With the increasing popularity of crypto, the number of active blockchains is also constantly growing. Bitcoin and Ethereum are the largest and most popular blockchains, however, there are dozens of other chains too, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
The recent boom in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has pushed many of the blockchains to add support for NFTs. While some blockchains like Ethereum were the first to allow for NFT trading, more and more chains now allow users to mint and trade NFTs.
Top 7 Blockchains For NFTs
Similar to decentralized finance (DeFi), the Ethereum blockchain is also king when it comes to NFTs. Considered by many to be the one-stop shop for NFT, over the past year it has quickly become the most talked about and sometimes the most trafficked blockchain.
However, many other blockchains have become increasingly popular within the NFT space. Considering the high transaction costs and environmental impact presented by the Ethereum blockchain, crypto artists and NFT enthusiasts have continued to look for new places to mint and trade NFTs.
But there are several things to consider when choosing which blockchain to mint on. Some of the biggest points are network size, creator costs, consumer spending habits, security, and community input.
Here is our curated list of the best seven blockchains for NFTs.
Many consider Ethereum the best NFT blockchain. In fact, while not the first chain to host NFTs, the Ethereum blockchain was the first to really popularize the concept of non-fungible tokens and to date has a commanding advantage in terms of liquidity.
The launch of the network in 2015 paved the way for non-fungible tokens to enter the mainstream, with the Ethereum protocol introducing the ERC-721 non-fungible token standard. ERC-721 tokens may have different properties and values relative to other tokens in the same smart contract, including images of metadata associated with the tokens.
Additionally, Ethereum was the first to implement the ERC-1155 multi-token standard, which allows tokens to behave similarly to ERC-20 fungible and ERC-721 non-fungible tokens.
Due to its position at the forefront of the NFT market, Ethereum currently hosts tens of thousands of NFT collections, including some of the most well-known projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks.
Solana is not just about performance. The blockchain has a unique architecture that combines proof-of-history (PoH) and proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus systems that ensure high security while maintaining fast validation times. The result is a smooth and agile trading experience for both fungible and non-fungible tokens.
In terms of scalability, Solana presents itself as one of the most promising blockchains, having grown at an exceptional rate over the last few years, and now features not one, but two of the largest NFT marketplaces out there, Solanart and Magic Eden.
One of the most attractive elements of Solana, beyond its price, efficiency, and accessibility, is the fact that, unlike most of its counterparts, it is a low-carbon blockchain platform, which addresses one of the biggest concerns that blockchain technologies tend to raise.
On its own, the low carbon footprint makes Solana an extremely high potential blockchain, but when combined with its high throughput and low fees, it is an alternative that no NFT trader, collector and creator should miss out on.
Today, the platform’s native cryptocurrency, SOL, is gaining value at a dizzying rate, so there is no better time than now to mint or buy NFTs on this platform.
3. Binance Smart Chain (BSC)
Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible blockchain that runs alongside, but independently of, Binance Chain. This is important as it allows performance on Binance Chain to continue without interruption while introducing smart contract functionality to the ecosystem.
BSC operates using the BEP-721 token standard, which allows the creation of non-fungible tokens, and many Ethereum-based NFT developers can use similar tools in BSC with little change.
Binance Smart Chain operates using a consensus model called staked proof of authority (PoSA) which allows for short block time and low fees. To date, very few notable collections of NFTs have been published on BSC, although analyzes show that NFT trading on the network rose sharply towards the end of 2021 and into 2022, often ranking among the highest volume chains for NFTs.
For a greener alternative, consider the Tezos blockchain. Tezos gained popularity in early 2021. One of the first marketplaces on the blockchain, Hic et Nunc, was advertised as a cheap alternative to Ethereum-centric markets until the platform closed on November 14, 2021.
Like Solana, Tezos uses a PoS consensus mechanism and only one PoS mechanism to help reduce the computational work required to verify blocks and transactions on the blockchain. Because of this, the blockchain uses around two million times less energy than Ethereum. Also, it has lower fees than Ethereum (but costs more than Solana).
Tezos is a great place to start for those looking to mint lots of NFTs or large-scale collections. Objkt is currently the largest and most popular marketplace on the Tezos chain.
With an advanced proof-of-stake (PoS) based architecture, Cardano offers a lot of flexibility for developers building scalable applications on its blockchain, while allowing users to transact easily and efficiently.
Its 250 transactions per second rate should be more than enough for any NFT operator, and its app support makes it ideal for NFTs built for specific platforms and games.
The fact that some of the most popular NFT-based apps ever created such as CryptoMayor, Spacebudz, and Crypto Knitties (not to be confused with Crypto Kitties) are on Cardano demonstrates just how versatile the blockchain is.
With a minting cost of around 0.16-0.17 ADA, equivalent to 1 or 2 cents, Cardano is one of the most accessible blockchains for anyone looking to mint an NFT, and a great starting point for newcomers, especially because the API to work the blockchain comes as a free community service.
For veterans in the space, it goes without saying that this is one of the best and most popular blockchains for NFTs.
Flow is a high-performance blockchain specifically geared toward building NFTs, games, and decentralized applications (dApps). In stark contrast to mainstream blockchains like Ethereum, Flow is designed with scalability in mind, meaning billions of people could potentially interact with NFTs on the blockchain.
Originally launched in 2019, Flow quickly rose to fame as the NBA’s blockchain partner. A product of Dapper labs (the team behind the legacy CryptoKitties project), Flow facilitated the launch and is the host of NBA Top Shot, making blockchain an integral component in the popularization of non-fungible tokens.
Like Tezos, Flow also uses a PoS-only consensus mechanism to verify transactions. Because of this, the blockchain can handle an inordinate number of transactions, with developers currently working on a model to handle around 10,000 transactions per second. Transaction fees are also significantly low.
In addition to Blocktobay (a popular Flow-native NFT marketplace), Flow NFTs can be traded through OpenSea, Rarible, Foundation, and many other platforms.
Flow has become a popular venue for sports NFTs, as organizations like the NBA, NFL, UFC, and others have launched their own marketplaces on the blockchain.
However, like Solana, Flow is not used as much as Ethereum, resulting in fewer NFT markets and fewer people trading on the blockchain.
7. Worldwide Asset Exchange (WAX)
WAX is considered the king when it comes to digital collectibles and virtual items. This of course encompasses NFTs, but unlike Ethereum (where digital art and avatar projects dominate the market), WAX is popular for digitized versions of legacy collectibles like trading cards, figurines, memorabilia, etc.
Like other high-efficiency blockchains, Wax employs a PoS mechanism, but also creates carbon offset NFTs and partners with Climate Care as part of a sustainability mission. Similar to Flow, transaction fees are significantly low, and as a unique incentive for collectors, network fees on WAX are redistributed to the WAX community.
WAX markets are also home to a wide variety of influential brands, including collectible baseball company Topps, racing giant NASCAR, toy company Hot Wheels, and even some cult classic movie franchises like Godzilla, The Princess Bride, and Spiderman.