Coinbase has announced the launch of a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, set to debut later this year with a waiting list already in place.
According to Coinbase, the crypto giant’s main goal of the new platform will be to increase user-friendliness while allowing for more social engagement in the NFT world.
“NFT artists have shaken-up the traditional art world. Industries such as fashion, gaming, and music are recognizing the power of NFTs to unlock new forms of creativity and ownership. But if you’ve tried to create or purchase an NFT, you’ve probably found the user experience lacking. We can help.
Today, we’re announcing Coinbase NFT, a peer-to-peer marketplace that will make minting, purchasing, showcasing, and discovering NFTs easier than ever. Just as Coinbase helped millions of people access Bitcoin for the first time in an easy and trusted way — we want to do the same for the NFTs.”
Coinbase says that anything more than “tapping a few buttons” on an NFT platform should be considered a barrier to creativity.
The exchange says that all NFTs will initially be based on Ethereum using ERC-721 and ERC-1155 tokens, with multichain support expected to come later. ERC-721 is the most widely used and standardized token for minting NFTs, while ERC-1155s are a multi-purpose token developed by Enjin.
Less than a week before Coinbase’s announcement, the exchange released a blog post titled “The Coinbase Ventures Guide to NFTs,” perhaps foreshadowing the big move into the space. In the post, the company without an official physical headquarters highlighted the parabolic expansion of the nascent space over the last year.
“In 2020, a little over $200 million in NFTs changed hands. This February saw more volume than the entire year prior, with $340 million in sales. Then August blew every record away, with over $4 billion in total NFT volume on top marketplaces. When you factor in platforms outside Ethereum, some estimates show secondary sales alone in Q3 surpassing $10 billion. Simply put, the exponential growth of NFT markets represent the largest shift within the crypto landscape in years.”
As Coinbase points out, the overwhelming majority of all NFT volume is happening on Opensea.io, launched in 2017 by Alex Atallah, Devin Finzer. With Opensea four years ahead of the game and with a $1.5 billion valuation on NFTs alone, competing with the behemoth will be no small feat. Opensea also recently launched support for Polygon-based transactions which have considerably lower fees than what Coinbase will be able to achieve with ERC-721 and ERC-1155.
You can join the waitlist for Coinbase’ NFT platform here.