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LooksRare is a community-based platform where users can buy and sell NFTs. It has relatively limited functionality and is not suited to new investors, but may appeal to those who want to earn rewards. Read our full LooksRare marketplace review to find out if it's right for you.
Types of NFTs
Supported Wallets
MetaMask, WalletConnect, Coinbase Wallet
Payment Methods
Low fees and rewards don't make up for potentially questionable practices.
This NFT marketplace is a good fit for: NFT investors who want to earn LOOKS rewards.
LooksRare is a well-known marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It has high trading volumes and a large number of NFTs available for trading. However, the pseudonymous founders and accusations of wash trading are both reasons for investors to be cautious about using the platform.
LooksRare only charges a 2% fee on sales, which is lower than many of its competitors. Be aware that you'll also have to pay gas fees on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, and these charges can add up.
LooksRare users can earn LOOKS rewards — the platform's native token — for staking, trading, and listing. At time of writing, the staking reward was almost 70%. However, be aware that high rates of return can be deceptive. As we've seen with other decentralized finance products, platforms can dilute the token's value by paying unsustainably high rates of return.
Rather than bidding on individual items, LooksRare allows you to bid on a whole collection all at once. Users can also buy items through auction or through fixed-price sales.
LooksRare does not accept debit or credit card payments. Indeed, there's no way to buy an NFT using traditional money. In terms of crypto payments, you'll need ETH or WETH to use the site. Users can get ETH from most crypto exchanges, but it does make the site slightly harder for new investors to access.
The platform doesn't have any helpful category-based search filters. This means there isn't an easy way to browse for specific types of NFTs — such as music or gaming. In addition, LooksRare doesn't have a mobile app, as it only works in your browser. Creators cannot mint new NFTs on LooksRare, it only allows users to buy or sell.
Wash trading is a form of price manipulation where one person can buy and sell the same NFT using different wallets. It means an NFT might appear more popular or more valuable than it actually is. The platform's earning model encourages this behavior as it rewards users for buying and selling NFTs. This effectively incentivizes people to game the system.
If you want more payment and blockchain options: OpenSea is the biggest NFT marketplace in the world. It has slightly higher fees than LooksRare, but is much more user friendly and has a lot more functionality.
The LooksRare platform doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles. Its main attraction is that it is community driven and rewards users for activity on the system. But it isn't super easy to use, offers limited payment methods, and only works with the Ethereum blockchain.
LooksRare is a straightforward NFT marketplace. Here's what you can and can't do on the platform:
READ MORE: Best NFT marketplaces
LooksRare says it is a community-driven project that uses its native LOOKS token to pay rewards to the people who use the platform. For example, LOOKS stakers receive a share of all trading fees.
Unlike other top NFT marketplaces, LooksRare only uses the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. Many NFTs are built on Ethereum, so this won't have much impact on the number of NFTs available. However, it does affect gas fees. Ethereum is by far the most expensive blockchain and the gas fees can significantly push up the price of your NFT activity.
Fees on other blockchains such as Polygon (MATIC), Solana (SOL), or Tezos (XTZ) are a fraction of those on Ethereum. Other NFT marketplaces, such as OpenSea or Rarible, allow users to trade on different blockchain networks, opening up the way for significant gas fee reductions.
LooksRare supports the following crypto wallets:
MetaMask and Coinbase are two of the biggest hot wallets on the market, while WalletConnect integrates with many different wallets and applications. As such, most NFT investors will likely be able to connect to LooksRare.
READ MORE: Best NFT wallets
It would be good to see more crypto wallet options, particularly cold storage options. Unlike hot wallets, cold wallets are not connected to the internet, so they are a more secure way to store digital assets.
LooksRare uses three cryptocurrencies: Ethereum (ETH), Wrapped Ethereum (WETH), and its own Looks token (LOOKS). The platform does not accept debit or credit cards. There's no way to pay using fiat currencies (traditional money like dollars) or stablecoins like USD Coin (USDC). If you need to buy ETH or WETH, check out our list of top crypto apps.
If you're trying to buy an NFT for a fixed price, LooksRare accepts both ETH and WETH. However, if you want to make an offer on an item, you'll need to use WETH. Without getting too technical, wrapped Ethereum is a tokenized version of Ethereum. Each WETH is worth one ETH, and WETH is easier to use on some decentralized applications.
LooksRare charges a straight fee of 2% on all NFT sales, paid in WETH. LooksRare fees are lower than other top NFT marketplaces that usually charge 2.5% or more. In addition to the 2% fee, you'll also need to pay a gas fee to record the transaction on the Ethereum network. Gas fees vary depending on how congested the network is.
It would be useful for LooksRare to publish a transparent fee page that sets out how its fees work. Creators can set a royalty fee that is automatically sent to them when the item is sold.
It is hard to know what types of NFTs you can buy on LooksRare. The site doesn't have any facility to search for, say art, collectibles, or domain names. The only filters users can apply are price, the ability to buy now, and the name of collection. It's fine if you know what you're looking for, or which artist or collector you want to buy from. However, it is difficult to browse.
In fairness, there are plenty of NFTs available. It's just that it feels like walking into a second hand book shop where nothing has been organized and you're just picking up random items. For example, you can buy gaming and metaverse NFTs (I found Axies and some Sandbox land for sale) but you'll only find them if you search for the specific game or item. There may be music NFTs on sale, but it's hard to know. There's no place where you can browse all music NFTs.
LooksRare is a non-custodial NFT marketplace, which means the platform does not store any digital assets. Each user needs a crypto wallet to store their cryptocurrency and NFTs. The user is responsible for the security of that wallet and there is no central location that may be targeted by hackers.
The main security risks for NFT investors are fraud, weaknesses in smart contract or other coding, or phishing attacks. Phishing is where users get tricked into sharing account information via fake messages or sites. On the upside, LooksRare is transparent about its security audits. It publishes the results of external audits carried out by third parties. Audit teams have checked various aspects, including looking for vulnerabilities in the platform's code. It also has a bug bounty program that pays developers who find flaws in the system.
However, there are also some serious red flags. Firstly, the team is pseudonymous — according to its site, the co-founders are called Zodd and Guts and there's not much more info about them. Secondly, there are many reports of wash trading on the LooksRare platform. Wash trading is when one trader or investor is both the seller and the buyer. It's essentially a way to manipulate prices and make an item appear to be more valuable than it is. According to CryptoSlam data, 95% of the trading volume on LooksRare can be attributed to wash trading.
With very little investor protection or regulation around NFT sales, small print is important on NFT platforms. The terms and conditions are one of the few concrete pieces of info about your agreement with that company. However, the terms and conditions on LooksRare are not reassuring.
For starters, LooksRare says it takes no responsibility for any risks of buying counterfeit assets, faulty smart contracts, or various other issues. It also says it doesn't guarantee the information on the site will be correct or virus-free: "We do not represent or warrant that access to the front-end interface will be continuous, uninterrupted, timely, or secure; that the information contained in the interface will be accurate, reliable, complete, or current; or that the Interface will be free from errors, defects, viruses, or other harmful elements."
Emma lives in Bogota, Colombia, where she owns the English-language newspaper The Bogota Post. She began her editorial career at a financial website in the U.K. over 20 years ago and has been contributing to The Ascent since the summer of 2019.
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