Why OpenSea is the NFT Marketplace with below-average performance

11 min readJan 31, 2022

We are sure that OpenSea doesn’t need any introduction. We are all have been hearing the news about this biggest NFT Marketplace since the middle of the last year. Loud titles of blog posts and news posts like — OpenSea surges $3.5B of trading volume were present almost everywhere across the community.
For many of you, everything might be clear — OpenSea is the best place to buy and list an NFT.
But in actuality, nothing is so easy.

Read this article on our website. It’s better.

OpenSea is an example of below-average platform performance

For many of you, it may seem that the NFT Marketplaces in the form that we know them started to appear exactly one year ago. And that’s why a lot of glitches in their performance may sound understandable. But let’s keep in mind, that OpenSea was specifically created for trading NFTs in 2017.

The non-fungible token standards on Ethereum were existing since 2016 along with the core principles of the Ethereum network, which gave a lot of space for further development and adoption of the token type to other networks.

But only in 2021, with the sudden fever around NFTs being a representation of digital art, OpenSea end up being the dominant NFT Marketplace to the moment from now on.

So then, what do we mean under “below-average”? Well, average performance can be described as something that just does its main basic functions. A something, where there is no upcoming improvement, no optimization. And some bugs that are affecting not critical features of a platform.

With OpenSea, it’s quite different. Below average in this case, means, that the fundamental features of a platform can’t be executed and performed well without encountering critical bugs. Below average also means, that there is a lot of risks for a user to encounter avoidable issues, that led to critical errors. And that’s all despite OpenSea’s vulnerabilities for hackers.

But let’s be honest, NFT platforms like OpenSea, with the largest trading volume on the market, are the juiciest thing for hackers to drill. But the problem is that OpenSea hasn’t been spotted by anyone trying to fix the possible exploitations that will lead to catastrophic consequences for users (read — NFT artists, NFT creators, and NFT investors).

Well, at least now we have the Twitter account of OpenSea Support, with all warning alert tweets. That helps, somehow.

Okay, but if there is such a lot of critical problems, and the performance is so low, why OpenSea has not vanished from the market yet?

Well, there are a few reasons why.

Why OpenSea is the leading NFT Marketplace?

Here are our version of the few main reasons why OpenSea has actually made it to be the biggest NFT Marketplace out there:

  1. Support of Ethereum blockchain and Polygon (incl. Bridge to Polygon)
  2. Secondary sales of the blue-chip collections
  3. Big investors trust, due to the most sold NFTs were concentrated on OpenSea in the first place

That’s it. Any artist can deploy his NFT collection on Ethereum, most likely it will go to the OpenSea for the secondary sales. Even though, you can list an NFT that is existing on Ethereum on Rarible, SuperRare, LooksRare, and even more.
Most of them don’t have plenty of bugs and a slow-running user interface.

Just because the most expensive collections did the same in the beginning.
OpenSea NFT Marketplace is far from the excellent performance that can provide a good NFT experience to a user.

The major problems of the OpenSea

All of that diss towards the biggest NFT Marketplace isn’t based on greedy jealousy of their success. We think it is important to critically assess every big platform out there fair and honestly. The point is, that OpenSea has got a list of issues, that a platform that size can’t afford to have.

The fact, that OpenSea is the biggest place where the majority of all NFT transactions (including the fundamental features of an NFT Marketplace, like buying, selling, bidding, transferring, and even creating an NFT) happen makes it even worse.

It means, that OpenSea with the current problems puts the whole NFT space at the stake of a big risk.

Let’s begin with an overview of the critical issues, that make the fundamental features of this NFT Marketplace quite deceitful.

Shared smart contracts templates for creating an NFT

OpenSea offers users the to create their own NFT or NFT collection via their interface. The creation tool allows users to create a smart contract, so then they’re able to mint an NFT on a blockchain (including Ethereum and Polygon).

But here is the thing — users who create NFTs on OpenSea deploy them via OpenSea shared storefront. OpenSea shared storefront assigns to create a templated smart contract on a blockchain with an actual NFT token.
Before a user executes “freeze metadata” all the NFTs media can be changed at whatever time. In order to put the media to IPFS, a user should always freeze the metadata before selling his NFT.

Newcomers assume that the NFT creation feature is working only on behalf of a few blockchain transactions. In actuality, OpenSea is able to regulate the whole process of it. So if you think that creating your collection in a biased way with a code, and creating it through the OpenSea are equal things, there are actually not.

OpenSea has the full right on influencing everything that happens with the NFT creation feature. They even can shut it down or whatever.

For example, now if you’re aiming to create an NFT on OpenSea, you have no choice of what token type your NFT will eventually be. The contracts of the OpenSea creation tool are deploying only ERC-1155 token types. And for some, it might be crucial.

Besides the NFT type, you can get the things like this:

Lack of multi-chain and cross-chain

NFT space demands multi-chain and cross-chain features. We recommend you to check our article about multi-chain and cross-chain here, in order to understand all the benefits of it for the whole blockchain technology.

Right now, the blockchains are competing with each other to create a large network and have NFTs on board. Not every blockchain has NFTs. But Solana, Ethereum, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, Tezos, Cardano do.

And that makes it complicated for the NFT community when it comes to a decision “where am I going to deploy my NFT collection”.

The perfect situation will be when NFT Marketplaces will be interoperable with any chain out there that is supporting NFTs.

At the moment now, OpenSea has one cross-chain integration, and it’s a bridge to Polygon. But still, it is not possible to trade NFTs with MATIC on OpenSea, which causes an extra step for users in their NFT experience.

For the biggest NFT Marketplace out there, it is even crucial to offer cross-chain integration. For starting NFT Marketplaces, it is a matter of surviving.

Recently, there were some rumors about OpenSea is going to support Solana blockchain for the creation, buying, and selling of NFTs.

If the rumors are true, that would be an amazing step forward for OpenSea to have a chance to stay on top.

Listing problems

Despite the uncancelled listing bug, which led to recent losses of NFT creators, so OpenSea decided to reimburse the lost funds, the bug is still present.

Unfortunately, the problem stays intact. When you’re transferring an NFT with an active listing, OpenSea will not remove the ongoing listing, and leaves the space for a major issue — a user can buy an NFT if it’s listed, even if an owner doesn’t have it in his wallet.

Troubles with displaying an NFT

Many users on OpenSea have been experiencing a disappearance of their NFT or even collection. There are many discussions on Reddit about this issue with OpenSea, which apparently has to do with another bug on their platform. Which leads us to a tremendous question — what amount of data OpenSea does store on-chain in that case?

This bug is hard to research because OpenSea is not fully open in the mechanics of things as storing your metadata. So, the trouble of displaying NFTs might be connected to a bug on their frontend, and with the methods of putting the data of an NFT on-chain.

Critical issues

OpenSea is continuously being spotted with a lot of critical issues that really need to be resolved as soon as possible.

We’ve decided to mention the most important of them. And maybe, we just don’t know yet what is about to come.

The bug on OpenSea was a culprit that is sending NFTs to the burn wallet address, which means that it’s not controlled by anybody, hence, it can’t be moved or recovered. It will stay there forever under the “ownership” of the burn wallet address.

That bug has led to the loss of 42 NFTs (the equivalent of $100K) that were representing Ethereum Name Service (ENS). The Web3 domain names come in the form of comprehensive letters directly on a blockchain.
OpenSea bug destroys $100,000 worth of NFTs, including historical ENS name

The recent issue with uncancelled listings has led to the total losses of NFT creators equivalent to $1.8 million. OpenSea handles listings in a way that it never deletes the previous listing ever created, while on the frontend, you can’t actually see it.

This critical bug allowed hackers to find previous listings and exploit them to buy NFTs for significantly lower prices than they were currently on sale.

Instead of trying to fix this bug, which for sure will happen over and over again, because so many users are not aware of the fact that uncancelled listings still can be fulfilled, OpenSea decided to refund the losses to NFT creators. Especially, because canceling a listing on Ethereum is extremely pricey at the moment.
OpenSea reimburses users $1.8 million after a bug led them to accidentally sell their NFTs far below market prices | Fortune


Another similar bug that has been causing tremendous losses for NFT creators includes troubles of mismatch between the information in a smart contract and the information displayed on the OpenSea’s interface.

This exploit allowed hackers to purchase NFTs based on the details of the old smart contract, while in OpenSea those details were not taken into account.

That gave an ability for a hacker to buy one of the Bored Ape Yach Club NFT for 0.77 ETH (less than $2k), and immediately resale it almost for $200K. That led to a permanent loss of around $198K for NFT creators of Bored Apes.
The bug is still present, btw.
An OpenSea bug let attackers snatch Apes from owners at six-figure discounts — The Verge

Another trouble that is creating a vulnerability for OpenSea users may lead them to permanent loss of all funds in Metamask wallet. OpenSea users that are having their Metamask browser extension may face a pop-up while browsing the media of an NFT in a new tab or a new window. Then, OpenSea initiates a request to connect storage.opensea.io to the victim’s wallet. If that is successful, then a malicious transaction approval pop-up may appear. And if a user doesn’t pay very close attention to what he or she is about to sign, it will cause the permanent loss of all funds in their Metamask.
OpenSea fixes vulnerabilities that could let hackers steal crypto with malicious NFTs — The Verge

NFT Marketplace should be decentralized. What about OpenSea?

Decentralization matters in every aspect when it comes to something like NFTs, Metaverse, and Web 3.0. Without decentralization, those concepts would’ve lost their whole meaning.

With NFT Marketplaces the situation is a bit different. There is no full decentralized NFT marketplace out there yet. But, there are NFT Marketplaces that are having their whole code stored as an Open Source.

With OpenSea the situation is also different. Nevertheless, let’s be honest, OpenSea is way more centralized than it needs to be.

If you would search for an OpenSea contract you won’t find any, because they are not open source. That’s why it is still unclear how actually OpenSea deploys NFTs that has been ever created via their interface off-chain. Does it ever bring them truly on-chain? Nobody really knows where do the NFT’s media go without their metadata being frozen, if an item like this is sold on OpenSea.

According to the OpenSea policy, they are entitled to delete/burn NFTs that are violating the platform rules (like plagiarism, etc.) which is understandable. Conversely, it creates a big room for questions about how actually OpenSea handles all the data.

Furthermore, smart contract shared storage gives an idea, that NFTs minted by a user on OpenSea are hard to verify an original collectible creator.

Which gives almost no control to the NFTs themselves.

What is the alternative?

The main alternative is to build an NFT Marketplace that will be competitive enough to OpenSea and solves the current issues. Why not fix the existing bug on OpenSea?

Well, as we already mentioned OpenSea is not really decentralized, and it has so many critical issues, it would be better for the NFT community to have another place for creating and trading NFTs.

There are plenty of NFT marketplaces competing with each other mostly with a greater trading volume. And that’s important. One of the important things for a newcomer NFT marketplace is to provide a broad range of assets.

And another important part is to implement a cross-chain integration. Which will remove a border for traders and investors to buy NFTs.

Less NFT Marketplace

The Less NFT Marketplace that is developed by our team is one of the few NFT Marketplaces that supports multiple blockchains for trading and creating NFTs.

This upcoming NFT Marketplace solves problems of OpenSea with a lack of cross-chain integration by supporting Binance Smart Chain, Ethereum, Polygon, and Fantom.

The creation tool deploys a smart contract on a chosen blockchain according to a token type that has been chosen by the user. For single NFT collectibles, a user will be able to go for the BEP/ ERC-721 token type. Hence, when creating multiple collectibles, the base collection for it will be represented by the BEP / ERC-1155 token standard.

Less NFT Marketplace supports all essential features, from English auction, Dutch auction, and all variants of time bids.

You will be able to list or create any NFT that will be representing media files no larger than 1 GB, on-chain and off-chain (by storing them on IPFS).

The other great part about Less NFT Marketplace is the list of the crypto that will be accepted for buying NFTs — ETH, WETH, BNB, WBNB, MATIC, WMATIC.

We take the building of an NFT Marketplace to the right path

Rock’n’Block’s team can help you with:

⚡️NFT and NFT Marketplaces development ;
⚡️NFT 10K generator;
⚡️Staking platforms;
⚡️Vesting platforms;
⚡️Farming platforms;
⚡️Any other custom request from a crypto wallet development to custom blockchain development.

If you’re interested in building your blockchain project, feel free to contact our team via the Telegram channel or book a call via Calendly.



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Article author: Mariia Zavtur