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15 December 2022

How to Create NFT Marketplace like OpenSea?

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OpenSea is the biggest and most popular platform for straightforward and secure NFT trading. In January 2022, the company’s value hit 13 billion dollars, and the monthly revenue was about 2.5 billion dollars. This article will tell you how to develop an NFT marketplace like OpenSea and how much it will cost. 

How do NFT marketplaces function?

NFT marketplace is a decentralized platform that allows creating, storing, and trading of non-fungible tokens. The platforms focus on selling digital assets, like works of art, animations, videos, music, texts, games, and domains. However, these are not necessarily digital products; NFT marketplaces allow tokenizing physical assets too. For instance, one can create a token for autos, real estate, collectibles, tech products, furniture, etc. 

These platforms function just like typical online shops. You register an account, pick up a product, and buy it. However, NFT marketplaces are particular because the smart contracts provide the operation, and all data about the deal is encrypted in a blockchain. Hence, if the smart contract is reliable, security is guaranteed. The idea is simple, yet integrating it into a blockchain is not. 

The main difficulties are in the backend of the platform:

How to develop an NFT marketplace like OpenSea?

If you intend to launch an OpenSea NFT marketplace clone, we recommend starting with the business part. First, you will need to define who is your target audience and what solutions your platform can offer to the users. Next, you should determine the business model and the website's function. After this, you might proceed with the development.

1. Select a niche

As the NFT sector is crowded with various digital platforms, and we do not recommend developing a platform that would directly compete with the market leaders. The best choice is to pick a relatively new niche with fewer competitors, even though it is not that much advertised and famous like the digital art market. This approach will allow you to start a personalized marketing strategy and create a more effective interface design which will save you money and effort to attract and lead users to your NFT platform. 

Here are several promising niches for NFT marketplaces:

2. Hire competent developers

To develop an OpenSea NFT marketplace clone, you will need a strong development team, like Merehead. We can help with the implementation of the technical part of the project. The team should understand blockchain technology and have several projects related to NFT marketplace development in the portfolio. That’s precisely what we are. 

In the article "How to choose an NFT development company?", we have described where to search for a team and what criteria to consider while analyzing a candidate. Also, it is worth mentioning that it is better to hire developers from Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, Mexico, or Slovakia, since the developers from these countries offer the best price-quality pair, according to Skill Value research. 

Skill Value report result, based on 550+ technical assessments. Source.

3. Characterize the business model of your website

OpenSea makes money from the payment for services. Each time a digital asset is successfully traded on the platform, it charges a fee. The fee is 2.5%. If an NFT costs $100, Open Sea receives $2.5. The platform charges a fee for gas from both buyers and sellers to cover the cost of the transaction. It became possible to create NFTs on OpenSea for free since the platform started using its blockchain.

Briefly about OpenSea business model. Source.

4. Determine the supported blockchains

In a perfect world, your OpenSea NFT marketplace clone should support all popular blockchains. The integration of these blockchains requires a lot of time, money, and effort; hence it is better to pick one or several more appropriate solutions, and then add the others. 

Here is the comparison of the most popular blockchains for NFT minting:

5. Define the function of the NFT marketplace

Indispensable functions for all NFT trading platforms. Source.

Any trading platform has at least two types of users: administrators and buyers/sellers. The administrators manage the platform, work on the settings, and solve issues. The sellers and buyers use the platform to trade assets and services. Hence, while developing your NFT marketplace you will need to think about what functions you will offer to your users. 

Here is the list of functions for the users on an NFT marketplace:

Here is the list of functions for the administration of the NFT marketplace:

6. Develop the prototypes and the design

While creating an NFT marketplace design, UX/UI has an influential meaning, since they will define whether the users like your platform or not. Furthermore, it will determine whether they will use your platform to buy and sell non-fungible tokens, or they will prefer another. 

Developing a design starts with prototyping. This is a process when the designers experiment, they do brainstorming to come up with ideas and concepts for the design. Then they test them on potential users. As a result, they will have prototypes of the user interfaces, and an informational structure of the upcoming platform.

An example of an informational structure of BigFan — a marketplace for sports NFTs.

7. Create a Minimum Viable Product

After developing a user interface design, you might proceed with the development of the marketplace, namely coding. As a rule, a Minimum Viable Product is created at this stage. Hence, it allows trying the concept, and enhancing the usability of the product with minimal investment. Furthermore, MVP helps to enter the market relatively fast, which is super important for launching a product in such a young sector as NFT. 

The programmers create the MVP or the entire platform with the means of programming languages and instruments. It is worth mentioning that frontend (user interface) and backend (server) employ different sets of programming languages and instruments. 

Here is an example of the technological stack for backend development of an NFT marketplace
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