Leading US crypto exchange Coinbase has revealed plans to launch a market where users can mint, collect and exchange NFT (non-fungible tokens). According to the companies announcement, users can sign up for a waiting list for early access to this feature.
If you’ve been living under a rock the past year, NFTs are unique digital files that is designed to represent ownership of predominantly artworks, videos and trading cards among various other digital assets. Sales of NFT’s have exploded this year, with transaction volumes in the NFT market exceeding USD $10 billion in the third quarter of 2021, according to DappRadar which tracks data with crypto-based applications.
The platform which listed on the NYSE earlier this year joins the wave in the wake of record-breaking NFT Sales, and the popularity of NFT drops such as Bored Apes. The move follows major competitor Binance’s entry into the space, and the new product will be named Coinbase NFT. It is due to be released by the end of the year, their NFT platform is pegged to include “Social Features” seeking to make a play for the crypto “creator economy”.
The explosion of NFTs couldn’t have come at a better time for many creators, the global music industry was hit hard due to the pandemic and many artists have supplemented their income through exclusive NFT projects. However the visual element is the primary point of interest for the growing community of NFT collectors, with music being a secondary or supplementary element.
While some may see NFT’s as digital files anyone can download, Beeples record-breaking $69 Million Christie’s NFT sale has put him in the record books and made him the third most expensive living artist. For Coinbase, the move to NFT space is no doubt another way to diversify its revenue sources.
The company is currently heavily dependent on exchanges of traditional crypto-currencies and by getting a share in the sales of the lucrative NFT market they will be able to increase their profitability. Coinbase is a late entrant with heavy competition from the likes of Gemini, Binance and OpenSea – which is backed by Coinbase’s first investor Andreessen Horowitz.