Understanding the differences between marketplaces

Understanding the differences between marketplaces

We’ve already reviewed at a high-level the different marketplaces available on Ethereum, so we can now analyze them from a collector’s point of view.


SuperRare is the largest and oldest running NFT platform dedicated to original cryptoart, with +$270M in total sales and more than $150M earned by artists since 2018. Each artwork on SR is an original and authentic 1/1 produced by a top digital creator, then tokenized for easy ownership and trading. The innovator of perpetual artist royalties, SuperRare is a user-controlled & curated marketplace governed by $RARE token holders, with a mission to revolutionize the economics of human creativity by building a new art market that anyone can access. Curation is decentralized on the platform, with artists being onboarded by curators at both SuperRare Labs as well as SuperRare Spaces, who are independent galleries on SuperRare voted in by $RARE token holders.
SuperRare is a network of, by and for creatives, focused on shepherding the digital renaissance as an emerging global art movement that will radically alter our relationships to and participation with digital art.
Things to consider
Collectors regularly attribute a premium to pieces minted on SuperRare because of the platform’s careful approach to artist curation and their unique focus on single editions. As one of the first cryptoart marketplaces, it is home to many of the “OG” crypto artists who built this important movement in contemporary art and continues to attract tens of thousands of emerging artists each year.

Nifty Gateway

Nifty Gateway has revolutionized the drop mechanism and played a major role in popularizing crypto art collecting, in part due to the now famous Beeple drops. The Nifty team invites multiple artists per day to offer their collections as open editions, drawings, silent auctions, and more. Many famous music stars have been featured alongside talented digital artists.
Things to consider
Nifty Gateway is a custodial platform, meaning your NFTs are not held in your Metamask wallet, but on their platform. You can withdraw your NFTs at any time to your wallet. Also, NFTs held on Nifty Gateway cannot be displayed on social platforms like Showtime, or virtual galleries like OnCyber, or metaverse worlds like Decentraland and Cryptovoxel.
As well, you cannot simply bid on a piece with ETH right away. Collectors need to verify their identity, pre-load their Nifty account with ETH ahead of time, or pay with a credit card and get pre-approved. Also, for secondary sales, sellers can only receive USD and not ETH upon a sale, which can then either be used to purchase other pieces on Nifty Gateway or be withdrawn to a Gemini account (a cryptocurrency exchange which owns Nifty Gateway), or to a US bank account.


Foundation is one of the top marketplace in the crypto art space. Artists can create collections or series around their works. Artist can also import smart contracts created with the Manifold Studio tool as long as the contract is a ERC-721 contract. It’s a great place for artists to get started as it is open to all, but also means the curation is not as thorough as on SuperRare, leading to varying quality on the platform.
Things to consider
Foundation supports reserve auctions as well as instant purchases. For reserve auctions a collector can bid on pieces and it will start a 24 hour auction, with the last 15 mins being reset every time a new bid comes in. The first bid at the reserve price starts the auction, but there are no guarantees the initial bidder will win the auction.
Finally, Foundation has an extra step compared to other marketplaces where the winner of an auction has to “settle” an auction to add the piece to their collection, which requires an additional on-chain transaction and more gas fees.


Makersplace is a hybrid marketplace that has attracted major digital artists like Beeple and Pak, fine artists like Urs Fischer, and athletes like Patrick Mahomes. While predominantly focused on crypto art, Makersplace opens the door for collectibles-like NFTs with its drops and multiple editions support. It is also well curated but a little more flexible than SuperRare.
Things to consider
Accepted bids on Makersplace can sometimes take a few days to process and finalize the sale. Nothing to worry about though, as the sale is already locked. The piece will arrive in your account at some point.
You can also comment directly on an artwork, which allows you to share your enthusiasm about a piece or to directly connect with the artist in case you are not able to reach them on another platform or social media.


KnownOrigin is one of the original crypto art marketplaces, which is home to work from Frenetik Void, XCOPY, Hackatao, Trevor Jones, and other leading OG crypto artists. KnownOrigin is well curated and requires artists to go through an application process. It also supports multiple editions, which provides more flexibility than platforms like SuperRare and Foundation.
Things to consider
While less popular than the previously mentioned platforms, KnowOrigin offers an interesting platform for artists to experiment with multiple editions. It is also home to some OG crypto artwork that can be obtained for cheaper prices than on SuperRare.


Rarible is a decentralized marketplace where anyone can mint and list NFTs, although there are also verified users and collections that are reviewed by the Rarible team. Some major crypto artists drop special collections there, as the number of editions can be unlimited and they can reach the market of collectibles collectors.
Things to consider
Rarible bids are done in WETH (wrapped ETH), so collectors need to convert their ETH ahead of time to save on gas. Otherwise, Rarible can offer the swap for a fee.


OpenSea is a decentralized marketplace where anyone can mint and list NFTs, although there are also verified users and collections that are reviewed by the OpenSea team. Some major crypto artists drop special collections there as the number of editions can be unlimited and they can reach the market of collectibles collectors.
Things to consider
OpenSea also acts as a marketplace aggregator where NFTs listed on SuperRare, Foundation, Makersplace, etc. can also be found on OpenSea. Withdrawn Nifty Gateway NFTs can also be found on the platform so works by Beeple, Ferocious, and more can be found there.