longtime leader NFT market OpenSea has launched a new tactic in its battle against upstart rival Blurannouncing today the launch of OpenSea Pro– a market with more robust trading tools than the standard version, no more market fees (for now) and plans for NFT-based trading rewards.
OpenSea Pro is a renamed and extended version of Gem V2, the upgraded version of the NFT market aggregator that it acquired in April 2022. At the time, co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer viewed the move as a move to acquire “more experienced ‘pro’ users.”
Under the new name, OpenSea Pro is still priced as a separate product from the standard market, although now under the same brand. According to a announcement postOpenSea Pro aggregates listings from over 170 NFT marketplaces large and small, including notable platforms like Blur, LooksRare, and X2Y2.
Today we are excited to unveil OpenSea Pro (formerly Gem v2) – the fastest and most powerful NFT market aggregator in the industry! A bit of history in the 🧵 below https://t.co/bjpBKSyNZo
—OpenSea (@opensea) April 4, 2023
It also provides users with more flexibility when searching for NFT listings and managing their digital asset inventory, as well as aggregating open NFT collection deals across markets.
OpenSea’s main marketplace recently reduced its typical platform fee by 2.5% amid the rise of rival Blur, which surpassed OpenSea in terms of NFT transaction volume in February. The company announced today that OpenSea will reinstate its standard fees as part of the launch of OpenSea Pro, while the Pro platform will instead offer temporary 0% fees to traders.
In terms of creator royalties, OpenSea Pro will maintain OpenSea’s current model of only charging a minimum royalty of 0.5% on projects that do not use a chain application method. Sellers can choose to pay more than 0.5% if they wish. A royalty is a fee paid to the original NFT creator and is usually set at 5-10% of the secondary sale price.
Blur’s rise to the top of the NFT space is fueled in large part by BLUR token rewards paid to merchants, to the tune of over $200 million in tokens at the initial airdrop in February. OpenSea doesn’t have a token and doesn’t seem to be going that route, but it will offer another kind of reward for OpenSea Pro traders.
OpenSea will “[chart] a different course by presenting NFTs as rewards,” according to a blog post, though the company has yet to reveal details. Along with the reward NFTs, OpenSea will also be giving away a free “Gemesis” NFT mint to users who purchased an NFT through Gem before March 31.
Despite losing the top spot in terms of trading volume in the NFT market, OpenSea still has more active users than Blur – nearly 91,000 unique Ethereum wallets over the past week, compared to Blur’s roughly 41,000, by public blockchain data aggregated by dune.
OpenSea completed some $424 million in NFT transactions in the month of March, according to data from DappRadar, compared to roughly $1.35 billion for Blur. However, Blur’s very high trading action in recent months has attracted attention and criticism to attract merchants who rapidly flip NFTs en masse in an effort to generate token rewards.