Coinbase is entering the NFT.
The cryptocurrency exchange said on Tuesday that it plans to launch a market where users can mint, collect and trade NFT or non-fungible tokens. The company said that users can register for a waiting list to use the feature in advance.
NFTs are unique digital assets designed to represent the ownership of online items such as rare artworks or collectible trading cards. They are not fungible, which means that you cannot exchange one NFT for another like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Sales of such tokens have surged this year. According to data from DappRadar, a company that tracks encryption-based application data, the NFT market had more than $10 billion in transactions in the third quarter of 2021.
Notable purchases included someone paying nearly $70 million for a digital collage made by Beeple artist Mike Winkelmann, and another person paying nearly $3 million for the first ever tweet.
Coinbase stated that its NFT market, called Coinbase NFT, will include “social features” and utilize the so-called creator economy, a term used to describe the world of people who make money by posting videos and other content online.
Proponents say that NFT is a way to fairly compensate artists whose income has fallen due to the widespread availability of online media. On the other hand, critics see them as another speculative bubble waiting to burst in the crypto market.
Nevertheless, entering the NFT field may be a way for Coinbase to expand new sources of revenue-the company currently relies heavily on exchange fees. It will also enable the company to compete with other crypto startups such as Gemini, Binance and OpenSea, the latter of which was backed by early Coinbase investor Andreessen Horowitz.
Last month, OpenSea admitted that insider trading occurred on its platform. According to DappRadar, the company is by far the largest NFT market.