Twelve Crypto Monopolies: OpenSea Bitmain MetaMask Deribit and more

6 min readMar 8, 2022


Recently, @0xTomoyo, an ethereum developer, listed the platforms that he thought were near monopolies in the current cryptocurrency industry, and this article uses this idea to expand the idea and try to sort out the current monopoly list in the cryptocurrency industry.


Segment: NFT Marketplace

Monopoly Ratio: 90%

We can roughly divide this monopoly era of OpenSea into pre- & post-era.

  • Pre-OpenSea monopoly era: The competitors were SuperRare, Rarible, Foundation and etc. At this stage, OpenSea was in an absolute monopoly at this stage and its market share grew rapidly from 40% to 98%.
  • Watershed: The OpenSea IPO fiasco, NFT asset loss and other events made users’ goodwill towards OpenSea gradually decline, and the market was eager for a challenger that could pose a threat to OpenSea.
  • Post-OpenSea monopoly era: Now.

With OpenSea’s volume now at a new level (over $6 billion), competitors like Rarible are no longer a threat.

Although the market has also seen the rise of grassroots such as LookRare and X2Y2, with volumes even surpassing OpenSea at one point, the essence is all about wash trades, and even veering into the path of playing with the tokenomics. Nevertheless, in this post-OpenSea monopoly era, there are quite a lot of exciting competitors entering, such as Coinbase’s NFT market, FTX’s NFT market; at the same time, with the maturity of the multi-chain trend, OpenSea may miss the market share of NFT volume outside of ethereum, such as Magic Eden is currently the largest NFT market on the Solana network. Although the volume is still much smaller than OpenSea, the number of transactions is sometimes two or three times that of OpenSea


Segment: AMM DEX

Monopoly Ratio: 80%

According to Dune Analytics, Uniswap’s market share is currently 80% by volume, and in the stablecoin AMM segment, Uniswap’s market share is close to 90% even after the new fee (e.g. 0.01%) option was passed at a time when Curve War was in full swing.

While there is no technological monopoly on AMMs, and there are numerous micro-innovations on the market, Uniswap Labs’ continued innovation in the DEX space (pioneering of AMMs, centralized liquidity, etc.) may be the key to maintaining its market share.

However, it should be noted that Uniswap does not have access to other chains such as BSC & Solana, so if you expand your perspective to other chains, it does not have as much of a monopoly overall.


Segment: Browser Extension Wallet

Monopoly Ratio: 85%

In the Ethereum ecosystem and all EVM-compatible ecosystems, MetaMask browser extension wallet has almost achieved a crushing monopoly by virtue of its first-mover advantage; however, MetaMask has not yet launched an offensive in this market outside of EVM. We don’t know if the new products in this track can take advantage of some new trends and quickly capture some market share. There are also many new wallets in the market, such as Coinbase Wallet, Coin98 Wallet, Rabby, Wheat Wallet Plugin, TP Plugin Wallet, XDEFI, Liquality and etc. Areas where MetaMask does not have a monopoly include the Chinese market, where TP wallets have more influence, and non-EVM chains such as Solana, which have their own wallets.


Segment: Wrapped Bitcoin

Monopoly Ratio: 80%

WBTC, a wrapped bitcoin jointly launched by BitGo, Kyber Network and Republic protocol and other project parties, officially launched in January 2019, is the first ERC20 version of wrapped bitcoin and is currently the most supplied wrapped bitcoin on ethereum, with a market share of 81%, while other wrapped bitcoin on ethereum currently are hBTC, renBTC, sBTC, imBTC, tBTC, and pBTC.


Segment: ETH 2.0 Liquid Stake Solution

Monopoly Ratio: 85%

Lido is a liquid staking solution for Ethereum 2.0 that allows ETH holders to stake any amount of ETH without having to operate staking infrastructure or foregoing the liquidity of their funds.This segment also has other players, such as Ankr, StakeHound, SharedStake, Stakewise, StaFi, Rocketpool and etc. but Lido currently has a near monopoly with a current market share of 85%.


Segment: Options Exchange

Monopoly Ratio: 90%

Deribit is world’s biggest bitcoin and ethereum options exchange. According to The Block, Deribit accounts for a whopping 87% of the total open interest across bitcoin options in the current market, and 96% of the total open interest across ethereum options.


Segment: MEV

Monopoly Ratio: 95%

ps: Maximal (formerly “miner”) extractable value (MEV) refers to the maximum value that can be extracted from block production in excess of the standard block reward and gas fees by including, excluding, and changing the order of transactions in a block.

Flashbots is a research and development organization formed to mitigate the negative externalities and existential risks posed by miner-extractable value (MEV) to smart-contract blockchains.

Although there are players such as Eden Network and KeeperDAO in the MEV segment, they are basically not in the same league as Flashbots.


Segment: Oracle

Monopoly Ratio: 90%

Although there are many new players in the oracle segment, such as API3, Band, NEST, DOS, Tellor and etc. The majority of DeFi projects are still using Chainlink’s feeds, after all, the authenticity and stability of the feeds directly affects the survival of DeFi projects, so it is naturally the safest approach to choose the leading service.

It is worth mentioning that quite a few DeFi projects are now also compatible with Uniswap’s TWAP (Time Weighted Average Price) .

Gnosis Safe

Segment: Multi-signature

Monopoly Ratio: 99%

Gnosis Safe is a smart contract wallet running on Ethereum that requires a minimum number of people to approve a transaction before it can occur (M-of-N).It is currently used by many DeFi protocols and DAOs to manage their funds. There doesn’t seem to be a slightly better known product competing in the asset multi-signature management segmentat the moment.

Tornado Cash

Segment: Non-custodial Ethereum Privacy Solution

Monopoly Ratio: 95%

Tornado Cash is a biggest fully decentralized protocol for private transactions on Ethereum. There are also new players in this segment such as Onion Mixer and Miximus, but they are not in the same league as Tornado Cash yet.


Segment: Blockchain Data Platform Focused On Compliance & Safety

Monopoly Ratio: 90%

Chainalysis provide data, software, services, and research to government agencies, exchanges, financial institutions, and insurance and cybersecurity companies in over 60 countries. Their data platform powers investigation, compliance, and risk management tools that have been used to solve some of the world’s most high-profile cyber criminal cases and grow consumer access to cryptocurrency safely.


Segment: Crypto Mining

Monopoly Ratio: 70%

BITMAIN is the world’s leading manufacturer of digital currency mining servers through its brand ANTMINER, which has long maintained a global market share and leading position in technology, serving customers across over 100 countries and regions. BITMAIN have sales of approximately $5 to $10 billion in 2021, capturing over 70% of the Bitcoin mining servers market. Other players in this segment are Canaan, MicroBT, Intel and etc.

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Colin Wu, Chinese journalist, won 2013 China News Award