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Coinbase’s entry into the NFT industry, with 68 million verified users and 8.8 million monthly active users as of Q2 2021, could put established marketplaces like OpenSea in competition.
Coinbase, a major cryptocurrency exchange, has announced that it will open a waitlist for a nonfungible marketplace that will launch later this year.
In a Tuesday blog post, Coinbase vice president of product and ecosystem Sanchan Saxena said the nonfungible token, or NFT, marketplace would allow its users to mint, purchase, discover and showcase Ethereum-based tokens. According to Saxena, the offering will allow creators to keep control of their work “via decentralised contracts and metadata transparency,” with all NFTs being stored on-chain.
The Coinbase announcement follows the introduction of a marketplace where users can trade NFTs cross-chain via the Ethereum and Solana blockchains by crypto exchange FTX and its US-based subsidiary. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, entered the NFT market in June by launching a marketplace with the goal of lowering transaction costs.
With 68 million verified users and 8.8 million monthly active users as of Q2 2021, Coinbase’s entry into the NFT industry could provide competition for established marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible. OpenSea’s head of product Nate Chastain is facing criticism for using burner wallets to purchase NFTs on the platform so that the artwork could receive more attention on the website’s front page. The platform mainly uses Ethereum, which dominates sales in the NFT market.
According to data from DappRadar, the total transaction volume on OpenSea was $8.7 billion at the time of publication, making it the largest of the NFT marketplaces. NFT sales through the Pokemon-inspired Axie Infinity game came in second at $2.5 billion.