NFT market share battle escalates between OpenSea and Blur

2023 has seen increasing competition in the non-fungible token (NFT) space as different markets compete for creators and collectors.

OpenSea has been the forerunner of NFT markets since its launch in December 2017. It continues to dominate the NFT scene: as of last week, it had over 34,000 ETH in trading volume worth around $56 million, according to the Nansen blockchain data analysis platform. But the competing market Blur has gained considerable momentum among JPEG slingers since its debut in October.

Known for its zero trading fees and “floor sweeping” of the market, Blur has become the second largest NFT marketplace in just a few months by volume. For the week ending February 6, Blur’s NFT volumes were over 9,200 ETH worth approximately $15.2 million, representing over 25% of OpenSea’s volume, according to Nansen.

ETH volume of different NFT markets.

Market overview

OpenSea’s top five NFT projects by volume over the past 30 days include Sewer Pass, Memes by 6529, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), and Checks – VV Edition.

By comparison, Blur’s top five NFT projects by volume over the past 30 days include MAYC, Azuki, BoredApeKennelClub, BAYC, and Otherdeed for Otherside, all high-volume collections.

While OpenSea and Blur have two overlapping NFT projects, namely BAYC and MAYC, the average market cap of Blur’s top five is 270,109 ETH, while the average market cap of OpenSea for its top five is 94,400 as of press time Tuesday. Blur having a higher average market cap for its top five NFT collections suggests that professional NFT traders use Blur more often than OpenSea.

Nansen’s “simian psychometric enhancement technician,” Andrew Thurman, told CoinDesk via Telegram, “Blur wins some high-volume collections, like Apes and derivatives, and dominates with Azukis. OpenSea has a broader reach with new collections and things like Sewer Passes.

Sales and portfolios

Blur has reached over 25% of OpenSea’s volume, and yet the number of NFT sales and wallets in Blur’s market is decreasing compared to OpenSea, indicating that NFT traders with large holdings prefer the market without Blur fee.

The number of sales on Blur for the week ending Feb. 6 was 20,603, or about 9% of OpenSea’s total number of sales, which is around 228,000, according to Nansen data. And when looking at the number of wallets interacting with the two NFT marketplaces, a similar pattern emerges: the number of wallets interacting with OpenSea is 11 times higher than those connected to Blur, demonstrating how OpenSea dominates Blur.

“Overall, this tells me [OpenSea] still dominates retailers and volume, but big budget whales looking to flip more expensive coins are bringing their business to Blur,” Thurman told CoinDesk via Telegram.

Blur, after months of consistently releasing its BLUR tokens to users for varying levels of engagement, has announced that it will launch its BLUR governance token on February 14.

A spokesperson for OpenSea declined to comment, while Blur did not return a request for comment until press time.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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