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Solved: How to Get an OpenSea API Key in 3 Easy Steps

 Recently Reviewed   on 12 September 2022
Featured image for the blog post "How to Get an OpenSea API Key in 3 Steps"

Are you desperate to get an OpenSea API key?

Maybe you already submitted OpenSea’s request form months ago and still haven’t gotten a response from them?

We feel you because it’s been a very common problem in recent months and to a lot of developers it feels like it might be impossible.

The most important thing to remember is that you should NEVER try to buy API keys from scalpers who are only looking to scam you.

In this article, you’ll learn how to get an OpenSea API key for your project the right way and what alternatives you can use in the meantime.

Let’s get right to it.

Key Points (tl;dr)
  • The OpenSea API is currently one of the most critical pieces of infrastructure in the NFT industry because so many other services have integrated with it in order to fetch valuable NFT data.
  • If you are only developing a prototype and want to test the API, you do not need an API key. The API key is only necessary for production environments that require higher rate limits.
  • Contrary to common belief, it is NOT impossible to get a key for the OpenSea developer API. This misconception is primarily driven by complaints voiced by the overwhelming majority of requestors who are not working on legitimate and compelling projects that OpenSea wants to support.
  • If you have a compelling case, applying for an API key at OpenSea is a very simple process and can be done in 3 simple steps. If you put in the necessary effort and your case is convincing, you will most likely get approved within a few weeks.

For a step-by-step guide on how to apply for an OpenSea NFT API key, PLEASE SCROLL FURTHER DOWN THE ARTICLE.

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What Does the OpenSea API Do?

The OpenSea API allows developers to integrate NFT data into their applications and platforms by providing various endpoints that enable the fetching of cached data. Many legitimate analytics tools, crypto wallets, and other websites access OpenSea’s data services this way.

Infographic explaining what the OpenSea API does.
Infographic explaining what the OpenSea NFT API does.

While OpenSea is obviously the largest NFT marketplace in the world, its contribution to the infrastructure landscape is often overlooked.

OpenSea not only hosts the vast majority of global NFT trading volume.

It also provides critical API infrastructure that is used by dozens of wallet providers as well as other industry tools.

The OpenSea API is the single most important API when it comes to reliable access to data for NFT token contracts as well as metadata.

Many of the NFT analytics tools and rarity tools NFT investors use every day rely on it and have their very own OpenSea API key.

The OpenSea Developer API has 4 distinct data models:

  • Asset Model: Individual non-fungible tokens
  • Event Model: State changes for assets
  • Account Model: Wallet address and their usernames
  • Collection Model: All assets for a given contract address

OpenSea’s public API is exclusively read-only and is primarily meant for fetching data in order to display it somewhere else.

A can find a detailed overview of all endpoints in the OpenSea API reference.

Do I Even Need an OpenSea API Key?

No, you do not need an OpenSea API key in order to use the API in a development environment. Anyone can build a prototype using the rate-limited OpenSea API. You can remove these rate limits for your productions environment by applying for a free API key.

Infographic explaining that you don't necessarily need an API key for OpenSea.
Infographic explaining that you don’t necessarily need an API key for OpenSea.

Alright, so here’s the deal.

The OpenSea NFT API is generally open and free to use and you won’t really need an API for most use cases initially.

Even though the API reference states on many of its pages that an API endpoint requires an API key to use, this is actually not true.

This means that you can easily test the API and start integrating it into your project as long as it is running in development mode.

You see, while the API is free, it is also rate-limited if you don’t have your own OpenSea API key.

This is a sensible approach because it lets everyone play around and start building but also prevents most of the abuse from malicious actors.

It’s a fact that a lot of developers are actually trying to build bots that can be used in front-run mints as well as do lots of other questionable stuff.

However, if you are building a genuine product, just get started and once you have a working prototype, use that to apply for your OpenSea API key.

Is It Impossible to Get an OpenSea API Key?

No, it is not impossible to get an OpenSea API key. The process has become somewhat slower due to overwhelming demand and necessary due diligence, however, high-quality applications with working products rarely wait longer than a few weeks for approval.

Infographic explaining what determines the success of an application for an API key.
Infographic explaining what determines the success of an application for an API key.

It’s very easy to get the impression that it’s almost impossible to get an OpenSea API key nowadays.

If you search on Google you are bombarded with blog posts making these claims.

They subsequently move on to promote their own paid alternative NFT API to you (one of them is Moralis).

So there’s a bit of a conflict of interest going on there.

You might also bump into the OpenSea Sub-Reddit that is littered with threads on how to get an OpenSea API key.

The overall desperation has gotten so bad that scammers and scalpers have swooped in trying to make a quick buck.

So what’s the deal?

Is it really that difficult to get an OpenSea API key?

It all depends on how genuine your project is and how good your application was.

We’ve seen reports from people who were approved in less than 2 weeks, while others still haven’t heard back in months.

Since people rarely admit that they didn’t put in a lot of effort, it’s not surprising that this hasn’t been mentioned more often.

People like to complain.

And not everyone gets into an Ivy League School.

It’s that simple.

How to Successfully Apply for an OpenSea API Key

You can significantly increase your chances of being approved for an API key if you at least build a prototype of your product and can demonstrate that you are working on a legitimate and compelling project in your application. Applications with the sole purpose of using the key for a Bot are very likely to be rejected or ignored.

If you’re working on a real project with a reasonable use case and you even have a decent prototype to show for, then you’re chances of getting an OpenSea API key are actually quite good.

If you put in the work and craft a compelling application via their request form, we’re quite confident you’ll eventually get approved.

It might not be the 5-day turnaround time that is mentioned in the form, especially since they’ve been overwhelmed by demand.

But if you’re willing to wait at least a couple of weeks, you should generally be fine.

Here are the 3 steps you need to take in order to get approved for an OpenSea API key.

Step 1: The OpenSea API Request Form

Step-by-step guide explaining how to successfully apply for the OpenSea API – Step 1
Step-by-step guide explaining how to successfully apply for the OpenSea Developer API – Step 1

Navigate to the OpenSea API Request Form within the API reference and make sure you are logged into a Google account.

Make sure you’ve read and fully understand the requirements and then click the “Next” button.

Step 2: Fill out the form

Step-by-step guide explaining how to successfully apply for the OpenSea API – Step 2
Step-by-step guide explaining how to successfully apply for the OpenSea API – Step 2

You will be asked to fill out the form and answer various questions related to your project.

Here’s a brief summary of the questions:

  • Email Address: Enter your real email address
  • Project Name: Enter the name of your project
  • Project Description: Provide a compelling reason why you need an OpenSea API key
  • Link to Project Website: This is why it’s a good idea to have a prototype!
  • Are you building Bot?: If you answered “Yes”, then I can’t help you.
  • Discord Username: Most good projects have a Discord with real members. Do you?
  • Wallet Address: Consider this a form of KYC process. Do you have something to hide?

The rest of the field is mostly legal stuff, including signing with a wallet that has a non-zero balance.

Step 3: Accept the ToS and Submit

Step-by-step guide explaining how to successfully apply for the OpenSea API – Step 3
Step-by-step guide explaining how to successfully apply for the OpenSea API – Step 3

Yep, that’s it.

All you need to do is accept OpenSea’s terms of service and hit the “Submit” button.

You see, the application process is very simple and straightforward.

Anyone who is running a legitimate project that is worth supporting should be able to answer all of the questions very easily.

The reason why so many people are having trouble getting an OpenSea API key approved is that their applications are either low effort or the project isn’t convincing enough.

And no, your sniping Bot does NOT add value to the NFT community.

Quite the opposite.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy an OpenSea API Key from Scalpers

WARNING: Never trust people who claim they have easy access to OpenSea API keys and are looking to sell them. These people are overwhelmingly scalpers or scammers.

Infographic showing how you can identify scammer and scalpers.
Infographic showing how you can identify scammer and scalpers.

In your search for an API key from OpenSea, you’ve most likely encountered several attempts by scalpers to make a quick buck off desperate developers.

Although it’s entirely possible that some of them actually do have a working API key to sell, we’d be willing to bet that this is against the OpenSea terms of service.

And what’s even more likely is that they’ll gladly take your money and then just disappear.

Scalpers and scammers are everywhere and if someone claims they have some magic trick, that should be a serious red flag.

OpenSea Alternatives You Should Know

Now, you might remember how we mentioned some alternatives to the OpenSea API earlier in this article.

While we haven’t tested any of these ourselves, we think it makes sense to name some of them here.

You know, just in case you come to the conclusion that you don’t really need the OpenSea API for what you’re trying to achieve.

Here are some NFT APIs that are a real alternative to the OpenSea API:

Conclusion

While it’s not exactly guaranteed that you’ll ever than an OpenSea API key, those who are working on promising and compelling projects should not worry.

Imagine you were applying for a startup accelerator or for a prestigious school and put in the necessary effort.

Add a decent amount of patience and you will probably get approved within a reasonable amount of time.

However, if you are primarily interested in building bots and other things that don’t directly add value to the industry overall, you probably shouldn’t even bother applying.

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