It’s fair to say that OpenSea is the most popular and well-known NFT marketplace out there right now. While there are certainly alternatives, they’re nowhere near as widely-used as OpenSea. It’s usually listed in the ranks of top NFT marketplaces to use if you’re looking to buy some of this tech, and there’s a good reason for that; it’s intuitive, easy to use, and newbie-friendly, so even if you’ve never bought or sold an NFT before, OpenSea should be a good place to start.
That’s even more true now, because OpenSea recently announced that it would accept credit card payments for NFTs. This is a monumental development; before, the only way to buy an NFT if you wanted one was to exchange cryptocurrency for it. Now, however, users can simply buy an NFT using a simple card, and you’ll also be able to use other payment methods if the credit card system doesn’t appeal to you. Here’s our rundown of OpenSea’s decision to allow credit card payments for NFTs.
Why is this a big deal?
Up until now, NFTs have been pretty closely tied to the cryptocurrency space. Because NFTs are registered on the blockchain, the only way to pay for them (historically, at least) has been to use cryptocurrency, most commonly ether (which is the main cryptocurrency on the Ethereum chain).
Now, however, OpenSea is letting you use credit cards, as well as two major mobile payment systems. This is big news because it means that those who aren’t particularly interested in cryptocurrency but still want to dabble in NFTs (they’re out there!) can now buy themselves an NFT without having to set up a crypto wallet.
What payment methods will OpenSea support?
In addition to cryptocurrency, which you’ll still be able to use to pay for your NFT, OpenSea will also support payment with a credit or debit card (that’s right, you can use your bank’s debit card!). This means you can use the same card you use for everything else to pay for NFTs, which is exciting.
As well as your card, you can also use Google Pay or Apple Pay to pay for NFTs. Naturally, doing so on mobile is probably your best bet, but you’ll also be able to use desktop environments to buy NFTs with Google or Apple Pay. It’s time to join the NFT revolution if you haven’t already!
How and why is this being facilitated?
In order to add new payment methods to its arsenal, OpenSea is collaborating with MoonPay. The company is a hugely successful startup that helps people to start crypto wallets and pay for blockchain assets. Together with MoonPay, OpenSea is hoping to open up NFTs and the crypto space in general to more users.
This is being done largely because NFT purchases are in decline. Over the course of February and March, NFT sales plummeted, despite an all-time high month of January. It’s clear that OpenSea wants to attract more users and show that NFTs aren’t the bubble many have accused them of being.
How will credit card NFT payments work?
If you want to pay for an NFT using a credit card (or what we call “fiat” currency), then you’ll be able to engage with the primary sale using that method. All you’ll need to do is select the payment method on the OpenSea website when you go to purchase an NFT, and you’ll be able to use your card or smartphone payment instead of crypto.
OpenSea is rolling this out in phases, so you might not see it live for a little while. As always, have patience; these features will make their way to you eventually. We don’t yet have a time frame for when OpenSea intends to have every region in which it operates able to buy using cards or smartphone payments, but we’re sure an announcement is coming.
Are there any downsides to credit card NFT payments?
The first and most obvious downside to paying for an NFT with your credit or debit card is that you’ll incur extra fees. This is because it costs OpenSea more if you use those methods, so they need to cover their costs. It makes sense, but it is a little frustrating given how many users will likely want to switch.
The other downsides to this new feature are all of the same downsides you’d usually experience when it comes to fiat currency. It’s centralised, so there will probably be some authentication issues with certain transactions. Otherwise, there aren’t many downsides, so make sure to check out NFT card payments if you’re interested.
Is this the future for all NFT markets?
Some marketplaces are already adapting to card payments for NFTs. Coinbase, for example, will allow you to use a Mastercard to pay for an NFT in its upcoming marketplace, although we don’t yet know if the marketplace will support other types of card. You will be able to use Mastercard credit or debit options, though.
There are some who believe that when NFT payments can be completed using cards and traditional fiat currencies, it will open this technology up to the public and make it more accessible. We’re not entirely certain about that; NFTs can still feel a little off-putting to those who aren’t in the know. However, it looks like if other NFT marketplaces want to compete with OpenSea, they’d be wise to open up their platforms.