Introducing eBay-style Auctions for Crypto Collectibles

Until now, non-fungible tokens have been missing gas-free auctions where the highest bid wins.

Alex Atallah
Feb 10 · 5 min read
An English Auction on OpenSea. Link: https://opensea.io/bundles/etheremon-starter-kit-english-auction

Two main types of auctions

There are two main types of auctions: “English” and “Dutch.” The paradigmatic type of auction that you see for existing crypto collectibles like CryptoKitties, Etheremon, and MyCryptoHeroes has been the Dutch Auction. In this form, a seller lists an item for immediate sale, but sets the price to change over time. Buyers make purchases hoping they see these listings at the right time.

A Dutch Auction from CryptoKitties.co on the left, and an English Auction from OpenSea on the right.

Why English Auctions can be better

The primary benefit of an English Auction is that the seller doesn’t have to know the market value of their item when they price it; instead, they can low-ball a guess, and the market will drive the price up to the seller’s benefit.

Gas-free for both buyers and sellers

Why not just ask buyers to make offers on your items, like OpenSea has allowed for months? Because an English Auction guarantees that the highest bidder will win the item when the auction expires, regardless of whether the seller is awake or not. And we’ve added a nice feature that makes this guarantee possible: OpenSea will auto-match the highest bid with the auction, so neither sellers nor buyers have to pay gas!

Creating an English Auction for a testnet CryptoKitty on OpenSea

Bundle Offers

With this new auction ability comes another highly requested feature on OpenSea: making offers on bundles. Now buyers will be able to suggest prices they’re willing to pay for your bundles on Dutch Auctions and fixed-price listings.

Give it a try!

We’re very excited about English Auctions, so give them a try and put an asset on sale by visiting your account: https://opensea.io/account. OpenSea doesn’t escrow your items, so you never lose hold of them!

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Alex Atallah

Written by

Co-founder of @ProjectOpenSea | previously @YCombinator, @PalantirTech, @Apple

OpenSea

OpenSea

Buy, sell, and discover rare digital items