NFTs have exploded in 2021, generating over $23Bn of trading volume overall.
OpenSea, the biggest NFT marketplace, was responsible for over $14Bn of it, pocketing at least $350M in 2.5% fees.
Last week OpenSea announced having closed another funding round of $300M (after two rounds of $23M and $100M in 2021), which brought the company’s valuation at a whopping $13.3Bn.
In December the company was rumoured to do an IPO, which caused a massive backlash from the NFT community.
Indeed, Web3 is a place guided by different ideology than the traditional business, and community is a force to be reckoned with. A situation where community-generated trades would result in company shares being bought by stock market investors – without any benefit to the community itself – is not acceptable in the crypto space.
OpenSea have since backed on their plans (hence the $300M funding?), but they haven’t done anything to give back to the community, and that’s what could potentially cost them a lot.
Community-focused NFT marketplaces is a natural evolution after centralized ones, and there’s already one breathing down OpenSea’s neck.
LooksRare is a new type of marketplace with a system of rewards for participants, and it has chosen a very clever way to make itself known: the company will airdrop its $LOOKS tokens to every OpenSea user who has traded 3 or more ETH between June,16 and December, 16.
$LOOKS can also be gained by buying and selling on the platform, and staked on it, with all trading fees (2% from the amount) to be distributed among $LOOKS stakers.
Web3 is gaining ground.