We take a deep dive into one of the largest NFT marketplaces in the crypto space.
is a community-first NFT marketplace that vows to focus on rewarding traders, collectors and creators. It prides itself on being founded “by NFT people for NFT people.” The platform famously launched with an airdrop
to wallets that had generated a minimum of 3 ETH transaction volume on OpenSea
. Over 110,000 wallets were able to claim LOOKS, amounting to 60% of all eligible wallets.
Its community-first approach is defined by three key pillars:
- Rewarding users: users buying or selling NFTs on the platform receive rewards in LOOKS.
- Redistributing platform fees: 100% of generated fees go to stakers.
- Instant creator payout: creators receive royalty payments at the moment of sale.
LooksRare is built with modular smart contracts
, allowing the platform to roll out new features over time. The roadmap promises further innovation like the option to bid for all NFTs in a selected collection, bidding for NFTs with a certain trait (e.g. a Bored Ape with Gold Fur), and canceling multiple orders in one transaction.
LooksRare lists a total of 14 team members on its site, with all their identities hidden behind pseudonymous accounts. The project was launched by Zodd
and Guts, two unidentified founders that provide no further information about their background.
LooksRare resembles, in many ways, the SushiSwap DEX
, which was also founded by a pseudonymous account called “Chef Nomi.” Similar to Looks’ competition with OpenSea in the market, Sushi faced a bigger and more resourceful platform in UniSwap
, which it tried to displace. LooksRare also copied SushiSwap’s approach to challenging the incumbent by launching a “vampire attack,”
in which the platform airdrops free tokens to suck liquidity out of its competition.
LooksRare stands out from platforms like OpenSea and other attempts at challenging its grip on the NFT
market like OpenDao(SOS)
in several ways.
First, it differentiates from OpenSea by offering a different culture than its competition’s top-down, corporate approach to NFTs. OpenSea has faced criticism
over its business strategy, and LooksRare tries to compete with a more democratic and user-oriented culture
, similar to how Sushi challenged UniSwap. This is reflected in its tokenomics, with 75% of the total supply reserved for the community.
Second, LooksRare differs from other community-oriented projects by offering a platform that looks and feels professional
. Users on LooksRare can trade NFTs directly from their wallets like MetaMask
. After connecting to the website, they can customize their profile and start buying and selling single NFTs or entire collections. NFTs are either offered at fixed prices, or users can bid for them if the owner has listed an NFT for sale. All trades are paid for in ETH or WETH.
LooksRare undercuts its rival on trading fees, offering a flat 2% fee on all trades compared to OpenSea’s 2.5%. In addition, traders receive rewards in the native LOOKS token, which have led to accusations of wash trades
taking place to boost the platform’s popularity and exaggerate its trading volume vis-a-vis other marketplaces.
Trading rewards follow a four-phased emission schedule:
Phase A: 195,000 blocks (30 days) - 2,866,500.00 LOOKS
Phase B: 585,000 blocks (90 days) - 1,361,587.50 LOOKS
Phase C: 1,560,000 blocks (240 days) - 537,468.75 LOOKS
Phase D: 2,346,250 blocks (361 days) - 286,650.00 LOOKS.
LOOKS is the platform’s governance token
. The total supply
of LOOKS is 1 billion, according to the following distribution:
- Community (75%): 44.1% trading rewards, 18.9% staking rewards, 12% airdrop
- Ecosystem development (10%): treasury funds
- Team (10%)
- Strategic sale (3.3%)
- Liquidity management (1.3%)
- ANC liquidity (5%)
- Airdrops (5%)
According to its emission schedule, LOOKS will reach its total supply after two years. The platform collects a 2% transaction fee in WETH
on all NFT sales. Each 6,500 Ethereum blocks (approximately 24 hours), the collected fees are linearly redistributed to LOOKS stakers over the next 6,500 blocks.
LooksRare launched on Ethereum
, which is secured by a proof-of-work consensus mechanism
that requires miners to mine new Ether. A set of decentralized nodes validates transactions and secures the Ethereum blockchain. The protocol uses on-chain standards like EIP-712 and ERC-2981 and has been designed for scalability, speed, and security. The protocol stresses in its documents that it retains compatibility for deploying on scaling solutions
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