The most active cryptocurrency marketplaces and information about how they work. They utilize blockchain technology and smart contracts for buying products online.
A Brief History of Crypto Marketplaces
Since Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention of Bitcoin, blockchain enabled marketplaces have come and gone. In the beginning, they were more infamously known for their black market trades.
One of the more popular marketplaces was the Silk Road, which notoriously allowed vendors to sell illegal drugs in exchange for Bitcoin. Although it was built in a centralized manner, it was operated as a server hidden on the Tor network, and the identities of buyers and sellers were hidden by the use of Bitcoin. It was shut down by the FBI in 2013.
With the 2017 boom in ICOs came a resurgence in the idea of utilizing cryptocurrencies within e-commerce marketplaces. Post-boom, there was the crypto bubble pop of 2018, and what followed was a period where many of those new projects collapsed.
The emergence of new or surviving crypto marketplaces followed, rising from the ashes. Let’s dive in now and take a look at the top 3 most active crypto marketplaces today.
1) Open Sea
Alexa traffic ranking: 20,482 (Dec. 2nd, 2019)
Open Sea is a peer-to-peer store that allows users to buy, sell, and trade digital goods known as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). They use smart contracts to create a safe transactional environment within their marketplace. A smart contract is a computer program that has conditioned rules for the exchange of digital currencies or assets between parties.
Popular with gaming dapps (decentralized apps) looking to sell their NFTs, the marketplace is primarily used to purchase enhancements within a game environment. This is similar to how World of Warcraft sells gaming equipment for its characters, except Open Sea allows the selling of these items outside of games.
Open Sea utilizes the Ethereum blockchain and transactions occur in either ETH or customized ERC20 tokens. If you are one of these gamers or inspiring game builders, Open Sea might be your perfect tool to trade digital collectibles. However, if you’re looking for physical goods, you will need to look elsewhere.
2) Open Bazaar
Alexa traffic ranking: 304,704 (Dec. 2nd, 2019)
Openbazaar is an open source peer-to-peer network not owned by a company or organization. It has no intermediaries and thus no restrictions or fees.
Each seller controls their own store and data, and each user contributes to the network equally. It currently supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Zcash, and has plans to support more cryptocurrencies in the future.
Openbazaar has some unique features currently available, such as: inventory tracking, a live chat application, various shipping options, product variants and order management systems. The marketplace is clearly ahead of others when it comes to the buying and selling of real goods.
In order to reach their mobile audience, the OpenBazaar team has recently released their newly developed app Gethaven.
While these two may be good options if you want to deal in physical goods, digital goods are not available, and it’s difficult to establish yourself as a brand on open source software.
Alexa traffic ranking: 464,007 (Dec 2nd, 2019)
Originprotocol brings a frictionless user experience for the online shopping world. Similar to Openbazaar, Originprotocol also claims no intermediaries and utilizes a protocol built on the Ethereum blockchain. This replaces a centralized business to connect users and vendors, thus cutting fees designated in today’s centralized systems.
Users and vendors can transact Ethereum or Maker Dai, and, soon, their own Origin token which is preparing for launch. The marketplace showcases mostly rentals but also has gift cards or smaller items like t-shirts and hats..
What stands out the most is their team’s heavily backed experience with Paypal, Google, Youtube and Dropbox, including heavily-invested Silicon Valley VC firms as part of it. Although they are still young, expect more to come from this project.
If what you want is more freedom to transact in multiple currencies, however, you might need to keep looking.
The crypto marketplace industry is in its infancy phase, means there is more room to grow. Let’s look at some honorable mentions of projects up and coming in the scene.
Currently available only on desktop, Particl is built upon its own protocol and is working to accept multiple currencies within its own Particl wallet. It’s peer-to-peer decentralized solution also cuts out the intermediaries and protects user data.
More of a competitor to Opensea, Emoon is a marketplace for NFTs which features dapp crypto assets for sale. Emoon is also built upon the Ethereum blockchain for the use of both erc20 and erc721.
Unlike other crypto marketplaces, Sidekick focuses more on the seamless integration of communication, payments, and e-commerce for digital and physical goods and services. Their three-in-one solution also comes without its own Blockchain or native token, instead choosing to support many of the currencies users know and love.
Look out for their private beta coming soon.