What Is OpenSea?

OpenSea Explained

OpenSea is a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace that offers users the ability to buy, sell, create, and trade NFTs. It is the largest NFT trading platform, with more than 2.4 million active users and a daily trading volume of $6.03 million, as of November 2022.

Key Takeaways

  • OpenSea is a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace where users can buy, sell, or create NFTs.
  • It is a noncustodial platform, allowing users full control and access to their cryptocurrency wallets.
  • Users interact directly with other users to buy or sell an NFT or a bundle of NFTs.

Understanding OpenSea

OpenSea prides itself as being the first and largest NFT platform providing essential NFT services. Before it was created in 2017, there was no platform for users to trade different NFTs easily. OpenSea was created as a solution to allow users to trade crypto collectibles and other NFTs with one another.

The desktop and mobile dashboards open with two prompts to explore NFTs or create a new crypto wallet. Or, if you already have a crypto wallet, you can connect it to the platform. You can explore the vast array of more than 2 million NFT collections and create your own. 

OpenSea supports various categories of NFTs, ranging from art, music, collectibles, virtual lands, sports assets, and domain names to utility NFTs like membership passes. 

You can easily identify the top and most trendy collections per category. Users can narrow the results by time periods such as 24 hours, seven days, 30 days, and all-time. There’s also an option to select a particular blockchain that you prefer to explore. 

How to Use OpenSea

OpenSea offers an intuitive and beginner-friendly user interface, which makes it easy to use and navigate. First, connect a crypto wallet to OpenSea to be able to initiate a transaction. Your wallet is what you use to interact with the blockchain to make payments or receive deposits. Because OpenSea is noncustodial, when you connect your wallet to the platform, your NFTs are not stored on the platform; instead, they are sent to your wallet address. 

Here’s a list of crypto wallets that OpenSea supports:

Connecting to OpenSea

Whether your crypto wallet is MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, or any of the others listed above, the process of connecting to OpenSea is the same. 

Visit OpenSea.io, navigate to the “My Wallet” section in the menu tab, and click on your wallet type. Your device will display a prompt where you are to input your private keys to connect to the platform. You must have some Ethereum (ETH) to connect your wallet successfully. 

After connecting to the platform, you can view all the NFTs that you own on your account page. You can trade or sell your NFTs in the marketplace at will. The profile section allows you to input your username, bio, email address, images, and social links. 

Keep the private keys to your crypto wallet in a secure place that’s easily accessible only to you. If you lose your passwords, you won’t be able to access your NFTs and other cryptocurrencies in your wallet. 

Searching for NFTs on OpenSea

The “Explore” page is your gateway to browsing the wide range of NFTs available on OpenSea. You can explore collections by clicking on the category of interest or searching for a particular NFT that you already know about. 

The page lights up with the top NFT collections, some with animated logos and others with distinct static logos. Popular collections like Decentraland and Bored Ape Yacht Club are among the entries in the “Trending” category.

You can also search for NFTs on the “Stats” page. It contains more analytics features, including displaying the top NFTs in the last 24 hours by default. You can filter the results using the volume, time, category, and blockchain tabs. 

NFT Collection Features

After selecting an NFT collection, a new page opens with information about the NFT collection, including the creator name, number of items in the collection, number of owners, total trading volume, floor price, and best offer. The page also displays links to NFT social media channels. 

You can either navigate the “Items” section to browse through the collection or explore the activity section to get insights concerning sales, listings, offers, collection offers, and transfers. The Items section contains four status filters—categories for sorting through the variety of NFTs. These filters help you narrow your search for the perfect buy. They are:

Buy Now

The “Buy Now” filter displays the NFTs available for sale and is useful for distinguishing between the majority of items already purchased or not available for sale and those that are on sale. 

Has Offers

The “Has Offers” filter shows the NFTs with the latest offers.

On Auction

The “On Auction” filter shows NFTs and their corresponding bids. 

New

The “New” filter distinguishes newly listed NFTs from older ones.

You also can narrow your searches by setting your preferred price range for NFT collections, a category or blockchain, and choosing between single or bundled items. 

How to Buy NFT on OpenSea

To buy NFTs on OpenSea, fund your wallet with Ethereum (ETH) and convert to wrapped ETH (WETH), an Ethereum token with improved interoperability. Most NFTs support ETH and WETH, but others accept cryptocurrencies like DAI, APE, ASH, CUBE, BAT, and GALA.

To buy an NFT, use the search bar to find the NFT you like, using the wide range of filters available to zero in on the best option. After selecting your preferred NFT, choose either the “Buy Now” tab to buy the NFT at the displayed price or the “Make Offer” tab to propose your preferred price. 

A page will open for you to sign the transaction to complete your payment. If you make an offer, you must wait for the seller to accept or reject it. If your transaction is successful, your NFT will be sent to your wallet. You can view all the NFTs you bought in the “My Collections” tab of your profile. 

How to Create NFTs on OpenSea

You can create an NFT collection containing digital items like art pieces and music on OpenSea. Click the “Create” tab, and you’ll be redirected to the NFT item creation page, where you can add your NFT files, including their names and description. Customize your NFT by adding properties, levels, stats, etc.

The default blockchain on OpenSea is Ethereum, but you can decide to mint your NFT on another blockchain. Click “Create” once you’re finished customizing your NFTs, and your collection is ready for sale.

How to Sell NFTs on OpenSea

You can sell NFTs on OpenSea by selecting a single item or creating a bundle of different NFTs and listing them for sale. 

Navigate to your profile icon and choose the NFTs that you would like to list for sale from your wallet. On the Item page, there are two options on the top right: the “Edit” tab, and the “Sell” tab. Click “Sell.” The listing page will open to display options on the price and type of sale you want to execute. The sale listings include fixed-price sales and timed-auction sales.

Fixed-Price Sale

In a fixed-price sale, you set a particular price for your NFT with an option to determine the sale duration.

Timed-Auction Sale

In this sale, you can either sell to the highest bidder, where the buyer with the highest bid wins and buys the NFT, or sell with a declining price, where the price falls until someone makes a purchase.

OpenSea does not currently support timed-auction sales on Solana.

How to Store NFTs Securely on OpenSea

News of fraudulent activities in the crypto market continues to pour in. Scammers are always targeting crypto users, whether it’s a crypto exchange or an NFT marketplace. Here are seven tips to secure your NFTs on OpenSea.

  1. Do not share your secret recovery phrase with anyone, not even someone posing as an OpenSea support official. 
  2. Ensure that you’re linking to the official website, not one with a similar name but a different domain. Sometimes the difference is easy to miss, so be careful to confirm the site before initiating a transaction. 
  3. When your wallet is linked to a browser, avoid clicking on broken, unknown, and suspicious links to avoid getting hacked.
  4. Your passwords should be unique, different from the ones you use for other sites.
  5. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to shield yourself from potential attacks.
  6. Consider using a hardware wallet to store your NFT assets for improved security.
  7. Do not download attachments from an OpenSea email. OpenSea does not send files to its users, so be cautious of phishing emails.

What are non-fungible tokens (NFTs)?

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are crypto assets encrypted on a blockchain with unique codes and metadata that define and distinguish them from one another. NFTs were developed to guarantee ownership of a unique virtual asset. NFT creators can receive and retain the credit for creating an NFT, although the ownership can be transferred to another person. NFTs can represent various digital assets, including artwork, real estate, collectibles, music, photography, in-game assets, and avatars.

What is OpenSea built on?

OpenSea was built on the Wyvern Protocol, an open-source protocol powering the peer-to-peer exchange of virtual assets. This protocol operates as a set of smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. These smart contracts form the basis of processing transactions protecting users’ NFTs. OpenSea focuses on adapting to more interoperable blockchains to allow for easier, faster, and more flexible transactions. In addition to ERC-721 and ERC-1155 Ethereum standards, OpenSea has integrated protocols for other blockchains such as Solana, Polygon, and Klaytn. In a June 2022 blog post, OpenSea said it would be moving to its own protocol—Seaport—in a bid to reduce transaction fees.

The Bottom Line

OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace, offering a channel for thousands of creators, traders, and buyers to interact. Users can produce, sell, or buy art, collectibles, real estate, in-game, and sports assets on the OpenSea listing page. 

Newer NFT platforms such as Rarible, LooksRare, Magic Eden, Binance NFT, and Nifty Gateway are becoming competitive against OpenSea. But as of late 2022, OpenSea remained the leading NFT marketplace with a market volume of more than $20 billion, and it is expected to retain a considerable share of the market in the future.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Dune Analytics. “Total OpenSea Traders Over Time.”

  2. DappRadar. “OpenSea.”

  3. OpenSea. “Building an Open Digital Economy.”

  4. OpenSea. “Explore, Collect, and Sell NFTs.”

  5. OpenSea Help Center. “What Crypto Wallets Can I Use with OpenSea?

  6. OpenSea Learn. “What Is a Crypto Wallet?

  7. OpenSea. “Explore Collections.”

  8. OpenSea. “Collection Stats.”

  9. OpenSea Help Center. “How Do I Create an NFT?

  10. OpenSea Help Center. “How Do I Sell an NFT?

  11. OpenSea Help Center. “How Do Timed Auctions Work?

  12. OpenSea Blog. “Important Update on Email Vendor Security Incident.”

  13. Wyvern Protocol. “Powering Decentralized Crypto Commerce.”

  14. OpenSea Blog. “Launching Seaport & Saving the Community Millions in Fees.”

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