How to Build an NFT Marketplace Like OpenSea
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NFTs are a new hit in the booming blockchain world. The acronym stands for the non-fungible tokens, an innovative type of unique tokens with an authentic stamp of ownership and a fluctuating monetary value. The use of NFTs is varied, ranging from collectible art to digital analogs of assets from the offline world (e.g., real estate, cars, fine art).
The modern NFTs are minted in line with the ERC-721 standard, which enables their trading in the NFT marketplaces. So, creating an NFT marketplace is a sure way into the blockchain market today. If you wish to join the industry and don’t know where to start, here is a definitive guide on how to create an NFT marketplace like OpenSea from 4IRE experts.
What is an NFT Marketplace?
An NFT marketplace is a digital blockchain-based platform on which various NFTs are minted, sold, bought, and exchanged by crypto enthusiasts. Unlike typical crypto exchanges that only give a possibility for crypto asset trading or purchases for investment purposes, NFT marketplaces also provide artists with functionality for NFT minting. Trading of NFTs takes place with the help of a trustless p2p system, guaranteeing:
- A high degree of transparency
- Zero counterparty risks
- Low to no fees
NFT marketplaces also function based on blockchain smart contracts containing NFT ownership data. Thus, NFT marketplace development process presupposes smart contract creation and NFT minting feature provision.
White Label NFT Marketplace
Those wishing to launch an NFT marketplace but lacking time and resources can opt for the white-label solution. This option allows for building an NFT marketplace with the full set of features, 100% ready for a successful launch, in only 3 weeks. For instance, 4IRE offers a ready-for-use NFT creation platform with the entire set of technical infrastructure and features, easily customizable to your specific UI preferences. Using a white-label NFT marketplace, you can cut development costs and time-to-market, outperforming your competitors.
NFT Marketplace Clone
Most well-known NFT marketplaces, like OpenSea or Rarible, have an appealing infrastructure and a universal set of features allowing all NFT-related operations on-site. Thus, you may find it easier to create your own NFT marketplace like OpenSea by using the readily available solutions of popular NFT marketplaces and copying them into your new resource. Pick an existing NFT marketplace you like, copy its smart contract logic and blockchain infrastructure, add a new twist in the UI and front-end design, and here you go with a new appealing NFT marketplace.
NFT Marketplaces’ Trade Volume – Comparison
The NFT market emerged in 2021, quickly rising in popularity and making splashes among crypto enthusiasts. The 2021 trading volume nearly reached $25 billion – an immense increase from only $95 million in 2020. Transactions got more active in the second half of 2021 ($23.3 billion) compared to the first half (only $2.5 billion).
Thus, one can surely say that the quick spread of NFTs is far from over. As of April 2022, the top three NFT marketplaces by volume are:
- OpenSea (over $75 million in daily trading volume and overall traded volume of $23.5 billion)
- LooksRare (total trading volume of $18+ billion and $63+ million of trading volume every day)
- Mobox (up to $1.5 million of 24H trading volume and $618 million of overall traded assets).
Reasons for NFT Marketplaces’ Popularity
NFT platforms rise in demand and popularity because transactions with NFTs differ from regular crypto exchanges. The artists can mint their NFTs directly on the platform, like the OpenSea NFT marketplace, and publish them in its catalog, offering them on sale at a fixed price or on the bidding principle. So, their major benefit is having all tools for NFT creation and distribution in one place, with no need to rely on external parties for NFT trading online.
Users wishing to buy NFTs need to register on the platform, connect their wallets supporting NFT storage, and buy the NFTs they like. Thus, NFT marketplaces are very user-friendly and convenient, giving all participants of the NFT market the ability to create, purchase, and sell their NFTs hassle-free.
OpenSea – the Largest NFT Marketplace
The Open Sea NFT marketplace, the world’s top NFT platform, is an illustrative example of how the system works. It was founded in 2017 and opened in August of 2021 but quickly managed to achieve a daily trading volume exceeding $75 million. The Open Sea marketplace has over 600,000 users and features over 2 million collections with 80+ million NFTs available for investors and traders. All NFTs are minted based on ERC-721 and ERC-1155 standards, making them unique and tradeable across NFT marketplaces.
How Does an NFT Marketplace Like OpenSea Work?
Developing an NFT marketplace is impossible without understanding its inner architecture and work logic. Here is a brief breakdown of the major steps of such platforms’ operation, revealing the steps you need to include in creating a NFT marketplace of your own.
Step 1. Registration
Both artists and NFT buyers need to register an account at the NFT marketplace of their interest and pass the KYC verification procedure to access the platform.
Step 2. Connecting a Wallet
After registration, the users need to create a compatible wallet or link their existing wallet supporting the storage of cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
Step 3. NFT Minting
The artist – acting as an NFT seller – should pay for the subscription allowing them to use the platform’s resources for NFT minting. Once the NFTs are ready, they become available for sale in the NFT marketplace’s online catalog.
Step 4. Pricing Model
The artist should choose the pricing model for every minted NFT; it may either be a fixed-price sale or an auction where interested users bid for the item.
Step 5. NFT Selection
Buyers coming to the NFT marketplace search through the catalog and choose the NFTs they want to obtain, bidding in the auction or completing a fixed-price purchase.
Step 6. Payment
The payment transaction is completed using the linked crypto wallet, with either an instant sale or the highest bid awarded upon the auction’s completion.
How Can 4IRE Help You Develop Your Own NFT Marketplace?
If you plan to build an NFT marketplace like OpenSea, the best way to go is to hire professionals with in-depth experience in the blockchain development niche. The 4IRE team of blockchain architects has over a decade of experience in blockchain solution development. So, they can consult you on how to make an NFT marketplace a safe and functional platform with no user risks. We can also build NFT marketplace products for clients from scratch or use our white-label NFT platform for a faster market entry.
Building UI Design for NFT Marketplace
Your NFT marketplace’s UI is its “face” by which the users will judge its appeal and user-friendliness. So, you need to develop the UI carefully based on your target audience’s preferences and usability principles. It’s recommended to use the microservice architecture in your platform’s design since it allows quicker transaction processing and offers advanced security.
Creating NFT Tokens
You can’t create an NFT marketplace like OpenSea without the function of NFT minting. 4IRE experts can integrate the minting feature supporting both ERC 721 and ERC 1155 standards to ensure universal coverage for your platform. The minting algorithm should also include robust safety testing, end-to-end encryption, and domain name creation to make the NFTs unique and operational.
Developing Smart Contracts for NFT Marketplace
When you launch NFT marketplace projects, you should be ready to equip them with smart contract functionality. These platforms are decentralized, which means that no third party oversees the transactions. All of them take place via smart contracts. 4IRE developers create self-executing algorithms that guarantee the transparency and fairness of all on-site operations.
User Interface Implementation
Once all back-end and front-end functions of your NFT marketplace are ready, you need to integrate them into a coherent, functioning whole. 4IRE experts can design an intuitive, visually appealing UI for your NFT marketplace project, equipping it with the needed tabs, forms, and menu items. Our sleek graphical UIs guarantee seamless user experiences on the platform.
NFT Minting Attribute Inclusion
Given the diversity of the NFT market, it’s necessary to offer flexible options to artists and buyers in your marketplace. Thus, you should consider including both single-mode and multi-mode NFT minting options. The single-mode minting process is done in compliance with the ERC 721 standard (unique NFTs), while the multi-mode process follows the ERC1155 standard (NFTs that can be copied).
Database & IPFS NFT Storage Set-up
NFTs should be stored somewhere, retrieved from the storage when the need arises. Secure and robust storage is ensured by creating a database for your platform and linking it to the IPFS NFT storage – a global-access database specifically fitted for the purposes of decentralization in the blockchain. Thus, an NFT marketplace should utilize both to guarantee safe keeping and quick retrieval of NFTs.
Testing the NFT Marketplace with Test cases
No blockchain-based product can be launched to the market without sufficient audit and testing. The NFT marketplaces function as decentralized exchanges with no authorized middlemen; thus, security and functionality are key. 4IRE experts can conduct a thorough audit of your NFT marketplace project, verify the smart contracts’ logic, and check it against all known risks and threats using multiple test cases.
Releasing in Testnet or Final Deployment
Once the NFT project is ready for launch, it’s time to monitor its real-life performance on the testnet. 4IRE auditors track the platform’s speed of operation, response to varying query loads, specific modules’ work quality, and overall robustness. Improvements are made based on the QA results and user feedback to prepare the final version of the NFT marketplace for the full-scale market launch.
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NFT Marketplace Architecture
The marketplace app in which your users will complete trades with NFTs should have the client side and the server side. You should also have a wallet integration in place, allowing users to link their external wallets to make on-site transactions. The marketplace should also have an IPFS – a system that optimizes digital asset and metadata storage on the blockchain to avoid resource over-consumption. There should be smart contract functionality on your resource, which serves to mint NFTs, transfer their ownership, and differentiate NFTs from other blockchain tokens. The final architectural element you should have is a blockchain itself; choose the underlying blockchain technology in advance and ensure technical compliance of your project with its requirements.
There are also several additional technical components to enrich your NFT marketplace’s architecture. You may link the platform to LevelDB – a database for quick blockchain access or use the cloud database (AWS S3) for data storage and retrieval. If you need to link the NFT marketplace with the Ethereum blockchain, you can do it with the Infura.io service. Other helpful third-party services include ETH Gas Station (real-time service for gas fee calculations) and CoinMarketCap (a tracking resource for quick price updates); you can link them to your resource with a handy API connection.
Salient Features to Consider for an OpenSea Clone Development
Storefront is the NFT marketplace’s most important part that serves as the platform’s catalog. It displays the available NFTs for sale and provides the key details about collections and their creators. The storefront also features data about the current and upcoming auctions, specific NFTs’ pricing history, etc. Besides, it should display all information about each specific NFT, like its status, current price, number and size of bids, and previous owners.
Smart search option
Every NFT marketplace features tons of NFTs, and a newcomer can get easily lost amid this abundance, unable to find what they need. Smart search features, like categories and filters, simplify the search and make the platform’s catalog much more structured. In this way, every visitor with a specific NFT in mind can quickly locate the item of interest without wasting time and interest. Other vital filters include NFT sorting by price, payment method, and listing status.
This feature is vital for the artists wishing to list their NFTs on a specific NFT marketplace and sell them to interested investors. The listing creation process should be simple and quick, enabling the artist to name their collection, list all items included in it, provide technical details about the NFTs, and set the pricing model for their purchase – direct buying at a fixed price or participation in the auction, with the highest winning bid.
Buy & Bid
The functions of buying and taking part in the auction are the most essential in any NFT marketplace as they allow it to perform its primary function – enabling NFT trading. Thus, your project should provide a seamless payment and auction bidding functionality that requires minimal onboarding and takes guesswork or errors out of the process. Users should have an opportunity to manage their bids, place or remove bids quickly, and add the needed items to the on-site watchlist.
The platform’s ability to link wallets is critical for any NFT marketplace. Users need to pay gas fees for NFT minting, while buyers need to supply their crypto assets to the platform to purchase the NFT of interest. The number of supported wallets differs among marketplaces, but their key requirement is for wallets to support the storage of both cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Thus, all marketplaces integrate APIs for linking external wallets that users already have, such as MetaMask, Dapper, Torus, WalletConnect, etc.
As an NFT marketplace is an auction, it should provide all details about the items’ trading history on its website. So, you can easily find all transactions and learn all available information about them, double-checking that the marketplace is transparent. The OpenSea platform informs its users about the events, names of sold items, their price of sale, quantity, date of the purchase, and data about buyers and sellers.
Prime Characteristics of an OpenSea Clone Script
Liquidity has always been a major hurdle in the blockchain world. If you can provide higher liquidity for your NFT marketplace, it will be much more popular, with cross-chain NFT transactions covering much larger numbers of target users. Besides, high liquidity guarantees minimal price slippage, which is also attractive to NFT buyers.
The operations with NFTs in your marketplace should be simple, clear, and intuitive, guaranteeing no friction or guesswork to the users. Once the artists and buyers see that using your platform is simple and risk-free, they are sure to come to it for more NFT trading transactions.
The most appealing factor drawing NFT fans’ attention to this or that marketplace is the availability of rare NFTs. It’s very simple to attract more users to your marketplace if you list rare, exquisite collections from famous NFT artists – something that they will never find elsewhere.
The golden standard of NFT minting an exchange focuses on two standards: ERC 721 and ERC 1155. However, many newer standards for NFT minting go far beyond the well-known norm. If your NFT marketplace’s architecture supports additional standards like dGoods, TRC 721, FA2, and others, you have a higher chance for success due to better interoperability.
Diversified Revenue Streams of an OpenSea Clone
You can derive essential revenue from your NFT marketplace project by charging gas fees from the artists joining your platform and using its resources for listing their NFTs. All digital creators have to pay fixed fees for collections’ listing as it’s their marketing channel.
Transaction Fees (Gas)
All transactions with NFTs, be it a purchase or an auction, take place on the NFT marketplace’s blockchain, so they involve certain gas fees to enact smart contracts for transactions’ completion. Gas fees cover the network’s maintenance and ensure its proper functioning.
Some NFT marketplaces set up the entry fee for digital artists wishing to join their platform and list their NFTs on it. The fees differ from platform to platform, depending on its policy. In some cases, artists don’t pay for registration and minting but have to pay a fee to list their NFTs after creation.
All NFT marketplaces provide features for their digital artists to mint new NFTs based on their virtual platform. However, NFT minting is resource-intensive, so most platforms charge minting fees from all creators for the use of their resources.
To avoid fraud or manipulation in the auction process, many NFT marketplaces have introduced a bidding fee. People interested in specific NFTs and wishing to partake in its auction are charged this fee, calculated as a specific percentage of their bid for the item.
How Much Does It Cost to Build an NFT Marketplace?
The final quote for your NFT marketplace project will depend on numerous factors, as there is no universal, fixed price for such projects. First, you need to factor in the project’s duration and the number of human and technical resources involved in the NFT marketplace creation process. If you want to build such a platform from scratch, the cost will rise manifold, exceeding $100,000 in budget. White-label and clone solutions are more affordable, starting at $20,000 depending on the desired features and service range you want to incorporate into the project. Blockchain technology’s choice also affects the final price because of technical peculiarities and the availability of coders with the required tech stack.
Competitive Edge for Your NFT Marketplace Like OpenSea
The NFT marketplace sector is already saturated with new players and has a number of well-established giants, like Rarible or OpenSea. So, how can you attain a competitive edge in such a market and ensure that your NFT marketplace project is competition-ready? Here are a few tips to follow:
- Make the NFT marketplace memorable and exclusively designed with the hottest UX/UI trends in mind.
- Create the project with ease-to-market in mind. This feature depends on the availability of exclusive features and benefits that a user can’t find on other platforms. Promote these advantages and focus on them as a key value point for new users.
- Make sure the transaction fees are minimal; users pay attention to this aspect as they have a broad choice in the NFT market.
- Add gamification, incentives, and appealing side products to make the use of your NFT marketplace as fun and engaging as possible.
- Create a multi-chain NFT marketplace to attract more users and make the platform universally compatible.
- App fancy features to the marketplace’s interface, such as event calendars, AR extensions, and the possibility to integrate the marketplace with games.
Even if you don’t equip your platform with all these features, adding a few will boost your competitive edge by making the platform recognizable and appealing.
As you can see, NFTs are booming today, with many business opportunities for everyone wishing to join the market. Now that you know how to build an NFT marketplace like OpenSea, it’s time to choose the technology you like, partner with a reliable developer, and launch a new popular platform for NFT minting and trading. By choosing 4IRE as your provider, you receive advanced security, impressive transparency, and top-notch front-end and back-end solutions for your project’s success.
How do NFT marketplaces work?
When you create an NFT marketplace like OpenSea, you establish a platform for minting and selling NFTs. They operate based on specific blockchains to enable monitoring of NFTs’ uniqueness and ownership written down in the contract’s code. Thus, every NFT marketplace should provide features for NFT minting for digital content creators, should work with the majority of well-established crypto wallets to enable transactions, and should be safe from hacking and theft.
How do I make a platform like OpenSea?
You need to choose a blockchain supporting the functions of NFT minting and trading, create a set of smart contracts from scratch to enable NFT exchange and unique ownership recording, and develop all back-end features of a functional crypto marketplace. Smart contract auditing is vital before the NFT marketplace’s launch as it allows a thorough and objective evaluation of the platform’s safety. Client testing should be done in the testnet, and after that, your marketplace is ready for deployment in the beta version to the client’s server, with subsequent QA testing and full-scale launch.
How is OpenSea built?
OpenSea uses the Wyvern Protocol as its guiding smart contract logic. It operates based on the Ethereum blockchain and allows the minting and trading of NFTs created in compliance with the ERC721/ERC1155 standards of Ethereum. Besides, OpenSea features cross-chain NFT transactions due to its architectural compatibility with the Polygon and Klatyn blockchains. An advantage for artists is OpenSea’s gas-free Polygon marketplace, allowing free NFT minting.
How much does it cost to build an NFT marketplace?
The cost of a typical NFT marketplace project depends on many factors, ranging from the chosen technology to the approach to creation (building a platform from scratch vs. a white-label solution). Features you should include in the cost are the UI/UX development, user profiles, security, search and filters, product pages, shopping cart, smart contract development, payment options, etc. You can get a specific quote from your provider of NFT marketplace development services after communicating your project requirements, deadlines, and expected platform functionality.