Coinbase Launches Long Awaited NFT Marketplace

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Coinbase’s long-awaited NFT marketplace — announced in October — finally launched in beta mode on April 20 and will be available to selected beta testers.

The marketplace, with a waitlist of more than four million as of April 21, enables beta testers to create a Coinbase Non-fungible token (NFT) profile to buy and sell NFTs using any self-custody wallet, whether that’s Coinbase Wallet or something else, Sanchan Saxena, vice president of product at Coinbase, said in a blog post. Just a day after announcing it was launching an NFT marketplace in October, Coinbase’s waitlist reached 1 million signups, as GOBankingRates previously reported. 

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For a limited time, there’ll be no Coinbase transaction fees.

“We’ll eventually add fees, which will be in-line with Web3 industry standards, and we’ll provide notice before anything changes,” Saxena said in the post.

James Aitken, CMO of NFT platform Ethernity, told GOBankingRates that Coinbase entering the NFT market is an exciting advancement for NFTs as a whole, as having more competition in the market will likely spur innovation within existing marketplaces, including OpenSea.

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“Coinbase’s advantage is going to be its huge number of users globally,” Aitken said. “Coinbase has also mastered the user experience on their site and will make it easier than ever for new users to enter the NFT space. It will be interesting to see how many of Coinbase’s users are interested in NFTs and how it develops the NFT market in the long term.”

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Saxena added in the post that the marketplace will enable users to curate their profile and connect any self-custody wallet to select the NFTs you want to highlight, or hide, on their profile.

In addition, Coinbase said that it aims to make buying and selling NFTs simple and easy.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted on April 20 that “Coinbase NFT has a social component to it. Just want to acknowledge that we need to make social more decentralized over time — we’re stuck in a web 2.5 world still, moving toward web3.”

“Assets are decentralized, and identity can be decentralized, but follower graphs, comments, and some of the post content are still centralized. Opportunities abound to move more of this on chain over time,” he added.

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In terms of future plans, Saxena said that in the coming weeks and months, Coinbase will add more features that will “gradually bring our vision for a web3 social marketplace to life.”

This includes plans to add drops, minting, token-gated communities, and the option to buy NFTs with your Coinbase account or a credit card.

“We’ll also add support for NFTs on multiple chains. And over time, we intend to decentralize more features by moving them from Coinbase tech to decentralized solutions,” he said.

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In the meantime, Coinbase will have to compete with several other marketplaces, most notably OpenSea, the leader of them all. In just the past 7 days, OpenSea had a trading volume of $840 million (as of April 21), according to DappRadar data.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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