Long-time leading NFT marketplace OpenSea has debuted a new tactic in its battle against upstart rival Blur, today announcing the launch of OpenSea Pro—a marketplace with more robust trading tools than the standard version, plus zero marketplace fees (for now) and plans for NFT-based trading rewards.
OpenSea Pro is a rebranded and expanded version of Gem V2, the upgraded version of the NFT marketplace aggregator that it acquired in April 2022. At the time, co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer framed the move as one towards acquiring “more experienced, ‘pro’ users.”
Under the new name, OpenSea Pro is still billed as a separate product from the standard marketplace, albeit now under the same brand umbrella. According to an announcement post, OpenSea Pro aggregates listings from more than 170+ NFT marketplaces large and small, including notable platforms like Blur, LooksRare, and X2Y2.
Today, we’re excited to unveil OpenSea Pro (previously Gem v2) – the fastest and most powerful NFT marketplace aggregator in the industry! Some history in the 🧵below https://t.co/bjpBKSyNZo
— OpenSea (@opensea) April 4, 2023
It also gives users more flexibility when searching for NFT listings and managing their inventory of digital assets, as well as aggregation of open NFT collection offers across marketplaces.
OpenSea’s main marketplace recently cut its typical 2.5% platform fee amid the rise of rival Blur, which overtook OpenSea in terms of NFT trading volume in February. The firm announced today that OpenSea will reinstate its standard fee amid the launch of OpenSea Pro while the Pro platform will instead offer a temporary 0% fee for traders.
In terms of creator royalties, OpenSea Pro will maintain OpenSea’s current model, which is to require only a 0.5% minimum royalty on projects that do not use an on-chain enforcement method. Sellers may choose to pay more than 0.5% if they wish. A royalty is a fee paid to the original NFT creator and is typically 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 out to traders, to the tune of over $200 million worth of tokens when the initial airdrop took place in February. OpenSea does not have a token, and does not appear to be going that route—but it will offer another type of reward to OpenSea Pro traders.
OpenSea will “[chart] a different course by featuring NFTs as rewards,” according to a blog post, although the company has yet to reveal details. Separately from the reward NFTs, OpenSea will also offer a free “Gemesis” NFT mint for users who bought an NFT via Gem before March 31.
Despite losing the top spot in terms of NFT marketplace trading volume, OpenSea still boasts more active users than Blur—nearly 91,000 unique Ethereum wallets over the past week compared to about 41,000 for Blur, per public blockchain data aggregated by Dune.
OpenSea had some $424 million worth of NFT trades in the month of March, according to data from DappRadar, compared to about $1.35 billion for Blur. However, Blur’s vastly elevated trading action in recent months has drawn scrutiny and criticism for attracting traders who rapidly flip NFTs en masse in an effort to generate token rewards.