The Coinbase NFT Marketplace is now open to the public two weeks after its initial launch, albeit in beta mode.
The United States’ largest cryptocurrency exchange platform, Coinbase, launched its Coinbase NFT Marketplace two weeks ago. However, only a select group of users who signed up for the waitlist in October 2021 were granted access to buy or sell NFTs.
This week, the marketplace opened to the public, albeit in beta mode. In a tweet posted on Wednesday afternoon, the company said it is opening in beta as they were “still working on adding more features to the product,” adding that they were eager for people to “help us build in public.”
Some of the features that users can now do are creating a user profile, buying and selling NFTs, and commenting on JPEGs.
The Idea for the Marketplace
At a press briefing, Sanchan Saxena, vice president of product at Coinbase, said, “We’re building a marketplace where you can buy and sell NFTs, of course, but more importantly, you can engage.”
“You can engage with the creator. You can engage with the collector. And you can engage with fellow collectors from a community around that NFT. This is an important piece of our strategy,” he added.
Coinbase is not the first cryptocurrency exchange platform to open an NFT marketplace. Others have done it before, such as Binance, FTX, and OKCoin.
According to a blog post on Coinbase’s website, they will be adding more features to the marketplace that would “gradually bring our vision for a Web3 social marketplace to life.” These features are drops, minting, token-gated communities, and buying NFTs using a Coinbase account or a credit card.
“We’ll also add support for NFTs on multiple chains. And over time, we intend to decentralize more features by moving them from Coinbase tech to decentralized solutions,” the blog post concluded.
Although the Coinbase NFT Marketplace launch received much hype and was much-anticipated, its public launch on Wednesday had an unexpected turnout. According to data obtained from Dune analytics, barely 150 new users signed up for the platform.
On Wednesday evening, the new signees brought the total Coinbase NFT users to 1,112. And as of this writing, the marketplace’s total users stand at 1,256.
Moreover, on its first day open to the public, there were only 150 transactions, amounting to roughly $75,000 ETH traded. Per Dune, that total amount is less than the price one Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT sells for.
Why Is There No Rush to Use Coinbase NFT Marketplace?
Why isn’t the Coinbase NFT Marketplace attracting customers as expected? There could be several possible reasons, one of which is stiff competition. There is plenty of competition with Rarible, NiftyGateway, LooksRare, Foundation, and SuperRare, targeting niches for smaller markets. Not to mention the timing of the launch, which happened at a time when crypto is firmly in a bear market.
What is more, there are more competitors on the horizon. For instance, Kraken announced on Wednesday that it is opening its marketplace, Kraken NFT and that the waitlist is now open. According to the announcement, the marketplace will launch in a few months and will offer zero gas fees through custodied trading.
Also, Coinbase is not offering users any significant financial benefits should they switch from OpenSea. They can only guarantee no trading fees, but only for a limited time. What’s more, users will still need to pay gas fees.
Aside from the seemingly poor reception it’s receiving, Coinbase NFT’s sluggish start also suffered from customer service issues from high-profile customers.
Samuel Cardillo, the chief technology officer of Nike’s Web3 brand RTFKT Studios, reported in a tweet on Friday that the platform blocked him “for absolutely no reason besides getting ETH from sold NFTs.” According to Cardillo, he has been working double-time for weeks to restore his access to the platform.
“That’s why I will never ask any of our collectors to use their platform,” Cardillo said of Coinbase NFT.
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