Coinbase launches NFT marketplace

Crypto exchange Coinbase has launched the beta version of its much-awaited NFT marketplace, allowing a small group of users from a wait-list of 3 million to use the platform for the first time. A smaller number of beta testers will initially use it before a wider rollout to more customers on Coinbase’s wait-list.

In October, the crypto exchange announced plans for Coinbase NFT, a Web3 social marketplace for NFT. Since then, the company has shared previews of its progress with collectors and creators and received helpful feedbacks, it said in a blog post.

NFT trading had a breakthrough year in 2021, thanks to the explosion in crypto adoption and trading, which led to exponential growth in the volumes over the past 12 months.

The Coinbase NFT marketplace will support Ethereum-based NFT trading, with a social media spin that could distinguish it from its rivals. A social media focused NFT marketplace is a novel concept but could soon become the norm, as more players enter the market.

The rise of NFT communities have shown that online conversation extends far beyond the moments and transactions and Coinbase NFT wants to be a place that helps creators and collectors build and engage their communities, the company said.

“We are building a place that’s more than just buying and selling. On Coinbase NFT, you can follow other profiles, post comments directly on NFT and up/downvote comments as conversations unfold”, the company tweeted.

The platform will allow users to showcase their personal profile and follow accounts whose content will appear in a ‘For You’ feed. The latter feature is visually similar to popular social media profiles like Instagram and TikTok and users will be able to ‘Like’ and comment on each other’s posts.

“As you engage with the marketplace, recommendations will improve based on what you buy, what’s trending, who you follow and more”, it said in the blog post.

The new NFT marketplace will support all sorts of ‘self-custody wallets’ apart from the official Coinbase wallet. The crypto exchange made the decision in order to create an ‘open NFT environment’ for everyone. Besides, the platform will also support purchases in fiat currencies via credit cards.

Coinbase NFT marketplace will start off with zero transaction fees but will eventually implement a fee, in line with Web3 industry standards. However, the Ethereum gas costs and creator-implemented royalties apply from day one.

As for its future plans, Coinbase wishes to pursue what it called ‘progressive decentralization’, whereby certain features will start off centralized but will eventually move on-chain. User comments is one such feature which will initially be stored on Coinbase servers but will eventually be moved to the blockchain. Another feature is the ‘follower graph’, which users will be able to take with them from platform to platform. Moreover, it will add some more features over the coming weeks including drops, minting, token-gated communities, and the option to buy NFT with your Coinbase account or a credit card, Coinbase said.