Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc. today announced the long-awaited launch of its social marketplace for nonfungible tokens called Coinbase NFT, which will allow anyone to view the market and make it available to a select number of customers to buy and sell NFTs.
The marketplace is now available in beta after being announced in October when Coinbase opened signups for a waitlist for access. A small set of beta testers are being invited now based on their position on the waitlist and others will be added over time gradually to make profiles, buy, and sell on the new market.
Coinbase NFT seeks to add a social experience to the minting, buying, selling and trading of NFTs, which are digital assets that represent ownership of virtual items, music and video game items. Profiles will allow users to display their NFT collections as part of self-expression and build communities around the NFTs they purchase and entertain conversations surrounding them.
“The rise of NFT communities has shown us that online conversation extends far beyond the moments around transactions,” Sanchan Saxena, vice president of product at Coinbase “We’re building a place that’s for more than just buying and selling. We want Coinbase NFT to be a place that helps creators and collectors build and engage their communities.”
Once users are signed in users will be able to post comments directly on NFTs, and upvote and downvote comments and thus join in conversations. Doing so will also create an ongoing feed of what users are interacting with and talking about, making it easier for the community to discover NFTs, creators, collections and each other.
The beta marketplace is already stocked with a number NFT collections from launch partners who are featured creators including the “rainbow-puke” stylings of Doodles, the women-led NFT collection Boss Beauties and Azuki. The platform will also include features such as royalties so that creators can continue to make money off their work after the initial sale.
In order to jumpstart the sales and transactions of NFTs for beta users, there will be no Coinbase transaction fees for a limited time. Eventually, fees will be added, but they will be in line with other marketplaces, Saxena said, and notice will be made before that happens.
Coinbase NFT currently only supports Ethereum-based NFTs and payments in ether. However, the marketplace will soon integrate other blockchains in the future and there are plans in the works to allow the purchase of NFTs using credit cards. Earlier this year, Coinbase partnered with Mastercard for exactly this upcoming feature.
The launch of this marketplace means Coinbase will be competing with other massive markets already entrenched in the NFT industry such as OpenSea, which launched in 2017, Rarible, MakersPlace and others. The NFT market itself raked in $41 billion in trade volume during 2021 and Coinbase will be introducing its 89 million users to that market through its platform.
“We’re just getting started and can’t wait to explore new ways to bring people together around NFTs and the creators behind them,” Saxena said.