OpenSea, one of the most popular NFT marketplaces, has launched its first app for iOS and Android. The app allows OpenSea users to view the platform’s collection of digital items, but notably doesn’t allow for any kind of money to change hands, digital or otherwise (via TechCrunch).
The OpenSea app basically works as a kind of gallery. You can browse artwork, share listings you find, and lovingly ogle and manage your own NFTs. The app shares a lot of the same blue and white stylings of the OpenSea site, just missing the button that says “Buy Now.”
There are a couple possible reasons why actual NFT purchases are missing. At the most obvious, highest level, OpenSea probably doesn’t want to share a 30 percent cut of NFT transactions with the likes of Apple and Google. That doesn’t help the people selling the work, and it doesn’t help OpenSea. The other complicating factor is that OpenSea’s payments are frequently in Ethereum, which currently isn’t supported as an in-app payment method on either platform.
On paper, the OpenSea app furthers the company’s goal of “making NFTs more available to all,” but without the key economic element — the one being sold to struggling artists and speculated upon by hungry investors — it’ll first and foremost be another way to look at nice JPEGs. The app is also launching at an awkward time for the company. OpenSea head of product Nate Chastain made a high-profile exit from the company last week following accusations of insider NFT trading.