Points Season: Who's Winning the NFT Marketplace Wars on Ethereum, Solana, and Bitcoin?


The “points” meta has overtaken the crypto space as of late, and NFT marketplaces across Ethereum, Solana, and Bitcoin are jumping on the bandwagon (and in some cases driving it) in an attempt to win the hearts, minds, and wallets of traders everywhere.

Will points translate to token airdrops? Will the NFT market return to its former glory? And if so, which company is in the best position to win the NFT marketplace wars? Here’s how things are shaping up so far:

Magic Eden is the latest NFT marketplace to try and lure in users through points-like loyalty models that could pay off with a token drop or other rewards. The marketplace recently launched its Diamonds rewards system, which includes a retroactive drop of rewards to Solana traders dating back to 2021.

Ethereum marketplace Blur pioneered the points model, and it was this time last year that the upstart platform dethroned longtime leader OpenSea by dropping hundreds of millions of dollars worth of BLUR tokens to its most loyal users. By the end of the year, Blur had given away $818 million worth of BLUR tokens after users racked up points.

Tensor, the leading Solana NFT marketplace, has employed a similar points-based loyalty model, and similarly overtook leader Magic Eden last year—but Tensor still has yet to launch its crypto token. To be clear, Tensor has yet to officially announce a token airdrop tied to the points, though it has teased such sentiments in the past.

Magic Eden’s launch of its Diamonds system—starting on Solana, but expanding to Bitcoin, Polygon, and Ethereum soon—signaled an apparent attempt to catch up to Tensor. Similarly, we don’t know yet what Magic Eden’s points-like Diamonds will actually be used for, though there’s also a separate NFT token drop coming in parallel with the rewards system.

Is Magic Eden’s rewards shift paying off in terms of boosting its market share? So far, not really.

Magic Eden briefly saw a Solana surge that suggested it was making up ground on Tensor. On February 5, Decrypt observed that market data from analytics platform Tiexo pointed to Magic Eden claiming a 41% share of Solana NFT volume over the previous 24-hour period, compared to 53% for Tensor. That was much closer than it had been in recent weeks.

However, as of this writing, Tensor commands about 73% of Solana NFT market share over the past 24 hours, per Tiexo, compared to just 22% for Magic Eden. Zooming out a bit, there isn’t a significant shift over the past weeks. In the last seven days, Tensor has over 75% share compared to 19% for Magic Eden; in the last month, Tensor claims over 73% with Magic Eden at less than 22%.

Image: Tiexo

Expanding the data to include platforms across several major NFT chains, however—including Solana, Ethereum, Bitcoin, Polygon, and BNB Chain—reveals some other interesting details about how rewards models are further reshaping the marketplace wars.

Looking at the broader landscape, Blur rules the market by a wide margin, commanding about 42% market share over the past week. That’s entirely on Ethereum mainnet, still the leading blockchain for NFTs, and Blur’s existing token and history of sizable airdrops to users appears to be propelling its continued dominance.

Tensor is second overall with about 14.5% market share among tracked networks, all on Solana, followed by Magic Eden with 14%—with the majority of that volume coming from Bitcoin Ordinals sales.

OpenSea, which has no points system and has long resisted calls to launch its own token, lands in fourth with about 12.4% share, primarily on Ethereum and scaling network Polygon. Bringing up the rear is OKX’s marketplace for Bitcoin Ordinals, which are similar to NFTs, with about 7.7% market share.

Tiexo’s 24-hour data shows some deviations due to the smaller sample size, with Blur holding an even larger share at 52.5% and Magic Eden up second with just under 12%—but the majority of that volume is on Bitcoin, likely due to Tuesday’s sale for the Bits gaming project. OpenSea, Tensor, and OKX bring up the rear, in that order.

tiexo nft data feb14 2024
Image: Tiexo

Magic Eden is readying a significant push on Ethereum with the launch of a new marketplace for that chain, created in partnership with Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs. Set to debut on February 27, the marketplace has also set alliances with the teams behind major Ethereum projects like Pudgy Penguins and Azuki.

Will the launch of Magic Eden’s new Ethereum marketplace, with associated Diamonds rewards, help turn the tide and provide a sustainable boost as it battles rivals? We’ll see later this month, as it’s the next big shift on the horizon—although the NFT world is ever full of surprises.

Edited by Guillermo Jimenez



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