Few crypto startups have the market dominance that OpenSea has right now, but many startups backed by venture capital are trying to cut into their lead.

Welcome back to Chain Reaction, where we break down and explain the latest crypto news, drama, and trends, one block at a time, for those who are interested in crypto but don’t know much about it.

We talked to Jack Lu, the co-founder and CEO of the fast-growing NFT marketplace Magic Eden, for this week’s Tuesday episode. The venture-backed startup was started last year, and it has already become a “unicorn” by raising money at a valuation of $1.6 billion.

The startup has become the standard way for NFT traders in the Solana ecosystem to do business. However, as the market has grown, the company’s team has changed its goals to compete with OpenSea on its home turf, the Ethereum network, where they’ve just started rolling out early support.

The new company wants to stand out in the larger NFT marketplace space by not being a hub for online art and instead focusing more on verticals like gaming.

Lu tells us that Magic Eden is mostly about “collectibles,” which include things like avatars, profile pictures, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) related to gaming. “We’re not really a generalized marketplace that plays in every category. We don’t do one-of-a-kind fine art, and we don’t do usernames or domain names,” Lu says.

As Anita and Lucas tried to get a feel for crypto gaming in late summer 2022, they spent most of their time talking about Magic Eden’s focus on games.

It was the part of Magic about games. Eden was the main topic of discussion as Anita and Lucas tried to figure out what was going on in crypto gaming in late summer 2022.

“There are no ‘web3 gamers.’ People who like to play games don’t go looking for a web3 game; they just want to play a game,” says Lu. “I think we’ll see a shift where pure game content developers who are experts at making game content and game loops themselves will come into this space and use web3 more as a tool to help players or products reach their goals within the game.”

You can listen to the whole episode to hear Lu’s more detailed thoughts on the NFT gaming market and what he thinks about the possibility of NFT transaction fees getting lower and lower.

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