Opensea Like App Development – Guide to Creating NFT Marketplace

Opensea Like App Development

Non fungible tokens, also known as NFTs, have become the buzzword among crypto enthusiasts, art aficionados, and savvy investors. NFTs, a digital representation of content linked to the blockchain, have emerged as one of the most profitable investment avenues in the blockchain world. According to NonFungible.com, in Q1 2021, the general capitalization of major NFT projects increased by over 2100%.  In June 2021, the total sales of the digital assets on the OpenSea marketplace reached around $150 million. As per experts, NFTs are forecasted to grow exponentially and become the driving force in the virtual economy in the future. Becoming a part of such an exciting opportunity is certainly not to be missed. 

What Are Non-Fungible Tokens?

NFTs are built on blockchain technology and represent a unique, non-fungible digital certificate of proprietary rights for real-life tangible and intangible assets, including photos, videos, tweets, codes, music clips, trading cards, domain names, etc. NFTs verify the ownership of the digital assets purchased by buyers by easily tracing back the ownership of the digital product eliminating the aspect of data manipulation and replication. NFTs are traded on multiple crypto marketplaces, making them highly liquid.

What is an NFT Marketplace?

An NFT marketplace is a decentralized platform that allows users to store and trade all kinds of NFTs. You need to have crypto wallets to conduct transactions on these platforms. Some NFT marketplaces are open to the general public, where anyone with a crypto wallet can list and buy NFTs, while others are more exclusive. Niche NFT marketplaces built for specific niches are gaining popularity as they have clearly defined target audiences and solve particular problems.

Major NFT Marketplace Platforms:

OpenSea: OpenSea is one of the most well-known NFT marketplaces. It features digital collectibles, including artworks, trading cards, sports-related memorabilia, and rare, original assets such as Decentraland to ENS names.

Rarible: Rarible is another popular NFT marketplace for creative personalities willing to share tracks, domains, images, cards, and metaverses components. The platform provides multiple perks to sellers and customers.

SuperRare: SuperRare is an online marketplace platform for digital art. SuperRare allows you to browse and buy digital artwork. SuperRare does not allow anyone to list and trade digital art; published authors with distinguished artworks can trade their pieces on this platform.

How Does an NFT Marketplace Work?

NFT marketplaces combine features of an auction, online shop, and blockchain platform to issue non-fungible tokens. Marketplaces use a token protocol with special smart contracts to generate NFTs and record the token to a unique data form called metadata in its smart contract. These include name, address, number, non-fungible feature, indivisible feature, etc.

Most NFT auction platforms share a similar workflow:

Step 1: Users must register an account on an NFT platform

Step 2: Install a digital wallet to store NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

Step 3: Users upload digital items to exhibit their work.

Step 4: Users list items for sale. They can set a fixed price or choose a bid for an auction.

Step 5: Once NFTs pass moderation, they are listed on the sales list to potential buyers.

Step 7:  Creators can start accepting bids.

Step 8:  Once the auction concludes, sellers are apprised about top bids.

Interested to know more? In our post, how does NFT work, we have explained this in detail.

Creating an NFT Marketplace

Steps to Create NFT Marketplace like Opensea

When developing an NFT platform, you can either use ready-made tools for the NFT marketplace development or build from scratch. An example of a ready-made solution is the SDK offered by OpenSea. The JavaScript-based OpenSea SDK provides many advantages to creating a crypto-native marketplace without deploying your smart contracts and creating your back-end books. It comprises pre-built programs and tools that you may integrate into your company’s system and offers all the essential features you need, e.g., buying, selling, bidding. This option is less expensive and offers you a shorter time-to-market. However, you may not have complete flexibility to add customized features, and it may be a bit difficult to scale. These applications cater to a broader population with comparable demands but will not provide effective solutions for specific user groups.

Custom NFT marketplace development allows you to design your system tailored to your target audience. It enables enhanced flexibility and also allows you to scale seamlessly. Custom development ensures the protection of sensitive information. It is significant for non-fungible tokens marketplaces where failures to comply with the security laws can have negative consequences.

If you are going for a customized NFT marketplace development, you need to consider a few things as highlighted below:

Step 1 – Scope of Project

Before creating your marketplace, you must identify the marketplace’s goals and objectives to build an NFT system design tailored to your needs. Some of the things to consider are mentioned below:

NFT marketplace niche: You need to define the niche you want to have in the marketplace or keep it generic.  It may be beneficial not to sell a lot to many people; instead, concentrate on a small number of items or services and scale from there.

Step 2 – Monetization Model:

Some of the monetization models you can consider are mentioned below:

  • Subscription Model: Under this model, you charge customers a fixed subscription fee for costs for using the platform for a specified duration. This model is not widely prevalent among marketplaces.
  • Commission Model: This is one of the most common and popular models across online marketplaces. The commission model enables marketplaces to charge a commission on each successful transaction on the platform.
  • Freemium Listing Models: Under this model, a marketplace offers free and paid services. The platform earns money by charging sellers a basic fee in return for premium services.
  • Lead Fee Revenue Model: Customers post a request and pay the marketplace platform fees to win the bidding process under this model. Under this model, suppliers pay a fee to the platform to compete for the client.
  • Product Listing Model: The commission-based revenue model ignores income or fees from low-performing or less popular items. The product listing model enables platforms to profit on every product listed on the marketplace platform.

Step 3 – Architecture

To develop an effective trading platform architecture, you need to create a concept of the user interface (frameworks, templates, prototypes) based on the user stream and your specific functional and non-functional requirements. It would be best if you considered how to generate and maintain user profiles, store NFTs, what payment methods are linked to the system, among other things.

Step 4 – Features to Consider in Your NFT Marketplace

If you plan to build your own NFT marketplace like OpenSea, focus on fortifying the platform with the right features. Here’s a list of the features that should find a place in the initial catalog:

  • Searching: The interface should help users get accurate results to make the right decision quickly and effortlessly. You can add tagging and category management to allow users to search collectibles and use a search bar to add categories.
  • Filtering: Filters enable users to easily navigate a site specifically if you plan to build a marketplace place for many collectibles. An NFT marketplace should have all articles sorted by features (for example, music, images, videos, art, and memes). Users can select items by payment method, listing status, category, and collection by adding the filters feature. It is important to note that the simpler it is for the platform to persuade a consumer, the more profit it makes.
  • Creators Listings:  It should also be simple for artists to create and submit collectibles generate a token, add a description, establish a price, and decide whether the listing is available for direct purchase or goes to auction or is available for immediate purchase.
  • Crypto Wallet Integration: NFT payments are made using cryptocurrencies; hence the NFT marketplace should include a secure and reliable crypto wallet integration mechanism to handle multiple cryptocurrencies. Provide integration with all leading wallets – DeFi as well as centralized.  Ensure the wallet provides exclusive storage for NFTs.
  • Ratings and Reviews: Reviews and ratings are essential feedback mechanisms to help motivate creators and customers. The platform should allow customers to grade artists based on the kind of listed art, the complexities involved in making it, and the value for money they bring with the art.
  • Purchase and Bid: The NFT marketplace platform should allow users to buy and bid quickly for NFTs recorded on the platform. It attracts users interested in flexible pricing and does not wish to buy collectibles at their starting fees. The bidding feature should include a bid expiration date and allow users to view the bids’ current status details.
  • Auction board – building an interactive dashboard to bid for NFTs and ensuring identity confidentiality, fair auctioning, and tokens supported by all relevant documents.

Step 5 – UX/UI Design

Navigation and the user interface are crucial aspects of NFT marketplaces; hence, it should be designed to keep the usability and user experience in mind. You should intuitively develop the interface in a way that piques the consumer’s interest. At the same time, it should not reduce the number of products for sale displayed on the regular screen.

  • Testing:

Testing is an essential aspect of the development cycle as it ensures that you identify and resolve bugs and other issues before your product is ready to launch.  Testing also ensures that the NFT marketplace performs as expected and meets your project requirements. Remember that an adequately tested software product provides reliability, security, and high performance.

  • Security Audit

Nowadays, graphic artists, musicians, and even NBA have released NFTs. Hence, it is ideal to get the security audit done as financial transactions are involved, assets are transferred across borders, and maintained regulatory compliance.

Plan for the following:

  • Using encryption for data-at-rest and data-in-transit;
  • Using firewalls and antivirus solutions;
  • Utilizing modern authentication techniques like multi-factor authentication (MFA);
  • Leveraging digital signatures;
  • Securing APIs using encryption, gateways, quotas, and throttling;
  • Using secure cloud infrastructure.
  • Releasing and Supporting

Once testing is completed, the NFT is released to a broader audience. You may release it in one go or a phase-wise manner. While it seems like the last step, the software needs to be constantly maintained and updated. Regular updates and continuous integration is needed for the seamless running of your NFT marketplace. Also, software development is a constantly evolving space, and you need to plan for future developments to stay ahead of the curve and meet users’ requirements.

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NFT marketplace development tech stack

Technology Stack to Build Opensea like NFT Marketplace

Once you zero in on the features in your NFT marketplace, you need to select the technological stack to build the platform. You need to choose the blockchain platform, storage platform, front-end development framework, and the NFT standard for your marketplace.

  • Blockchain Platform:

A blockchain platform is a foundation to run your NFT marketplace. Some of the major networks are mentioned below:

    • Ethereum: Ethereum is one of the most popular platforms for marketplace development. It provides extra security to NFT transactions as the transaction history and token information is publicly verifiable. NFT owners may readily transfer their tokens using the common back-end of all Ethereum-based NFT markets. All Ethereum products share a common back-end, providing extra portability.
    • Tron:  While the basic operations of Tron are comparable to other blockchain networks, Tron is ideal for large-scale or sophisticated corporate token creation that adapts to changing business demands.
    • Tezos: Tezos is a proof-of-stake blockchain network for applications and assets backed by a community of builders, researchers, and validators and sells NFT art.  It was the first blockchain network to introduce a self-amending protocol. The platform supports the development of NFT marketplaces using a pre-compiled FA2 NFT contract written in LIGO smart contract language.
    • Cardano: Cardano is an open-source, decentralized blockchain platform with technologies and tools required to provide unmatched security and sustainability to decentralized systems and applications. It facilitates decentralized applications like the DeFi apps, NFT, web3 platforms, and others recently emerging in the crypto platforms. They have a stable and robust platform sense that can enhance the value of the framework.
    • Flow: Flow is a decentralized blockchain network designed for a new generation of digital assets, apps, and games. The Flow blockchain features a multi-role design that enables scalability without sharding. Flow also assists with creating new digital asset variations that can be traded on open marketplaces from anywhere in the globe.
    • Wax Blockchain: Also known as the “King of NFTs,” Wax Blockchain is the world’s largest decentralized entertainment and video gaming network. WAX uses a novel approach that provides incentives to all WAX token holders. WAX provides easy development options for the creation of applications and deployment.
    • Binance Smart Chain: The upgraded iteration of the Binance Chain allows smart contracts development for tokens on the Binance blockchain and an all-new BNB staking mechanism.
    • Solana: Solana is a decentralized finance network that helps entrepreneurs and startups build user-friendly apps globally. Solana’s network combines the PoS consensus algorithm with its unique PoH system, built with speed, security, and cost, and uses considerably less energy than POW blockchains. The network charges low transaction costs and is the fastest blockchain can cover nearly 400-millisecond block times. Solana’s blockchain runs globally and has an automated scalability adoption ecosystem.
  • Storage Platforms

It would be best if you decided how and where to store NFTs before building an NFT marketplace. IPFS is a peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol designed to keep media content in a decentralized way. As the media file related to NFTs cannot be stored directly on the blockchain, IPFS can store all that data. Filecoin is another decentralized storage network explicitly designed to securely keep the most critical information, such as media files. Another popular platform to upload and manage files is Pinata. It provides secure and verifiable files for NFTs.

NFT Standard

    • ERC-721:  The ERC-721 was the first standard to represent non-fungible digital assets. It includes fundamental techniques to monitor the owner of a unique identifier and allows acceptable means to transfer assets. Since ERC-721 is an inheritable Solidity smart contract standard, developers can use the OpenZeppelin library to construct new ERC-721-compliant contracts.
    • ERC-1155: The ERC-1155 is a superset of ERC-721 and provides “semi-fungibility.”  The ERC-1155′ token consists of an extra quantity field that describes the amount of each class the wallet owns. You can easily swap out assets in the same class and allow unlimited asset transfers.
  • Front-end Frameworks:

The main task of front-end development is to provide a simple interface, security measures, and productivity. Some of the most popular front-end development frameworks are Vue, Angular, and React. These languages are and coder-friendly and feature sleek, easy-to-navigate interfaces that provide rapid results.

Please consider the technological stack for the front-end NFT marketplace below as an example:

    • Web Programming languages: Angular.JS, React.JS, Ember, and Backbone.
    • Mobile Programming language: Java, Kotlin for Android, and Swift for iOS.
    • Architecture: MVVM for Android and MVC, MVP, MVVM, and VIPER for iOS.
    • IDE: Android Studio and Xcode for iOS.
    • SDK: Android SDK and iOS SDK.
  • Back-end framework Development: 

You can consider Node.js. This open-source runtime environment for JavaScript helps you to build performant and scalable web apps.  Below is an example of a technological stack for the back-end NFT marketplace.

    • Blockchain: Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain
    • Token Standard: ERC721, ERC1155, BEP-721, BEP-1155
    • Smart contracts: Ethereum Virtual Machine, BSC Virtual Machine
    • Frameworks: Spring, Flask, Symfony
    • Programming languages: Java, PHP, Python
    • Databases SQL: MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, MS SQL, MariaDB
    • Databases NoSQL: MongoDB or Apache Cassandra
    • Search engines: Apache Solr, Elasticsearch.
    • DevOps: GitLab CI, GoCD Jenkins, Terraform, WS CodeBuild
    • Cache: Redis, Memcached.

Cost to build an NFT marketplace like Opensea?

If you want to install a ready-made solution, the price will be lower.

However, suppose you decide to go for a fully customized solution. In that case, it will depend on Functional requirements, non-functional requirements, product features, product design, project size and complexity, technological stack, time frame, development team size and location, development team charges.

Developing an NFT marketplace with the help of a reputed software solution company would be slightly expensive. Still, it will be more reliable as they can provide you with end-to-end support for your NFT marketplace.

Some of the estimated timeframes to develop the functionalities are mentioned below:

Features Time
UX/UI Development  40-50 hours
Authorization and Security 70-75 hours
User Profiles 40-45 hours
Home Page 80-85 hours
Search and Filters 100 hours
Product Page 40 -50 hours
Reviews & Ratings 45-50 hours
Shopping Cart 45-50 hours
Payments 45-50 hours
Notifications  30-35 hours
Ethereum Integration 100 hours
NFT management 100 hours
Inventory management 40-45 hours
Buyer Panel  60-70 hours
Author Panel 120 -140 hours
Admin Panel 80-90 Hours
Total 1035 – 1150 hours

Developing an NFT marketplace depends on complexity, features, platforms, tech stack, etc. Considering these factors, it can take anywhere between 1000 to 1,200 hours to build a customized NFT marketplace. The most significant factor influencing a project’s cost is the developers’ hourly rate, which changes progressively as we move from Asia to Europe and finally to North America. For example, for the above application, the hourly rate would be around $70 to $150 per hour in the US or Western Europe, while in Asia, it will come around $30 – $50 per hour. 

The average time for building the NFT can then be multiplied by the hourly rate to get a fair idea about the development cost.

An excellent way to minimize expenditures and time for those with limited budgets is to pick and implement an already prepared template. You can deploy a white label solution that is ready-to-go pre-developed, pre-tested, and quickly customized according to specific requirements.

FAQs

Q. What are some of the popular NFT marketplaces?

A. Some of the popular NFT marketplaces are OpenSea, Rarible, SuperRare, Foundation and Nifty Gateway.

Q. Which is better for an NFT marketplace? Mobile or Web

A. It is entirely dependent on how well you understand your target audience and where you believe it will be easiest to reach them.

Q. How much time does it take to build an NFT Marketplace?

A. It takes about 3 to 9 months for the MVP and it includes all the basic work like design, backend, etc. The duration depends on the project size.

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