The rise of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) is nothing short of incredible and in order to enable ownership of these digital masterpieces, there are a handful of marketplaces where you should direct your gaze.

With cryptocurrency beginning to enter the mainstream, authenticated ownership of a piece of art or trading card, for example, is a viable and profitable way to grow ones digital assets.

Indeed, it’s not too much of a stretch to suggest that we are fast approaching a real mainstream ‘moment.’ There truly is no turning back, the future is now.

Dapper Labs

One of the drivers in the NFT game is the Dapper Labs marketplace. They began back creating CryptoKitties in 2017. For the uninitiated, the phenomenon was essentially a digital cat-breeding app which ran on an Ethereum blockchain.

They are a startup from Vancouver, and have a major licensing deal with the NBA.

NBA Top Shot are a set of digital trading cards which not only capture key in-play moments, but have captured the attention of the buying public, with some selling for in excess of £100,000.

Building their own blockchain protocol has ensured that Dapper Labs are in pole position to capitalise on the NFT trend, and crypto in general, in a way that few other companies can.

“People forget how [CEO] Roham [Gharegozlou] and Dieter pulled the company forward in some pretty dark times and they were able to raise the capital when no one believed in crypto and NFTs,” founding partner at Dapper Labs, Boris Wertz, said.

For the immediate future, Dapper Labs understands that a more robust blockchain is needed to run their planned future apps, though there’s no doubting they’re here to stay.

OpenSea

One of the most well-known NFT marketplaces is OpenSea. It also began life in 2017, but has exploded in popularity over recent weeks.

Having opened with a $2m investment round from Founders Fund, the startup recently announced a $23m round spearheaded by Andreessen Horowitz, and with angels and the likes of Mark Cuban, Naval Ravikant, Alexis Ohanian, Linda Xie and Dylan Field also involved.

In February, OpenSea announced support for more efficient Tezos-based NFTs, but the main challenge for the marketplace is ensuring that more users want to buy NFTs to own rather than to quickly ‘flip’ for a profit.

It’s perhaps no suprise that a flippers market already exists, and the threat to genuine buyers is very real.

For OpenSea to expand, this could heavily depend on further adoption among certain gaming giants and larger media companies, as well as a more efficient proof-of-stake for the Ethereum blockchain which the company depend on.

A number of NFT artists on the platform have already be criticised for not prioritising environmental worries over the specific challenges of certain proofs.

Nifty

The Nifty Gateway marketplace is so called because ‘nifties’ is an elongated way of saying NFTs.

Twins, Duncan and Griffin Cock Foster, are the founders and their company is the go-to site for digital art.

It’s where some of the most limited-edition collections are found and regularly released.

It’s another blockchain-based platform where some of the most sought after collectibles and fine art can be found. Movers and shakers in the NFT game — artists such Jon Burgerman, Kenny Scharf and Cey Adams — can all be found here.

It’s been too easy in the past for digital artists to be ripped off, but Nifty seem to have that area locked down, hence its continued popularity.

Uniswap, Rarible, ConsenSYS and Sorare are four other NFT marketplaces that make up the top seven, and between them, they own an incredible 68.1% of all capital invested.

So, what are you buying… ?!

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