The Solsea NFT marketplace has played an important role in the Solana NFT ecosystem’s brief history. Indeed, Solsea claims to be the first open NFT marketplace on Solana. So, how does Solsea appear now, and how does it fit into the expanding field of Solana NFT marketplaces?
The anticipated growth of NFTs in 2021 prompted a search for Ethereum alternatives
Let’s start with some background on Solana around the time of the Solsea NFT marketplace launch.
As is well known, 2021 was the year when NFTs really began to gain traction in the mainstream consciousness. Without a doubt, as the year progressed, Ethereum emerged as the undisputed leader in the NFT space in terms of blockchains.
With a few notable exceptions (NBA Top Shot on Flow and Axie Infinity, which migrated from Ethereum to the Ronin sidechain), the most well-known NFTs were all based on Ethereum. However, because of the way Ethereum works, as NFTs became more popular, the chain actually became less appealing to many people.
For the purposes of this context, let’s just focus on three major issues with Ethereum that arose when it came to its expanding NFT market. These were, in particular, its environmental impact, slow transaction speeds, and high transaction costs. As a result of these developments, there has been an increase in demand for alternative smart contract chains that can facilitate NFT trading.
Solana NFTs met the need for non-ETH NFTs.
Solana enters the picture. Solana was officially launched in 2020 and remained relatively quiet for some time. However, because it was a proof-of-stake blockchain, it was a better alternative to Ethereum in terms of the three previously mentioned issues.
To be sure, by the fall of 2021, anyone looking for non-Ethereum NFTs would almost certainly be directed to Solana over other options. Solana became Ethereum’s main competitor in this way, even though Ethereum still outperformed it in terms of price, market cap, and usage.
But there was one more stumbling block. While anyone interested in Ethereum NFTs would soon come across OpenSea, Solana lacked a comparable NFT marketplace. That’s what Solsea wanted to talk about.
The origins of the Solana NFT marketplace Solsea
The ALL.ART protocol’s Solsea NFT marketplace was launched at the end of August 2021. As the name suggests, it aimed to be a Solana equivalent to the then-exclusive Ethereum NFT marketplace, OpenSea.
It’s worth noting that the marketplace Solanart debuted before Solsea, in July 2021, and is widely regarded as the first Solana marketplace. Nonetheless, Solsea positioned itself as the first open Solana NFT marketplace.
Solsea introduced a number of ground-breaking features for users of its NFT marketplace at the time of its launch. Its features included, for example, NFTs with embedded licenses, a rarity index for NFT collections, wallet funding via FTX, and integrated NFT minting.
Solsea also debuted its NFT marketplace, which included a popular calendar feature that allowed users to keep track of upcoming NFT drops. With all of these features, as well as the distinct advantages of Solana NFTs over Ethereum, Solsea quickly established itself as a Solana NFTs home.
What is the current state of the Solsea NFT market?
So, did the Solsea NFT marketplace live up to its billing as the OpenSea of Solana NFTs? In a nutshell, it did not.
For starters, OpenSea debuted in December 2017, long before most people had heard of NFTs. Solsea, on the other hand, debuted at a time when the NFT craze was already in full swing. As a result, it seems reasonable to assume that other Solana NFT marketplaces were developing their platforms concurrently with Solsea. Not to mention Solanart, which was released a month before.
To that end, a slew of Solana NFT marketplaces debuted not long after Solsea, adding to the competition. The two most important are Digital Eyes and Magic Eden.
In terms of all-time trade volume, Solsea currently trails the other three marketplaces. Furthermore, Dapp Radar places a single Solana NFT collection – Solana Monkey Business – ahead of Solsea in terms of trade volume.
Overall, while the Solsea NFT marketplace has not become the “OpenSea of Solana,” it still has over 80,000 traders and an active platform. It remains to be seen whether Solsea can maintain and grow its user base and platform alongside the expanding Solana NFT ecosystem.
Want to learn more about buying Solana NFTs? To get started with Solana NFTs, check out our How to Buy Solana NFT guide!