April 26, 2023 - 16 min read
Polygon is perhaps the most popular Layer-2 blockchain in the industry today. Polygon’s token, MATIC, consistently ranks among the top crypto assets by market cap, and the chain also ranks among the top chains for DeFi as measured by TVL (total value locked). Therefore, it’s little surprise that Polygon also ranks among the top blockchains for NFTs. Quite a few marketplaces now allow users to buy and sell Polygon NFTs, and that list is only growing.
This article will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of using Polygon for NFTs as well as review some of the industry’s top Polygon NFT marketplaces, looking at their popularity, interoperability, pros, cons, and other important factors.
Like other Layer-2 chains, Polygon is designed to offer higher transaction speeds and significantly lower gas costs than Ethereum itself while simultaneously inheriting most of the security from the Ethereum mainnet. Some of the top benefits of using Polygon for NFTs include:
While Polygon does have a variety of benefits for NFT buying, selling, and minting, it also has some drawbacks as well. One potential drawback is the centralization of the Polygon network. While Polygon does, in theory, inherit most of the security of the Ethereum mainnet, this doesn’t quite work out in practice, as Polygon currently only has 15 validators compared to Ethereum’s 300,000+ validators. This means it only takes a few corrupted nodes to drastically alter the Polygon network.
This limited number of nodes could allow bad actors or criminals to reverse transactions, steal money or NFTs from wallets, or even try to shut down the entire network. However, the small number of nodes doesn’t tell the entire story; Polygon has recently switched to DAO governance, where their proof-of-personhood ID tool allows for a one-person, one-vote governance system, which does contribute significantly to the network’s decentralization.
Another potential drawback of using Polygon NFTs is that they often have to be bridged back and forth from Ethereum. For example, if you have an Ethereum NFT that you want to transfer to Polygon, you’ll need to use a bridge (which may be unreliable) and pay a gas fee in order to do so. In addition, some marketplaces may require you to pay in Polygon bridged ETH, which means that you’ll also need to bridge your ETH (or sometimes, another crypto) in order to purchase Polygon NFTs.
If you sell a Polygon NFT, you may also receive Polygon bridged ETH, which you may need to bridge back to the Ethereum mainnet in order to send it back to an exchange and cash out. Withdrawing funds from a Polygon bridge can also take a while, with many transactions taking more than four hours to complete.
Now that we’ve discussed some of the pros and cons of using Polygon NFTs, let’s get down to business and discuss some of the best Polygon marketplaces of 2023.
As we’ve already mentioned, OpenSea is the king (and queen) when it comes to NFT marketplaces, with the highest amount of NFT transaction volume and NFT sales (in dollars) in the industry. It’s also the leader in NFT In addition, many top collections, such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club, initially sell their NFTs mainly (or sometimes exclusively) on OpenSea. OpenSea is also relatively easy to use. While OpenSea, was, for a while, an exclusively Ethereum-based NFT marketplace, it’s now transitioned to accept NFTs from a variety of blockchains, and (in addition to Ethereum and Polygon) now offers support for the Solana, Arbitrum, Optimism, Avalanche, Klaytn, and BNB blockchains.
It should be noted, however, that OpenSea’s Polygon integration hasn’t been flawless. For instance, OpenSea only accepts Polygon ETH for transactions (not the MATIC token itself), so users must bridge their ETH to the Polygon network before buying. OpenSea also charges a 2.5% fee for all transactions, higher than many other marketplaces.
Rarible is among the top 10 NFT marketplaces by popularity and sales volume and hosts a wide variety of exclusive NFT collections, including Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and Azuki. Unlike market leader OpenSea, however, Raribe is relatively decentralized and is currently governed by a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). Rarible was also the first NFT marketplace to launch a token, RARI. The RARI token is used for both decentralized (DAO) governance as well as to provide users with trading rewards.
In terms of fees, Rarible is much less expensive than marketplaces like OpenSea, as it only charges a 1% fee on the buyer side and a 1% fee on the seller side. Rarible also allows users to enforce royalties for the NFTs, so each time an NFT is sold, a portion of the sales proceeds go back to the original creator.
In addition to Polygon and Ethereum, also supports the popular Solana and Tezos blockchains, so it doesn’t quite support as many chains as OpenSea, but it does plan to add support for more blockchains in the near future.
Rarible’s support for Polygon is relatively new, as it only began supporting Polygon NFTs in early 2023. It should be noted that, unlike traditional NFT marketplaces, Rarible acts as both a core marketplace and an aggregator, meaning that it pulls listings from other marketplaces, like OpenSea and the Tezos-based NFT marketplaces Versum, Objkt, fxhash, and Teia.
Unlike many of the other NFT marketplaces on this list, PlayDapp is primarily focused on providing a decentralized ecosystem that allows both Web2 and Web3 games to easily launch their own NFTs. Like Rarible, PlayDapp has its own ERC-20 utility token (PLA), though it’s not governed by a DAO, making it significantly more centralized than Rarible (and more akin to OpenSea).
Like Rarible, however, PlayDapp does offer trading rewards to encourage more users to utilize the platform, as well as providing rewards for players who complete in-game quests and other challenges. Rarible also offers rewards in its PLA token to developers each time a user downloads a game using the Playdapp marketplace. Despite its focus on developers, like other marketplaces, PlayDapp still provides easy-to-use functionality to regular users who simply want to buy and sell NFTs.
As an integrated ecosystem, rather than just a marketplace, PlayDapp provides an easy-to-use SDK (software development kit) that allows game developers to seamlessly integrate with the Playdapp marketplace and add NFTs to their games.
Popular games offered on PlayDapp include CrytpoDozer, DozerBird, Dozer Treasures, Along With The Gods, Homerun Challenge, ASTA, and Blade Waltz.
NFTrade is an NFT marketplace focusing on being chain agnostic, as it allows users to buy and sell NFTs from nearly all NFT-compatible blockchains using its cross-chain transaction/cross-chain swap service. Like Rarible, NFTrade is an aggregator for all popular NFT marketplaces, but unlike Rarible and OpenSea, it also allows for NFT farming and lending, as well as for cross-chain NFT swaps. Notably, NFTrade is the first major NFT marketplace to offer functionality for Kusama NFTs.
Refinable is another extremely popular NFT marketplace. Unlike many NFT marketplaces (such as OpenSea), which are primarily built on Etheruem, Refinable’s core structure is built on Binance Smart Chain (BSC), which provides the marketplace additional speed and can reduce transaction prices, albeit at the cost of a higher degree of centralization. Despite being built on BSC, Refinable is a multi-chain marketplace that allows users to trade Ethereum, Polygon, and BSC NFTs, just to name a few.
Refinable also has a strong focus on empowering NFT collections to market their NFTs effectively, as it allows creators to create custom storefronts to add a unique touch to their collections. Unlike most NFT marketplaces, Refinable offers a fiat checkout option, which is ideal for non-crypto native users who want to purchase one of their first NFTs or even regular crypto users who simply want to save time and gas fees by transacting in fiat rather than crypto.
Unlike the other NFT marketplaces on this list, Candy Shop isn’t exactly an NFT marketplace; instead, it’s a series of open-source tools that allows anyone to launch their own cross-chain NFT marketplace. Users have launched 190+ NFT shops using Candy Shop’s easy-to-use SDK (software development kit).
They also offer a no-code solution that allows users to launch an NFT store on Ethereum, Polygon, and Solana without writing a single line of code. Due to its high level of interoperability, NFT stores and marketplaces developed with Candy Shop allow users to buy and sell NFTs using any SPL or EVM-compatible tokens across all three supported blockchains, meaning that users can transact in hundreds of different cryptocurrencies.
TofuNFT (tofuNFT) bills itself as the world’s largest multichain NFT marketplace and has a strong focus on allowing users to easily buy and sell GameFi NFTs. The marketplace is perhaps the most interoperable on this list, as it’s compatible with more than 30 EVM-compatible public blockchains. These include Ethereum, Polygon, BNB Smart Chain, Avalanche, Fantom, and Arbitrum. The tofuNFT team also plans to support more chains in the near future. Right now, the marketplace only permits transactions in each chain’s core cryptocurrency, though they plan to allow support for more cryptocurrencies soon.
Some of the more popular collections on tofuNFT include Catgirl NFT, Daffy Panda Ganging Up, YuliMysteryBox, IguverseNFT, and YuliOriginGenOne.
NFTKey is a decentralized, Ethereum-based NFT marketplace that supports a variety of EVM-compatible blockchains, including Fantom, Harmony One, BNB Smart Chain, Avalanche, Polygon, and of course, Ethereum itself. Like other decentralized marketplaces, all purchase and sale transactions are completely peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions facilitated by NFTKey’s interoperable smart contracts. NFTKey also does not have centralized servers, meaning it has a high degree of centralization compared to many other marketplaces.
NFTKey is a semi-open source platform, meaning anyone can interface with its smart contracts. While NFTKey’s decentralization is considered a benefit by most people, it cannot subsidize gas fees like semi-centralized marketplaces such as OpenSea. This means that transactions can often be more expensive. As of Q2 2023, NFTKey had more than 90 Polygon-based collections advertised on its marketplace. Popular Polygon NFT collections on NFTKey include Martian Colonists Polygon, MarsColony Polygon, and LazyApes Poly.
Element calls itself the first community-driven decentralized NFT aggregation marketplace and was created to increase liquidity in NFT markets and provide lower gas fees for users. Somewhat like Rarible, Element is an aggregator, meaning that it pulls listings from marketplaces from a variety of popular blockchains, including Ethereum, Avalanche, Solana, BNB Chain, and, of course, Polygon.
Unlike most NFT marketplaces, users can select multiple collections using the marketplace’s interface and purchase more than NFTs in a single transaction, which is easier and can save the buyer significant gas costs. Element also provides real-time tracking and updating of on-chain data such as floor price, transaction volume, number of pending orders, number of whale positions, and other data. While it’s true that buyers can find this data elsewhere, having it all in one place can make things easier and more efficient for users.
Hodl My Moon is a social NFT platform, but, unlike most of the marketplaces on this list, it solely focuses on allowing users to buy and sell Polygon NFTs. While this focus is commendable, it does make the platform slightly limiting for users. On the positive side, Hodl My Moon’s social aspect allows users to follow their contacts and have feeds where they can post their latest NFTs and talk about them. It’s also one of the fastest NFT platforms to use, as users can reportedly create an NFT and see it on-chain in less than one minute. As of now, the platform has relatively few users, so it’s not yet clear whether it will have a major impact on the Polygon NFT market, but the social aspect of the marketplace certainly makes it interesting to watch.
Wen Moon Market is a multi-chain NFT marketplace that currently supports the main Ethereum blockchain as well as Layer-2s Polygon, Arbitrum, and Optimism. Wen Moon Market is one of the newest marketplaces on this list, as it launched in December 2022. Despite being a newcomer to the industry, Wen Moon Market already lists a variety of prominent NFT collections, including Mutant Ape Yacht Club, VibrantApesClub, and Bored Ted Yacht Club.
Lootex describes itself as “a player-centric cross-chain NFT trading platform that shares the latest blockchain game info.” Lootex supports NFTs on several blockchains, including Ethereum, BNB Chain, Polygon, Avalanche, and Arbitrum. The marketplace features NFTs from a variety of popular blockchain games, such as The Sandbox, Ember Sword, My Crypto Heroes, Splinterlands, Tap Fantasy, and PolkaFantasy. It lists NFTs in multiple categories, including ACG (animation, comics, and games), Adventure, Card, Metaverse, RPG, Sports, and Collectibles. Some of the most popular NFT collections currently trading on Lootex include PolyPunks, Block Monsters, RPS League, and Cheems Inu.
AirNFTs describes itself as a “Multichain NFT marketplace built on Binance Smart Chain, Fantom, Ethereum, and Polygon.” It boasts faster transaction times than most other marketplaces, as well as generally having fees under $1. AirNFTs has its own token, AIRT, which can be earned as a reward for staking and trading NFTs, as well as providing creators royalties for secondary sales. The marketplace’s rewards program also allows users to earn rewards in BNB, FTM, MATIC, and ETH.
Unlike most other Polygon NFT marketplaces, AirNFTs also has its own internal launchpad, where creators can apply to raise money via INOs (Initial NFT Offerings) in order to jumpstart their projects. Top collections currently selling on AirNFTs include Launchpad Air Squad, CRYPTO RAPPER GIRLS, Dreamcars Collection, GAS SQUAD, and Inflatable Dolls.
Like some other marketplaces on this list, Treasureland is both an NFT marketplace and a multi-chain NFT aggregation protocol. According to the company’s website, it aims to be the “eBay of blockchain”. Treasurland supports the Polygon, Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Moonrivier, and IoTex blockchains. Some of the top collections currently selling on Treasureland include BabySwap NFB, LatteSwap OG NFT, CakePunks, Metamon, Treasureland, Binopoly NFT, and Memenopoly. It has a strong focus on NFT collections that involve trading cards.
GhostMarket, founded in 2020, claims to be the industry’s “first multi-chain NFT marketplace.”
Unlike most other NFT marketplaces, GhostMarket started by supporting only the niche Phantasma and the NEO blockchains but has since expanded to supporting Ethereum Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, and Avalanche. One benefit of the marketplace is that it supports three unique auction types’ Classic Auctions, Reserve Auctions, and Dutch Auctions, giving sellers a wide variety of options on how they wish to sell their NFTs.
Classic Auctions allow the highest bidder within a certain time frame to win, Reserve Auctions begin with a starting price, and when a bid equal to or higher than the starting price is placed, a 24-hour countdown begins, with the highest bid winning. In contrast, Dutch Auctions involve a starting price and ending price, though that price continues to decrease from the starting price towards the ending price during the allotted time period. In a Dutch Auction, the first bid higher than the end price wins.
Despite this flexibility, GhostMarket does have somewhat high fees for both buyers and sellers, as they charge each party a 2% fee for each NFT sold, which is relatively close to OpenSea’s 2.5%. However, unlike most NFT marketplaces GhostMarket allows the purchase of cryptocurrencies using a credit card, which can then be used to purchase NFTs from the marketplace. GhostMarket has its own governance token, GhostMarket (GM), though it’s not clear if this token is currently utilized in any kind of rewards program.
As the largest Layer-2 blockchain, Polygon has a robust developer base, a strong community, and a growing user base– so it’s little surprise that it’s one of the fastest-growing blockchains for NFTs. Due to this, in the last year, many Ethereum-based NFT marketplaces, like OpenSea and Rarible, have added compatibility for Polygon NFTs. In addition, many marketplaces that have built themselves around multi-chain interoperability have included Polygon as a core chain. Some marketplaces, like Hodl My Moon, even exclusively sell Polygon NFTs.
Due to its low transaction costs and high speeds, we can likely continue to expect Polygon NFTs– and the marketplaces that sell them, to keep growing in the near future. However, Polygon isn’t the only Layer-2 (or Layer-1) with growing NFT transaction volumes. Therefore, Polygon NFTs could face increasingly fierce competition from Layer-2s like Optimism and Arbitrum, as well as Layer-1s like Solana and Binance Smart Chain– all of which have the lofty goal of unseating Ethereum as the world’s number one blockchain for NFTs.
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