to buy/sell NFTs through an Automated Market Maker (AMM) and bypass royalties.
X2Y2’s market share had plateaued around the 7-11% range in the second half of 2022 and has declined to 2.6% as of February 2023.
CryptoPunks’ Market Share at just 0.8%
CryptoPunks NFT platform maintained its relevance with a consistent 3% market share or more, for the majority of 2022. Having established itself as a blue chip, CryptoPunks' trading volumes, and thus value, continue to exceed most collections. On average, they make up 3% of the monthly market share, which is impressive for a standalone project – moreover going as far to make up 50% of the Top 10 Most Expensive NFTs ever sold.
It is worth noting that unlike most collections, CryptoPunks is one of the rare few with their own native NFT marketplace because of their different smart contract logic (not purely ERC-721).
CryptoPunks’ market share has since slid to just 0.8% in February 2023.
The study examined the top 6 NFT marketplaces by trading volume, using Footprint Analytics data from January 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023. The top 6 NFT marketplaces are: Blur, OpenSea, Magic Eden, X2Y2, CryptoPunks and LooksRare. Market share was based on total monthly trading volume and excludes wash trading.
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Julia leads Growth at CoinGecko and is passionate about onboarding more women onto Web3. That said, she is generally poor at timing the market, so she DCAs for safety. Follow the author on Twitter @ngxinyajulia