OpenSea is a decentralized, peer-to-peer marketplace for trading non-fungible tokens (NFTs). OpenSea was initially developed for Ethereum but has since expanded to support NFTs issued on platforms including Polygon, Solana, Avalanche, and others. Users with an OpenSea account can buy and sell NFTs and mint new NFT collections for sale.
OpenSea is a non-custodial platform, so users always keep possession of assets in their own crypto wallet and transact with other individuals directly via the blockchain.
How to get started with OpenSea
Anyone can browse NFTs that are listed on OpenSea, but to use the platform, users will need to connect a wallet such as MetaMask or Phantom and have a balance of cryptocurrency. You can buy crypto such as ETH or USDC via Bitstamp and then transfer it to your compatible wallet for use on OpenSea.
Once you have a wallet and crypto balance, go to the official OpenSea homepage and click “Connect wallet.” Choose your wallet and follow the steps on screen to enter your password and authorize the connection.
The OpenSea logo links to the main app homepage, which features a scrolling feed of featured NFTs. From the homepage, you can browse featured drops and OpenSea statistics, as well as search for specific items or collections. When you click to view any given NFT, you can purchase it or save it as a favorite.
Most of the features can be found in the main drop-down menu, such as your profile, collections, and watchlists, as well as access to the settings and the OpenSea Learn portal, which offers how-to guides and information articles.
The profile page shows an overview of your OpenSea activity, including offers, deals, created NFTs, favorite items, and more.
Buying NFTs on OpenSea
Navigate to the NFT you want to buy via the search bar or from the browsing pages. You will need sufficient digital currency in your wallet to cover the purchase. If purchasing an NFT from a specific collection, check to ensure that the item is genuine by verifying that the contract address matches that communicated via the official project channels.
NFTs on OpenSea can be sold at a fixed price for an immediate purchase. If this is the case, then a “Buy now” option will be available. Using the “Buy now” option means the buyer pays the gas fees for the transaction.
However, it is more common for items to be sold in a timed auction to the highest bidder, meaning that you must make an offer to the seller. Note that offers are binding and executed automatically on the blockchain by the underlying smart contracts. At the end of the auction period, you will either receive the NFT in your wallet or your cryptocurrency will be returned to you. You can view current open offers in the offers section of your profile. In timed auctions, the seller pays the gas fees for accepting the chosen offer.
Using OpenSea to create NFTs
OpenSea offers the option to mint NFTs. Many different file types and formats are supported, allowing users to create NFTs based on image, audio, video, or 3D model files. To create an NFT, you will need your chosen file and enough crypto to cover the gas fees for the mint.
There are no technical requirements to mint NFTs from the OpenSea user interface. From the “Create NFT” page, you can upload your file and add attributes such as a name, description, link to your website, and keywords or properties that can be attributed to the NFT. You can also select which blockchain to mint on.
Upon clicking “create,” you will need to authorize the transaction and the fees via your wallet, and your NFT will be created.
Listing and selling NFTs on OpenSea
To sell the NFT you just created, or any other NFT in your crypto wallet, you will first need to list it for sale. From your profile page, find the NFT you want to sell and click on it. From there, you can access the “Sell” button.
You must decide if you’d like to list the NFT for an instant sale or in a timed auction where you can choose the highest bid.
If you choose to sell at a fixed price, you will only need to define the sale price. You can also reserve the item for a specific buyer by entering their address in the “reserve” field.
If you choose to sell in an auction, you will need to specify the duration and the starting price. You can also set a reserve price, which will ensure that the auction ends without a sale if you don’t have bids that meet the reserve. On Ethereum, the default reserve is 1 ETH.
You can choose to accept an offer at any time during the auction. If the auction ends and the reserve price has not been met, you can choose if you want to accept the highest offer or close the auction without a sale. If the reserve price is met, the OpenSea protocol will execute the sale automatically.
Bids that come in during the last minutes of the auction will extend the auction; however, OpenSea imposes a maximum limit on the extension period to prevent an indefinite loop.
OpenSea charges a flat percentage fee on all sales made on the platform.
Making a deal
Along with trading NFTs for crypto, OpenSea allows users to trade NFTs directly for other NFTs, which is known as making a deal. To make a deal, you must have the wallet address, OpenSea username, or ENS name of the holder of your target items with whom you want to make a deal.
From the main menu, select “make a deal” and enter the information you have about your deal target. Once on their page, you can select the items from their collection that you want to acquire in the deal. Next, you will choose the items from your collection that you propose to give away in exchange for your target items. You can also add in any cryptocurrency that you want to propose as part of the deal transaction in case the value of NFT assets isn’t evenly matched. You can then click through to conclude the deal offer until you receive a confirmation that it has been sent.
It’s possible to cancel a deal that has been sent and not accepted, but it will incur a gas fee. If the other party accepts the deal, the transfer is executed automatically.
How to use OpenSea essentials
- Set up a cryptocurrency wallet such as MetaMask or Phantom, and add some crypto, e.g., ETH.
- Connect your wallet to the official OpenSea app and start browsing collections to buy immediately or place an offer.
- Mint any of your own image, audio, or video files as an NFT and list it for sale using OpenSea’s create feature.
This webpage has been approved as a financial promotion by Bitstamp UK Limited which is registered with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. Please read the Risk Warning Statement before investing. Cryptoassets and cryptoasset services are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. You are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong. Your investment may go down as well as up. You may be liable to pay Capital Gains Tax on any profits you earn.