Ever since the launch of the ERC721 token standard in 2017, the NFT market has grown in leaps and bounds. At first, much of the attention was on NFT-based games that allow users to own and trade in-game assets. However, down the line, there was a shift in market dynamics and it birthed an explosive demand for tokenized digital arts and collectibles. While some market participants were caught on their heels, others were quick to recognize and capitalize on this dynamic shift.
One of the platforms that made sure that they were well-positioned to feed off the high appeal of NFT-based artworks is SuperRare, a peer-to-peer NFT marketplace. Unlike other NFT marketplaces which try to incorporate a wide variety of NFT niches, SuperRare set its eyes on becoming a digital art-focused NFT marketplace. In this guide, we will take a look at how SuperRare has managed to carve a name for itself in the competitive NFT sector. Also, we will highlight its pros and cons.
What is SuperRare?
SuperRare was co-founded by John Crain, Charles Crain, and Johnathan Perkins in 2018. As mentioned earlier, SuperRare is an NFT marketplace where you can mint, sell and buy NFTs. Think of it as a gateway to the NFT ecosystem since it provides all the tools required to interact with other NFT users. More importantly, SuperRare ensures that all the processes involved are free from unnecessary complexities. In other words, SuperRare is perfect for those that lack the coding expertise required to create NFTs independently. Here, all you need to do is follow very easy-to-understand steps, and in no time you will launch your NFT live on the blockchain.
It is also worth mentioning that SuperRare is an Ethereum-based platform. Therefore, it restricts its activities within EThereum’s NFT ecosystem. This means that the only NFTs accepted on the platform are ERC721 tokens. As such, SuperRare is one of the several NFT marketplaces competing for the top spot in the Ethereum ecosystem. It is in direct competition with OpenSea and Rarible. While these alternatives attract more NFT buyers, SuperRare is known for recording expensive purchases. In essence, SuperRare is consistently attracting high spenders.
Why is this so?
As its name implies, SuperRare specializes in providing access to rare NFTs. Simply put, the platform looks to establish itself as the ultimate marketplace for sourcing unique and very rare NFTs. This is why it has focused more on listing artworks as against featuring collectibles and in-game assets. Note that collectibles are often collections of similar items that can only be differentiated by the chronological order in which they were created. As much as the tokenization of such NFTs preserves the uniqueness of each item that makes up the collection, it does not make it rare. For a digital item to be rare, it must be one of a kind.
From what we have learned so far about the team that manages SuperRare, it is clear that they understand the stark difference between uniqueness and rarity, which is why they have chosen to prioritize digital artworks. Not only that, they strive to encourage creators to preserve the rareness of their creations. Thus, creators are discouraged from minting a single artwork on two or more NFT marketplaces. To them, if an artwork features on SuperRare, then it can not be listed on other NFT marketplaces. The SuperRare team has gone even further to regularly curate artworks that pass its rareness test. In light of this, it is easy to see why the sales recorded on SuperRare are always on the high side.
Speaking of the leadership of SuperRare, it is worth stating that the platform is transitioning gradually to a decentralized governance system where participants are empowered to have a say in the daily running of the protocol. This emerging decentralized governance variant of SuperRare is called SuperRare 2.0. Notably, this protocol is anchored by a governance token, $RARE. Thus, $RARE holders have been elevated to the role of stakeholders as they have the voting rights to determine the development proposals that get adopted and those that get rejected.
Notably, SuperRare's design decision somewhat shows that it is looking to be the ideal choice for digital artists, whether they are familiar with the intricacies of programming or not. As mentioned earlier, the features, particularly the NFT minting tool, are easy to utilize. Also, the layout of the website showcases the team’s high artistic taste as well as their propensity to favor simplicity over bulky designs.
How to create NFTs on SuperRare
The first step is to connect your wallet and create an account.
- To do this, click on the “sign in'' button, which will redirect you to a page where you can select your wallet. At the time of writing, the supported wallets are Metamask, Formatic, and web 3 wallets compatible with WalletConnect.
- Once you have selected your wallet type, click on the option to sign up for a new account and fill in the required information.
- Next, click “sign up” to trigger a wallet pop-up that will request that you sign to validate the process. When you click on Sign, your account will automatically be set up. After you must have connected your wallet, you can start minting, buying, or selling NFTs.
Now it is time to create an NFT. This is where it becomes a little tricky, as SuperRare is very choosy when it comes to approving new sellers and creators. Notably, you must first apply to become a seller. Once you are lucky enough to be approved, you can start accessing the NFT minting tool of the website.
To mint an NFT, visit superrare.com/tokenize, upload the appropriate files and description, and start minting. Do not forget that you will have to pay a gas fee to complete this process. Hence, it is advisable to have enough Ether on your connected wallet to settle the network fee.
How to sell NFTs on SuperRare
For those deemed talented and reputable enough to become sellers on SuperRare, you can choose to run a fixed price system, a scheduled auction, or a reserved auction. Scheduled auction is the system whereby auctions run for a fixed duration, while the reverse auction denotes auctions that can only be triggered when a base price requirement has been met. Another sales type that you may encounter is the fixed price system. Here, you only need to match the seller's asking price.
Before going ahead to sell your NFTs on SuperRare, note that you are required to pay a 15% commission. This is in addition to the gas fee highlighted earlier. Interestingly, all original creators automatically receive 10% royalty when their artworks change hands on the secondary market.
How to buy NFTs on SuperRare
Unlike the sell side of the SuperRare network, it is a lot easier to buy NFTs. All you need to do is confirm the sales type of your preferred NFT. If the sales type is an auction, then you have to make a bid and hope that the seller accepts it. In contrast, you only need to make the seller an offer or pay the asking price when dealing with a fixed price system. Apart from the gas fee that you must pay to execute an Ethereum-based transaction, you also have to fork out 3% of your purchase amount as commission. Once you have signed the transaction, the NFT will appear on the collectible side of your wallet.
What are the pros and cons of SuperRare?
Pros of SuperRare
It does not require coding
SuperRare has shown its affinity for mainstream digital artists and collectors by adopting a straightforward way of minting NFTs. There are no coding requirements nor do users have to master a specific skill to unlock SuperRare’s NFT minting tool.
SuperRare is non-custodial
Advantageously, SuperRare’s design does not entail users to give up control over their cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Since users can execute transactions and trades directly from their wallets, the security risks are somewhat reduced.
It is embracing decentralized governance
The platform has revealed its intent to adopt a decentralized governance system where the average users can vote on future changes. This move will help SuperRare shed the flaws associated with centralized solutions. For one, decentralized governance helps grow an even stronger community base since participants know that they are stakeholders. And so, they are motivated to work in the best interest of the platform.
SuperRare lists exclusive artworks
Not many NFT marketplace operating today have gone all out to put the system in place to prioritize exclusive artworks. SuperRare excels because it has focused on carving a niche for itself.
It sets a 10% royalty fee for all creators
Another commendable feat achieved by SuperRare is the fixed 10% royalty fee. The original creators are automatically paid 10% of the secondary sales of their artworks. With this, creators can continue to earn passive income in perpetuity. In contrast, royalty is optional on OpenSea and Rarible.
Cons of SuperRare
It only supports Ethereum
As always, platforms that restrict their operations to a single blockchain may lose their appeal along the way. Unfortunately, SuperRare falls under the category of protocols with limited options, since it supports only one NFT token standard. Considering that users can only make purchases with Ethereum, we can argue that the lack of options may discourage potential buyers.
The commission is expensive
Recall that we mentioned that SuperRare collects a 15% commission on all sales. Notably, this is way higher than what its competitors are charging. As such, SuperRare is arguably one of the most expensive NFT marketplaces we have today. Surely, this factor may force potential users to have a rethink and opt for more affordable options.
Sellers and creators have to undergo lengthy checks
Before you can start selling NFTs on SuperRare, you must apply and hope that you are picked. This is the exact opposite of what we have on OpenSea and Rarible where the minting tools are available to everyone.