It’s a big day for the Amazon of the decentralized internet – OpenSea now has an app for iOS and Android. For most businesses, a mobile app is a milestone you would hit before you hit a $ 1.5 billion valuation. But like any business – whether you sell NFT art or not – you have to pay a heavy price for app store transactions, whether you’re on Android or iOS. That may be why OpenSea’s shiny new app is only for browsing NFTs, not buying or selling. In context, OpenSea had a trading volume of $ 3.4 billion in two million transactions in August. If Apple and Google took over 30% of in-app transactions, if that volume had been traded on the new app … what is 30% of $ 3.4 billion?
Maybe more of a roadblock, there is still no way to make in-app payments with crypto. If OpenSea wanted to support buying and selling, it would have to expand its USD payments infrastructure and push more users to do so. Part of the appeal of OpenSea, however, is that it is a crypto-native platform largely based on the Ethereum blockchain, giving people easier access to information about when an NFT was minted, who minted it how it was traded, etc. It could upset the existing user ecosystem if the startup pushes the platform towards being more dollar-friendly.
In the OpenSea app, users can connect their profile, browse NFTs and favorite NFTs, search and filter NFTs, and view collection and item statistics. When viewing an NFT in the app, you’ll see a button that allows you to share the NFT outside of the app. Rarible, another NFT marketplace, released a mobile app about a month ago. As with the OpenSea app, the Rarible app only lets you browse NFTs, not buy, sell, or trade.
OpenSea has yet to respond to questions from TechCrunch about the company’s plans for the app, including whether users will one day be able to buy and sell NFTs in the app. It wouldn’t be the first time that crypto has been exchanged via an app, because even PayPal now lets you pay with crypto. Instead, perhaps the app can provide a way to help new users get started in the NFT space by giving them a simple, easy-to-use way to browse NFT art without knowing anything about wallets or blockchains or monkeys.
This app was launched just days after an OpenSea manager was accused of trading NFTs based on inside information. The company announced on its blog on Wednesday that the employee has since resigned.