Coinbase has officially launched the beta phase of its NFT marketplace, dubbed Coinbase NFT. The exchange had announced its plans for an NFT marketplace back in October 2021. At the same time, it also opened up registrations to a waitlist for users who wished to gain early access to the platform.
Currently, all users can check out the Ethereum-based NFT collections listed on the newly launched marketplace. However, only a handful of beta testers have full access to the platform. These testers will be able to create profiles, showcase their creations, follow other accounts, and even communicate using comments.
According to Coinbase's official post, the testers will also be able to buy and sell NFTs on the platform using any self-custody wallet. Moreover, there will be no gas fees during this initial period.
Based on its user interface, Coinbase NFT has quickly been dubbed by many as a "web3 Instagram." The platform looks like a unique crossover between NFT marketplace OpenSea and social media mammoth Instagram.
The platform also features a 'Discover' section, much like the 'Explore' section of Instagram. Here, users can browse and find NFTs they like with complete ease. Further, like many social media platforms, Coinbase NFT will also share recommendations of NFTs in your feed. These suggestions will become more and more accurate over time and will be based on your profile interactions, ongoing trends, the people you follow, your purchases, etc.
“We learned that people don’t just want better tools to buy and sell NFTs: they want better ways to discover them, better ways to find the right communities, and better spaces in which they can feel connected with each other. That’s why we’re building a product that’s much more than a transaction. We’re looking to empower people to create, collect, and connect,” wrote Coinbase in its announcement blog post.
The NFT market boomed in 2021. Sales leapfrogged from $32.33 million in 2020 to $19.67 billion in 2021, according to data from CryptoSlam. That translates to a humongous growth of 60,743 percent. Even the number of unique buyers shot up from 64,000 in 2020 to 5.5 million in 2021; an eyebrow-raising increase of 8,535 percent in one year. The number of global NFT transactions also skyrocketed from 1 million to 45.26 million. Suffice to say, platforms entering the NFT space had a gala time in 2021.
The total global NFT sales until 22 April 2022 stand at a gigantic $691.18 billion. The lion's share of these sales comes from the last five days spanning 17-22 April 2022, according to CryptoSlam data.
This upsurge may stem from the 100% increase in NFTs on the Ethereum network in 2022. The number of NFTs on Ethereum went from 15,000 to more than 80,000 in the last few months. However, the exact reason for this sudden upheaval is yet to be ascertained, but things suddenly seem to be looking bright for the NFT market after three disappointing months.
Moreover, one of its main competitors, OpenSea, has been having a tough time recently. NFT sales on the platform have fallen by 67.2% over the last month, according to DappRadar's marketplace tracker. In the last 24 hours alone, the OpenSea saw a 19 percent drop in trading volume. Therefore, the numbers indicate that Coinbase NFT couldn't have been launched at a better time, but where it goes from here remains to be seen.
Coinbase is currently the fourth largest crypto exchange globally, with a 24-hour trading volume of $2.8 billion.
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