The NFT trading platform Tensor, which launched earlier this year, has taken the number one spot in Solana’s NFT marketplace, overtaking Magic Eden in trading volume on the network.
Over the past month, Tensor has seen an NFT trading volume of over $1 million, almost double Magic Eden’s, according to analytics platform TIEXO.
This means that Tensor makes up an estimated 60% of the total NFT trading market share on Solana, with Magic Eden coming in under 30% of total volume.
Magic Eden still has more unique wallet users than Tensor, however, with roughly 116 thousand wallets and a 70% engagement rate compared to Tensor’s 86 thousand wallets and 52% engagement rate.
The implication is that many Tensor traders are trading higher with volumes, while Magic Eden may cater to more casual NFT buyers.
Becoming the Solana NFT leader
According to Ilja Moisejevs, the co-founder of Tensor, the path to building Tensor and attracting NFT traders was not an easy one.
“At first [we did] a lot of stuff that doesn’t scale,” Moisejevs told Blockworks. “We got our first 50 users by literally hopping into the DMs of top traders and asking them to try the product. Many said no, but some said yes, and that was enough to get started.”
Tensor shipped various products in order to appeal to its audience, Moisejevs said, noting that the first version of its product looked similar to the Bloomberg terminal, an approach which appealed to more financial and analytical folks.
“[We] listened to user feedback and kept iterating; we’ve turned the product over like thirty times,” he said.
Tensor’s identity is linked strongly to the Solana ecosystem, Moisejeves added. Even when the price of SOL, Solana’s native token, dipped to $8, the team did not leave for other ecosystems, “We stayed and doubled down,” Moisejeves said.
He adds that in order for Tensor to be successful, Solana itself must be a massive success.
“That’s why we’re not shopping chains and 10x-ing our focus on Solana. We really think Solana can be the chain that brings crypto and NFTs in particular to the masses,” Moisejevs said.
Like Blur — the Ethereum NFT trading platform — Tensor initially started off as a trading platform for pro-traders. Though this cohort of customers is still prioritized by the team, Moisejevs notes that it is slowly moving towards appealing to retail traders as well.
Further, there has been speculation from community members that Tensor would introduce a similar airdrop strategy to Blur. Most recently, community members were encouraged by speculators to purchase the Tensorian NFT, Tensor’s own NFT collection which would give buyers unique access to its pro trading product, and access to exclusive chat rooms.
The Tensorian collection currently has a trading volume of $11.5 million, making it one of the most popular on Solana.
NFT trader that goes by the pseudonym Weekend Whale told Blockworks that Tensor became an instant ‘home’ for NFT trading after it came around.
“I did a little bit of trading on OpenSea, and then I used Magic Eden quite a bit when it was the dominant NFT market on Solana. When I used ME, I always felt like there was no way from a UI and speed standpoint it would ever scale well enough to be practical for someone of my portfolio size and activity level,” Weekend Whale said.
They note that the collapse of FTX actually played a large role in the decision to became a Tensor trader.
“All I really had after FTX collapsed was my Solana on-chain, and there wasn’t another CEX with anything particularly interesting to offer me, so I was in a perfect position to pivot to NFT trading full-time,” they said.
Tensor was initially presented to Weekend Whale as a marketplace which would be familiar to traders who were used to trading on centralized exchanges, and this proved to be true.
Then there was their belief in the potential for a significant future.
“That’s why I’ve stuck around and stayed loyal despite the hard times we went through on Solana and other marketplaces’ and blockchains’ attempts to lure us away,” Weekend Whale added.
Pseudonymous trader Retired Chad Dev shares similar experiences. After taking an interest in MadLads NFTs he began looking for a platform to purchase the NFT from.
“Everything felt so intuitive with Tensor, I can clearly see the prices with and without royalties, can see how the prices were moving up and the trends, just filter for traits and see how the listings have been doing in the history,” Retired Chad Dev told Blockworks.
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As a former market maker and token trader on centralized exchanges, the “Tensor’s UI makes me feel right at home,” they said.
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