The battle is on for the NFT marketplace leader, as one of the newest contenders, Blur, has aggressively pitted OpenSea’s top spot after launching its native token last month.
The pro trading NFT marketplace held 64.5% market share in February 2023 across leading marketplaces analyzed in the latest Balthazar NFT Marketplace Update.
The total volume across these five NFT marketplaces (OpenSea, LooksRare, Solanart, X2Y2 and Blur) has almost doubled (90.8%) in February 2023 compared to January 2023, to US$2.06 billion. It was largely due to Blur’s US$1.33 billion of trading volume in February.
This is the highest level of combined trading volume since May 2022, although it’s far from February 2022 trading volume of US$5.01 billion.
John Stefanidis, Co-founder and CEO of Balthazar, admires Blur’s disruptive marketing approach – which includes more incentives and liquidity of its airdrop – but believes it’s unsustainable.
“What blur is doing is exciting because it’s offering a better user experience and a more creative go-to-market approach. Going up against OpenSea, which has been such a huge brand and a pillar of the NFT space, is really an impressive feat. But it’s important to keep incentivizing creators as it can be quite destructive to the potential continuity of innovative NFT projects if there’s not enough in it for the creators.
“Taking that away in the short-term might be a great way to drive attention to the creators, even though they’re trading off on royalties. For example, they might be one of the first projects to go live on Blur. But it’s important that we continue to reward creators.
“The fact that trading volume is up at the same level as May last year is impressive, as it shows that customers are happy and there is demand. It shows that new players coming through with disruptive approaches are good for the space.
“We’re also seeing more legitimate projects that are higher quality with more transparent teams. The NFT market has shifted away from predominantly profile picture projects and we’re seeing a lot more game projects come to market.”
February 2023 trading volume across the five marketplaces combined increased by 90.8% from US$1.08 billion in January 2023 to US$2.06 billion in February.
Blur saw the biggest jump, by 179.4% to US$1.33 billion in February, from US$476.46 million in January.
OpenSea saw US$363.98 million in February 2023, up by 9.6% from January 2023 (US$332.21 million). While X2Y2 recorded less than OpenSea in February (US$333.91), it saw an increase of 43.3% from January 2023 (US$233.05 million). And LooksRare and Solanart both saw declines in trade volume in February compared to January.
Size of Each Marketplace
Blur is leading with 64.5% share across the five NFT marketplaces. It was followed by OpenSea with 17.6%, X2Y2 was closely behind with 16.2%, while LooksRare held 1.7% and Solanart with 0.01%.
Number of Users
There were 1.13 million users across the five marketplaces in February 2023, 3.9% more than January 2023 (1.08 million). Interestingly, OpenSea still has more users than the other marketplaces, with 750,874 recorded in February, although this has fallen by 14.8% since January, while Blur has more than doubled its user base over the same period, to 348,940.
Number of trades
The total number of trades across the five marketplaces was 2.54 million in February 2023. This was 26.8% lower than the previous month, largely from OpenSea falling by 1.29 million trades or 41.9%.
Blur was the only marketplace out of the five marketplaces analyzed that saw an increase in the number of trades. It recorded 713,896 trades in February, an increase of 131.5% (from 405,570 in January 2023).
All five marketplaces saw an increase to their average trade size in February 2023 compared to the previous month. The average trade in February 2023 across the five marketplaces combined was US$4,464, up by 178.3% compared to January 2023 (US$1,604).
X2Y2 held the largest average trade size out of the five marketplaces, of US$14,357, which jumped by 262.3% month-on-month. Solanart saw the largest percentage increase of 276.8%, although it held the smallest average trade size of US$172 in February.