OpenSea gears up for the Web 3.0 NFT marketplace race with the Seaport protocol
Last weekend, OpenSea announced its Web 3.0 NFT marketplace protocol Seaport, an open-source protocol aiming to equip all builders, creators, and collectors of NFTs. OpenSea entered the decentralized NFT trading from a technical point of view, trying to consolidate its market leadership in the industry.
- OpenSea’s brand new protocol aims to provide market participants with a decentralized NFT transaction experience leveraging smart contracts.
- Seaport protocol features flexible payment methods, bundled transactions, a “tipping” system, and more.
- OpenSea currently has a cumulative transaction volume of $30.42 billion. This upgrade demonstrates the determination to consolidate its market leadership.
- LooksRare, with an all-time trading volume reaching $23 billion, continues to challenge OpenSea’s leadership in the NFT marketplace industry.
A closer look at OpenSea’s optimization
It is no exaggeration to say that OpenSea pioneered how people trade NFTs today. They have dominated the marketplace with their Amazon-like platform and are looking to consolidate their leadership in the industry.
The world’s first and largest NFT marketplace introduced Seaport, an open-source protocol with decentralization and flexibility at its core. Instead of just being a medium between sellers and buyers, Seaport utilizes smart contracts to bring more freedom to users and allow them to set specific transaction terms for NFT trading.
For example, with Seaport, NFT sellers (or fulfillers, dubbed in the announcement) have the option to fulfill (sell) any number of listings at once, which enables the elimination of redundant transfers and allows for “novel and efficient transactions”. Features that grab the users’ attention also include a “tipping” mechanism, where a “fulfiller” can include additional items when fulfilling a listing.
Notably, OpenSea stressed in the announcement that Seaport was built in the hope that it lays the foundation for many visionary market participants. The open-source protocol is for anyone who’s working towards a Web 3.0 marketplace. What OpenSea has built is the groundwork for future contributions that can unlock more innovative use cases and unleash NFTs’ potential.
A race for the NFT marketplace crown?
In January this year, an upstart NFT platform called LooksRare came into being, challenging the throne of OpenSea with a vampire attack. LooksRare successfully attracted a large number of users from OpenSea by letting them claim LOOKS tokens for free. Since then, the NFT marketplace competition has become a duet rather than OpenSea’s one-man show.
Remarkably, LooksRare gained traction due to its revenue decentralization model, where the platform’s revenue is 100% distributed among LOOKS token stakers. Unfortunately, this inevitably resulted in wash trading, which means users sell NFTs to themselves just to earn rewards rather than out of actual market demand.
The NFT space has never lacked criticism for its bubbles and speculation. Perhaps we should reflect on whether it’s too early to introduce revenue decentralization before infrastructure decentralization is well established.
Back to OpenSea’s announcement, it is perhaps a relief that the NFT giant chose to build a Web 3.0 future through technology instead of provoking another wave of speculation frenzy.
The NFT industry has witnessed rapid development over the past two years, with top marketplaces generating billions of dollars in volume. However, aside from fractal NFTs, innovation in terms of transaction forms doesn’t seem to be very exciting. Hopefully, the introduction of Seaport can ignite creativity in this field.