Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the United States, plans to allow users to sell, trade, and issue NFTs. In an advertisement, the firm unveiled “Coinbase NFT”, an NFT marketplace that allows users to access the booming NFT market.
Crypto Twitter is largely bullish on the news, arguing that it will do more to bring NFTs to the general public.
Coinbase: the third largest exchange to support NFTs
A day after the release of an NFT marketplace of rival exchange FTX.US, the US arm of the leading FTX crypto exchange, Coinbase has announced its own NFT marketplace. Whereas Binance has already launched an NFT marketplace in June, three of the top five crypto exchanges now support NFTs.
In the announcement, Coinbase said:
âToday we are announcing Coinbase NFT, a peer-to-peer marketplace that will make typing, buying, presenting and discovering NFTs easier than ever. Just as Coinbase has helped millions of people access Bitcoin for the first time in an easy and reliable way, we want to do the same for NFTs.
The company has already opened a waitlist, asking users to sign up for early access, with the exchange launching before the end of the year.
Notably, Coinbase aims to be creative with its NFT Marketplace which has yet to launch. The company said deploying an NFT should be “as easy as pressing a few buttons,” but building user-friendly interfaces takes time. âWith an intuitive design built on a decentralized marketplace, Coinbase NFT puts the artistry and experience of the artist at the forefront,â the company said.
In an interview with Decrypt, a spokesperson for Coinbase has would have used the term “OpenSea killer” while describing the plans of the company. This suggests that Coinbase is aiming to take on NFT market leader OpenSea, which has processed more than 10 billion dollars in volume during the third quarter of 2021 alone.
Nonetheless, Coinbase’s big idea that could give the company an edge over its competition appears to be social engagement. In the announcement, the company highlighted one aspect of Coinbase NFT as a âpersonal feed,â which will showcase all of a user’s NFTs in one place and help connect like-minded collectors and artists. The company added:
âWe design for social engagement. By fostering connections, Coinbase NFT will help creators, collectors and fans build community. Depending on your interests, we will organize your personal flow. Your profile will showcase all of your NFTs in one place, helping you connect with like-minded fans or artists.
Additionally, Coinbase plans to initially support Ethereum-based ERC-721 and ERC-1155 tokens, and all NFTs will be on-chain. However, the company has plans for multi-channel support. âWe are excited about Layer 2 solutions and other ways to reduce costs and make NFTs more accessible. We plan to integrate other blockchains in early 2022, âsaid a spokesperson for Coinbase.
Coinbase showcases works by prominent NFT artists
On his NFT waiting list page, Coinbase offers a number of NFTs from some prominent artists. One of the featured NFTs is work by digital artist Pplpleasr, who previously sold an animated Uniswap ad for $ 525,000 in March.
Coinbase is also showcasing work by electronic dance music artist Justin Blau, aka 3LAU, who got a makeover. $ 11 million of NFT sales. Other artists featured include Ghxsts, a former animator who quit his job to become an NFT artist, Forgotten runes, and Ponderware.
There was also this reaction from artist @madebymetsa, who claims to have remained silent for the past three months while the platform was developed by a âsecret teamâ.
Coinbase is also looking at for an NFT Partner Success Director. This suggests that the company sees NFTs as a long-term component of its brand and is looking to further develop its NFT strategy team.
What does Crypto Twitter think?
After the announcement, several crypto advocates took to Twitter to express their thoughts on the move. Highlighting that Coinbase has over 8.8 million active users, @cointradernik said that while 10% of that user base “gets involved in NFTs, that’s more than twice as many users than currently on Opensea “.
Meanwhile, Twitter user @beaniemaxi, who has a CryptoPunk as a profile picture, said it would be âstupidâ to call Coinbase NFT an âOpenSea Killerâ. He argues that only a “crypto native” would become the king of the NFT.
@Rager pointed out that Coinbase Ventures, the investment arm of Coinbase, already has a stake in OpenSea. With the move, Coinbase is likely looking to capture a greater share of the market, especially with competitors like Binance creating markets that they might fear will lead to a migration of its user base to other platforms.
The success of Coinbase’s NFT platform remains to be seen, but will depend on whether the trend continues to be popular as the digital world becomes more and more present in our lives.
Learn how, with Five Minute Finance.
A weekly newsletter that covers major trends in FinTech and Decentralized Finance.
Do you think Coinbase would be able to overthrow OpenSea and become the premier NFT marketplace? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author
Tim Fries is the co-founder of The Tokenist. He has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. Tim was a Senior Associate in the investment team of RW Baird’s US Private Equity division, and is also co-founder of Protective Technologies Capital, an investment firm specializing in detection, protection and control.