Magic Eden is a leading trading platform for users to mint, list, and trade NFTs. Initially developed for the Solana blockchain, it has since expanded its offering to include support for Ethereum and Polygon.
Magic Eden was founded by Sidney Zhang, Jack Lu, Zhuoxun Yin, and Zhuojie Zou, who now make up the project’s leadership team. Since launching in 2021, the project has undergone rapid growth, raising $130 million in Series B funding in July 2022 with a valuation of $1.6 billion. Magic Eden also operates Magic Eden Games, a platform dedicated to supporting NFT games with features such as trailers and tournament hosting.
Users can access Magic Eden via a web interface, cryptocurrency app or through their native iOS app. To get started, users must also have a compatible web3 cryptocurrency wallet, such as Phantom for Solana-based assets or MetaMask for Ethereum and Polygon-based assets, as well as a balance of SOL, ETH, or MATIC to pay transaction fees.
Since its launch, Magic Eden has grown to become one of the largest NFT marketplaces by trading volume, at times outpacing its biggest rival, OpenSea.
Features and functions of Magic Eden
Magic Eden offers a wide array of NFT collections issued on the Solana, Ethereum, and Polygon blockchains, including DeGods, Solana Monkey Business, CryptoPunks, and Mutant Ape Yacht Club, among many others. The tab on the top of the screen allows the user to toggle between the supported blockchains.
From the main home page, users can navigate the various features using the left-hand menu. The default view shows NFT collections on Solana ranked by order of popularity, but there are various options to sort, filter, or search for specific collections. After clicking into a particular collection, users can search for a specific item or filter by attributes such as clothing or eye shape.
The main homepage lists standard secondary market NFT sales, but Magic Eden also allows users to list NFTs for auction or mint NFTs via its Launchpad along with several other features.
The auction feature is designed for buyers and sellers to convene around a mutually agreeable price for NFTs.
This feature is targeted towards independent digital artists to price their work more accurately and provide social proof of the interest around a given drop. The auctions are run as real-time events, and a list of open auctions is available from the left-hand menu.
The Magic Eden Launchpad is where projects can mint NFTs.
Magic Eden offers extensive support to creators listing on the Launchpad, including long-term marketing and promotion, which substantially increases the exposure of a collection. However, the Launchpad selection process is rigorous as Magic Eden only lists projects it deems to be of high quality.
The Lists feature, also accessible from the left-hand menu, allows users to apply for whitelisting for upcoming projects and become an approved participant for an upcoming mint.
The feature shows a list of collections, along with social links, mint dates, and available slots. When the user clicks “Register” on any given collection, they will see the list of requirements, along with an invitation to connect the relevant social accounts and crypto wallet.
Magic Eden Games is the gaming platform launched by the project in March 2022, hosting titles including Genopets and The Sandbox. From the main Games homepage (accessible from the left menu in the Magic Eden interface), users can explore games, watch trailers, and view and purchase in-game NFTs. Magic Eden Games also hosts tournaments via its Discord channel.
Magic Eden sells “Magic tickets,” which are NFTs representing a stake in the Magic Eden DAO, dubbed MagicDAO. The project distributed an allocation of Magic tickets to wallets that had previously interacted with Magic Eden in an airdrop in February 2022. They are also available to buy in the MagicDAO section under “Resources” on the left-hand menu.
Magic tickets entitle holders to vote in regular polls regarding the project’s governance. MagicDAO members also receive benefits such as automatic whitelisting and access to branded merchandise.
Fees and vetting
Buy and sell transactions on Magic Eden are subject to a flat 1.5% taker fee (which can be reduced based on a user's reward level, determined by their amount traded), but there is no fee for listing. Magic Eden operates a strict quality control policy on its platform, so all listings must undergo a vetting process. The “Creators” button on the left-hand menu contains all the options for creators or sellers who wish to use Magic Eden to list for secondary sales, auctions, or mints on the Launchpad.
Magic Eden also incorporates the option for the buyer to choose whether to pay royalties or not to the project owners. Buyers have the choice of paying full, half, or no royalties when they purchase an NFT.
Benefits of using Magic Eden
Magic Eden offers very low transaction fees at 1.5%. This rate is lower than even the most competitive of its rivals, such as OpenSea, which charges 2.5%, making Magic Eden a popular choice among NFT traders.
The project also has a well-developed user interface with a richer array of features than many of its rivals, such as auctions and the gaming platform. The strict vetting process for creators and listings means there’s a lower chance of encountering scams or low-quality projects than on rival platforms that don’t operate the same procedure.
Incidents and controversies
NFT platforms are subject to ongoing controversies regarding creator royalties, which creators generally support but some traders have objected to. When it launched, Magic Eden had been a proponent of creator fees and, in September 2022, announced the creation of a suite of tools designed to help creators protect royalties. A month later, in the face of increasing pressure from competitors that were abolishing creator fees, Magic Eden announced it would make royalties optional.
In December 2022, Magic Eden appeared to change course again when it announced it was launching the Open Creator Protocol, an open-source tool that gives creators more ways to protect royalties, including giving creators the option of banning the sale of their NFTs on marketplaces that don’t support royalties.
Magic Eden essentials
- Magic Eden is an NFT marketplace which supports assets issued on Solana, Ethereum, and Polygon.
- Magic Eden offers various extra features, such as auctions and a gaming platform, in addition to its core functionality as a primary and secondary marketplace for NFT trading.
- Low fees and the strict vetting process have helped Magic Eden’s popularity. However, the project has struggled to maintain its support for creator royalties amid competition.