What is LooksRare: The Upstart Giving OpenSea A Run for Its Money
Key Questions Answered
- LooksRare styles itself as a “community-first NFT marketplace” which very quickly surpassed market leader OpenSea in NFT sales volume since it launched in January 2022.
- It differentiates itself from the competition by generously rewarding users of its platform, including redistributing 100% of trading fees to holders of its LOOKS token.
- It also rewards investors with tokens for listing NFTs on the platform, as well as any trading activity performed; this has encouraged users to game the system by selling and buying NFTs back and forth among themselves in what is known as “wash trading.”
What Is LooksRare? LooksRare.org Platform Explained
The market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has grown to the point that it has become a household talking point everywhere. In 2021, combined NFT sales totaled over $24 billion, with collections such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks punctuating the headlines of financial publications worldwide. Most of these NFT sales action happened on OpenSea, the largest global NFT marketplace–until early 2022.
LooksRare, which fashions itself as a decentralized NFT marketplace, burst onto the scene with an unveiled agenda to win over OpenSea users, dangling an offer no NFT enthusiast could resist–airdrops for anyone who had traded a certain amount of ETH on OpenSea in the second half of 2021.
The airdrop consisted of LooksRare’s native token LOOKS, which at time of writing has a circulating supply of almost 455 million tokens and a current value of $0.33, for a market cap of $151,163,641.
About 12% of total LOOKS tokens supply (about 120,000,000) were given away during that initial airdrop.
LooksRare Vs. OpenSea: Volume Comparison & Controversies
According to data collected by the open-source blockchain analytics firm Dune Analytics, LooksRare chalked up more than $9 billion in total trading volume since its launch, almost triple that of its rival OpenSea during the same period.
However, a Bloomberg report has quoted NFT aggregator CryptoSlam as identifying up to 95% of these transactions as “wash trades” i.e. ingenuine trades where the NFT holder sells and buys the same NFTs back–with artificially inflated prices, no less–creating the illusion of positive market activity and sentiment (CryptoSlam categorizes an NFT transaction that was sold and then repurchased by the same wallet within seven days as a wash trade.)
And this is because of LooksRare’s reward system that offers trading rewards in the form of its native LOOKS tokens when users list, buy or sell any NFT on the platform–even if they are both buyer and seller (the quantity allocated is based on a number of factors, including time spent as a member of the platform, and the price of the purchase that was issued or received.)
At the same time, LooksRare prides itself on being a “community-first” NFT marketplace where 100% of revenue generated in NFT trading fees is redistributed to LOOKS token stakers. It also purports to benefit creators by ensuring that they get paid instantly at the moment of sale.
Below are other ways LOOKS token holders get rewarded.
How Does LooksRare Coin Staking Work?
Besides receiving trading fee rewards in the form of WETH commensurating with the amount of tokens staked, token holders earn additional compounded LOOKS when they leave their LOOKS tokens staked in the platform.
LooksRare makes a distinction between two types of staking:
- Active staking: Staked LOOKS tokens are fully unlocked, earning additional LOOKS under auto-compound while staked. The majority of stakers fall into this category.
- Passive staking: Staked tokens are locked for trading but unlocked for staking. LOOKS in passive staking do not earn additional LOOKS while staked.
Who Is Behind LooksRare.org?
The answer to this question is slightly peculiar, to say the least. LooksRare.org was, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, founded by two anonymous individuals who go by the online monikers “Zodd” and “Guts.”
And wherever journalists have tried, the LooksRare team have been extremely difficult to contact, as they only listed titles/job descriptions and pseudonyms on their website.
The two had previously collaborated on various message boards, where they made clear that they wished to start up a market alternative to OpenSea, with a goal to introduce a financially-based incentive system that would encourage users to migrate to their platform from pre-existing ones.
This led to almost every early LooksRare initiative being highly focused on the creation and implementation of the LOOKS token–with a good dose of marketing hype.
LooksRare Coin to ETH – How to Convert LooksRare Token to Standard Ethereum Token
There are various different ways to convert LOOKS to ETH, including through the LooksRare platform itself. Crypto exchanges like Phemex (see below) that offer both cryptocurrencies will be able to facilitate such a transaction.
At time of writing, 1 LOOKS token is tradable for 0.0001683 ETH.
Top NFT Collections on LooksRare
- CryptoPunks: This collection has been extremely popular in recent months among LooksRare users, with 10,000 total NFTs spread across 2,797 different user accounts. The most expensive item in this collection sold on LooksRare.org for an eye-popping 999 ETH, which equates to over $3 million today.
- World of Women: The World of Women collection, another staple investment amongst LooksRare clients, has a collection of 10,000 total NFTs spread across 5,334 different user accounts. The most expensive item in its collection sold on LooksRare.org for almost 670 ETH, which equates to over $2 million today.
- Meebits: One of the older and more popular NFT collections available on LooksRare, Meebits has a total collection of almost 20,000 items spread out over 6,378 different accounts. The most expensive item in the Meebits collection that sold on LooksRare.org did so for 333 ETH, which equates to just over $1 million today.
How To Buy LOOKS on Phemex
Phemex offers both spot and contract trading for investors to choose from. However, for beginning crypto buyers, spot trading is recommended. To buy LOOKS on Phemex, follow the instructions below.
- The first step to buying cryptocurrency on Phemex is to go to the Phemex homepage, register for an account, and select Markets.
- On the Markets tab enter LOOKS into the search bar on the top right, immediately after, the LOOKS/USDT trading pair will appear below – select Trade to move on to the next step.
- You will then be redirected to the Phemex trading platform for the LOOKS/USDT pair. To do a simple spot trade we recommend doing a market order where you can buy LOOKS at the market price. To do so, select Market, enter the amount of USDT you want to buy of LOOKS, and click Buy LOOKS.
There is no doubt that the headway made by LooksRare into the NFT market has been impressive. By generously rewarding all network participants from traders to stakers, LooksRare has been able to leapfrog its competitor OpenSea in sales volume. And yet, with concerns about wash trading abounding, it remains to be seen if LooksRare can really achieve the ideal of a community-first NFT marketplace and ensure long-term longevity. Time will tell.