OpenSea has dominated the NFT industry since 2021, but can it continue to do that this year, especially when the next-generation platforms are underway, and they are clearly more sophisticated, accessible, and designed to exploit OpenSea’s flaws?
LooksRare: A New Rival
LooksRare, a brand new NFT platform, announced its official release today. The platform aims to build a user-oriented community with the development of features that fulfill that mission.
That said, a user-centric mindset will be the core value throughout its operation. LooksRare seeks to create more efficient, satisfying, and user-friendly experiences.
According to details in LooksRare’s blog post, all Ethereum-based NFTs are now available for trading, buying and selling on the platform. Users have options to use Ether or wrapped Ether (WETH) to purchase and sell NFTs.
LooksRare is developed by a technology-focused team of nine members with engineering background. The founding team consists of two anonymous individuals – Zodd and Guts.
In addition to the launch announcement, LooksRare also introduced the platform token, LOOKS.
LOOKS will serve as a reward for trading, staking as well as providing liquidity. The token is one of the driving factors for user adoption. When users purchase and sell NFTs from qualified collections, they will also earn LOOKS tokens.
This morning, LOOKS was already listed on Uniswap and users are now able to trade it. Bloomberg recorded that the token achieved $4.71 at the launch but dropped at $2.69 lately.
The project seems frankly ambitious and determined when it comes to direct competition with OpenSea.
Not only is the launch thrilling, but the accompanying policy is much better. Those who have already used OpenSea can receive free LOOKS tokens. A share of the tokens will be distributed to anyone who exchanged more than three ether on OpenSea between June 16 and December 16.
This way is referred to as a “vampire attack” in the cryptosphere because it attempts to abduct the user base of an already-existing project by using tokens to accomplish this.
LooksRare is the second major effort at a vampire attack on OpenSea, the first attempt came from Infinity.
OpenSea Is An Uneasy Rival
The New York City-based business has been the first player in the NFT market since its inception four years ago, a playground that has grown substantially since the beginning of 2021.
Despite controversy and criticism, OpenSea has demonstrated that it is at the top for a reason. It’s apparent that the marketplace arrived at the perfect time – during the NFT bloom – and another element is that OpenSea functions more as an NFT aggregator than an NFT showroom.
According to Dune Analytics statistics, the marketplace’s volume reached $3.25 billion in December 2021, and the overall volume climbed by more than 90% between December 2020 and December 2021.
Due to the success of OpenSea, Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah – OpenSea’s co-founders – joined the world’s first NFT billionaire group.
OpenSea may be the largest NFT platform in terms of trade volume right now, but by 2022, there will undoubtedly be some competition seeking to dethrone the giant. OpenSea has faced severe competition from rivals such as cryptocurrency major Coinbase.
Coinbase revealed plans to establish the Coinbase NFT exchange in October of last year. FTX NFT, Rarible, Zora, Magic Eden, and others are also strong competitors.
“Opensea – this is not the first time that many cases have come. The reporting process is not intuitive and I just have to prove myself as an artist / owner / creator – which seems wrong. NFT creators should be stricter,” said Liam Sharp – an English comic artist whose artworks were reportedly stolen and sold on OpenSea.
Critics also warn of the possibility of frauds and cyberattacks on NFT platforms. In September 2021, OpenSea’s Head of Product was asked to resign after accusations of infringement.
A New York art gallery announced that a $2.2 million NFT work had been stolen and advertised on OpenSea. OpenSea also faced accusations regarding abetting the act of stealing artworks.