Best NFT marketplaces on Tezos reviewed

Best NFT marketplaces on Tezos reviewed

. 12 min read

Over the last few months I've started buying a lot of NFTs on Tezos. Its the first network/blockchain that I've spent significant time buying NFTs aka digital art on in the past few years. This article will be a review of the individual marketplaces and some recommendations of artists to follow at the end.

To get started, go buy some XTZ... you will need it. 1000 XTZ is a good amount to get started, but you can do it for 100 or less if you want.

The history of Tezos, especially in its early days was harrowing, and I was doubtful that anything would get built on it due to the bitter infighting amongst the foundation and its founders. However, the situation was recovered and Tezos has carved a specific niche out in the crypto community as a place for "Clean NFTs." Tezos is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain that does not need a massive amount of hash power to secure the network in the form of millions of computers trying to solve the next block. Tezos states that they use around 2 million times less power than Bitcoin and Ethereum, making it a carbon neutral alternative.

This green marketing campaign and Tezos' lower gas fees has drawn a lot of artists who might not have been ethically inclined to mint on Ethereum. Additionally, a lot of newer artists distribute their work initially on Tezos and then move to Ethereum once their popularity and fame increases. This makes Tezos a great place to find both established and rising artists to purchase NFTs from.

This guide will cover the 4 major NFT marketplaces on Tezos, their benefits and pitfalls, and which ones I personally prefer.

An Overview of Tezos

Tezos is an open source, proof-of-stake blockchain. Its native token is the Tezzie or XTZ, which is used as the primary value transfer asset on the network.

Tezos was founded back in 2017 by husband-and-wife Kathleen and Arthur Breitman. The couple met each other at Cornell where their love for math led them to become blockchain development powerhouses. They soon after published their initial ideas and vision for Tezos in 2014, hoping to create a new network that improved on Bitcoin to allow for a more robust coding language, governance, easier upgradability and less congestion.

At the time Tezos was competing with Ethereum and Polkadot, among others, for the newly designed crown of "smart contract" king. While Ethereum continued with Bitcoin's Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism, Tezos and Polkadot sought to establish themselves as the first Proof-of-Stake blockchains

At the time it was one of the largest ICOs in the world, with over $232 million dollars being rasised to build and launch the now-running Proof-of-Stake blockchain.

Best NFT marketplaces on Tezos

When NFTs first started being minted on Tezos, the main marketplace to mint, buy and sell them was Hic et Nunc.

Launched in March 2021, it rapidly gained popularity and became the largest dapp used on the network. Thousands of people used the website to buy and sell NFTs on Tezos and for a time Hic et Nunc's daily active users surpassed Opensea on Ethereum. According to well known generative artist Matt DesLauriers, the marketplace supported “thousands of artists across the globe, and notably becoming an important platform for those in the global south.”

However, in November 2021, founder Rafael Lima "got overwhelmed and decided, overnight, to close the site." The website went dead and Rafael posted on Twitter that it had been "discontinued."

While shocking to many in the community, a seamless transition took place over a couple of days and 4 new platforms took Hic et Nunc's place as premier NFT marketplace.

Objkt

Objkt.com homepage

In the wake of the shutdown of Hic et Nunc, most all digital artists and collectors moved over to Objkt. It currently is the most active dapp on Tezos, boasting over 17k individual users over the past 30 days from the time of writing this article.

I really like Objkt's UI/UX. Its clean, easy to navigate, and very clear for people who are new to buying NFTs.

What I like is how the homepage categorizes collections and auctions, making it easy to find projects that are in demand and have good volumes. I love using the "Hot Collections" list to find what's popular in the last 24 hours. Unfortunately, the volumes are pretty low at the moment. Median volumes for the top 10 collections on Objkt excluding hic et nunc items is around 3,000 XTZ daily or $4,500. The low volumes are a side effect of the crushing bear market we are in right now.

If you think NFT prices will rise at some point in the future, then this next 6 months is going to be a blessing for collectors to pick up their "gralis" pieces at a discount. We'll dive into some of the top artists on the site later in the article, but just be aware that most probably users will return in larger numbers  at some point in the future when NFT hype returns.

There are a couple of things about Objkt which I don't like, mainly the ability to see the highest last sale item within an artists collection. Opensea makes it so easy to identify the top selling pieces, but also allows you to sort by the amounts, making it easy to see the top valued items.

The notification page on Objkt.com

Additionally, once you start collecting, Objkt starts to send you notifications about artist activity. This is cool, and I like the idea, but the page is basic and doesn't allow for any filtering. I would love to have a filter so I can only see sales, or new mints. In addition, the page also doesn't allow you to increase the size of the preview photos. You have to click on each piece individually to look at it. I find this detrimental to me as a collector as it forces me to open each page to see high quality versions.

Clicking Gems on the homepage takes you to a category selection to choose the type of art you like. 

Discovery of new art is easy on Objkt. On the homepage there is a Gems section, which if you click to see more, you'll come to the above page that lets you choose the type of genre or style you want to purchase. I think this is a really good feature to open new collectors understanding of what good digital art is and how to discover it.

If you want to release your own NFTs, check my write-up on how you can mint your first NFT on Objkt. I minted my first NFT called "Awash" easily by following the steps in the guide.

How to create your first Tezos NFT on Objkt
Minting your NFTs on Tezos is a cheap and easy way for you to get started as an NFT creator. This guide will walk you through the process of minting your first NFT on Objkt.com, the largest NFT marketplace on Tezos.

All in all, Objkt is the best place to buy 1/1 and small collection digital art by the best creators on Tezos.

fxhash

When I first started buying art on Tezos, I was spending most of my time on Objkt, however as time goes on, I've changed my focus to fxhash, a platform for generative artists.

fxhash hompage

Generative art is different from other types of digital art. The creator is the collector and the artist is a probability maker, determining the range and set of outcomes available. Gen art creators write code that has a bunch of different possible outcomes. Then, at a certain time, the code is opened for minting and collectors can come call the contract code to receive a randomized NFT. The collector has now idea what the contract code will output. It creates a casino like feeling of pulling the lever to see the outcome. It's a great model.

fxhash has a much tighter community than on Objkt. Their Discord is very, very active. You also can outreach to most all of the artists and chat with them about their creations. It's nice to see such a vibrant and growing gen artist community that rivals ArtBlocks.

fxhash Explore page

When you are ready to start minting art on fxhash, the Explore page shows all available projects that have minting capacity left. Unfortunately, the best projects usually mint out very quickly. I typically scan the Explore page to see what projects are minted fully, and then I check the prices at which they minted. A lot of projects might mint out quickly, only to have 0 cost or less than 1 XTZ cost.

There is no curation on fxhash. Anyone can create a new collection and push it out for minting. It's best to hang out in the fxhash discord or follow creators on Twitter to see when the best upcoming mints are. Don't get nickle and dimed out of your XTZ by trying to mint everything. This won't work. Pick your top mints and stick to them. Otherwise you'll be out a few hundred XTZ quickly and will have to top up your wallet. The worst is when you don't have enough XTZ to mint and a big drop is suddenly released. Always make sure you have a few hundred XTZ in your wallet.

fxhash keeps you coming back everyday. Over the past month that I've been minting there, I've seen a ton of great drops which might become Icons (more on this in the next section on Tender) get released. I've been slowly growing my collection with mints.

Pathos Art fxhash offers page

Inside of your fxhash profile, you can manage offers to and from other collectors. I wish that offers were a little easier to find. You first have to click into your dashboard and then select the offers tab. This takes a few more clicks that I think it should. I'd like offer activity to be shown in the dropdown profile menu. You should not have to click 4 times to get to see offers. A notifications button in the top menu would solve this.

Tender

The biggest problem with fxhash is that its a fire hose of new content and artists. Every hour another project opens for minting. If you are new to the space it's really hard to know what exactly to buy. Another problem is that after the primary mint, fxhash is not built for discovery of already released projects. You can't search by volumes or floor price. The only way to find collections is to know the name.

Icons page on Tender

Tender is a curator for fxhash. This closed group of NFT collectors keeps track of all of the best drops on Tezos and lists them in their Icons section of their site. Sorting by floor price shows the highest demand gen art NFTs on Tezos. Currently the top spot or "gralis" is held by Garden, Monolith by Zancan. We'll get more into Zancan in the next part of this guide, but he is the defining artist on Tezos. Through its curation process, Tender saves you hours of research work to find the best gen art NFTs on Tezos.

Creating a calendar entry on Tender

Another thing I love about Tender is the ability to have 1 click creation of calendar reminders for upcoming mints on the Drops page. We all get busy at times and missing a popular drop is not something you want. Use Tender's calendar entries to never forget an upcoming drop.

The platform has their own NFT called the TENDER Pass. This gives exclusive access to collab drops with artists and also other Tender only offerings. Tender has clout and mindshare in the Tezos ecosystem. I'll be buying a TENDER Pass myself and will be reporting on its value in a future post.

One of the coolest things that Tender offers are prints of supported NFTs you own on Tezos. Buy your favorite piece of art on any platform, and then use Tender as a printing service for high quality prints delivered straight to your door. I think the print costs are reasonable, but again, I'll need to do an investigation in a future post to determine the quality of the prints.

Based on my own NFT collection, I think that I'll either print out the Bardez #60 or one of the Rococo series that I own.

Versum

Lastly, Versum is an NFT marketplace on Tezos and it has the most beautiful UI of all the marketplaces. However, other than displaying content, I don't think its other mechanics are very good for buying and selling NFTs. I much rather purchase NFTs through Objkt or fxhash because of the easy to UX.

Versum's homepage. Titles and artist names can be disabled. 

Versum is like an art gallery. When you first sign up you are asked how much information you want to see about each art work. If you want, you can have a completely clean UI that only shows the pictures and no prices or artist names. I like this aspect of it.

Here are the improvements over Objkt as stated by the founders

*The ability to issue free NFTs while protecting from bots that would grab all of them and swap them automatically, ruining events such as OBJKT4OBJKT
* Multi-quality by default — When ITEMs are minted, multiple resolutions and quality levels are generated in the browser and uploaded to IPFS. This achieves the best of both worlds in terms of maintaining decentralization while achieving the best possible user-experience, which is crucial for the metaverse-aspect to work well, as large resolution assets would create nauseating frame-drops.
* Accessibility compliant design — The whole website was built with accessibility by default, including things such as epileptic hazard warnings, and ability to navigate using alternative interface devices.

Apparently long term Versum plans to create a metaverse, called Metaversum, for their DAO members. Versum was selected by Ubisoft for it 7th Season Of Ubisoft’s Entrepreneurs Lab in May 2022. As described on their site "Ubisoft Entrepreneurs Lab is a startup incubator supporting innovators with the potential to transform the entertainment industry at large."

I haven't tried curating my feed to the extent that I need to with Versum. Apparently you can get really good recommendations, if you put time into selecting the artists that you like.

One thing I hate about Versum's design is how they hide the auctions on the site. I've not found a way to see a full list of all the auctions taking place on their site. It's really hard to find new artists who you might want to buy from. They've gone so far down the simplistic UI route that its detrimental to the overall experience for me as a collector.

Conclusion

Tezos is full of vibrant, diverse, and growing digital artists from around the world. I'm very impressed with the quality of work being produced there and I've invested a fair amount of my own funds into Tezos based NFTs already. If you haven't checked out Tezos yet as a digital art collectors paradise, you need to immediately.

Personally I've been spending most of my time on fxhash. I like genart NFTs most of all because the minting process cannot be easily replicated without a blockchain. The current form of gen art on crypto networks did not exist before blockchains. Artists could not release code that random people can call and get paid at the same time for it. This is why I love fxhash so much.

I've bought a few items on Objkt, but 1/1 purchases are riskier and require a deeper understanding of the market, the artists, and the potential liquidity available at a future date. It's definitely a more exclusive strategy as you can stick to 1/1's, but it requires much more research and thoughtfulness, something new collectors might not want to spend a lot of time performing before and after purchase.

Overall the whole ecosystem is great. I wish I had found Tezos last year. Come check it out if you haven't yet.

In my next few posts I'm going to be covering my favorite artists on Objkt and fxhash. Make sure to subscribe to get the latest publications sent directly to your email when they go live.