Coinbase launches NFT marketplace Beta

Coinbase’s NFT marketplace has launched in beta for select customers. The beta NFT marketplace is accessible to everyone to view from today, but initially only select users will be able to buy or sell.

In a Tuesday press briefing, Coinbase vice president of product and ecosystem Sanchan Saxena hinted the design of the marketplace would be a cross between a social media platform and other NFT marketplaces like OpeaSea.

“While it is true that buying and selling NFTs is a big part of the ecosystem today, what we have learned by talking to many customers and creators is that there is more to it than just buying and selling,” said Saxena.

“There is the community aspect of it.”

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According to Saxena, the platform will have opportunities for engagement between users as well as creators. Like many social media platforms, Coinbase NFT will allow users to follow profiles of creators and others, comment on artwork and monitor a personalized feed to discover new NFTs based on engagement and purchases.

Beta testers will be able to create a profile on the marketplace to buy and sell NFTs. They can use any self-custody wallet, including Coinbase Wallet and MetaMask. Coinbase won’t charge transaction fees for a limited time, the exchange said, adding that it will eventually add fees in line with industry norms.

In regard to moderating comments, Saxena said the platform would operate on the principle that users and lawmakers decide “the law of the land.” According to the Coinbase executive, the staff is “not in the business of judging what’s right, what’s wrong, as long as it’s legal.”

Coinbase NFT for now only supports Ethereum-based NFTs and payments in ether. Saxena said the marketplace will integrate other blockchains in the future, and “full fiat on-ramps will be coming soon.”

As for gas fees, Coinbase said it has partnered with 0x Protocol to optimize transactions for lower costs.

Coinbase will also allow users to purchase NFTs via credit cards

Besides enabling buying and selling of NFTs, Coinbase says its NFT marketplace will also allow communities to engage. This community-building function is the heart of how Coinbase NFT plans to position itself against competitors such as OpenSea and LooksRare.

“We’re building a marketplace where you can buy and sell NFTs, of course, but more importantly, you can engage,” Saxena said.

“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.”

When asked if the marketplace requires customers to go through a know-your-customer process, Saxena said it does, similar to the main Coinbase platform.

As for its royalty norms, Saxena said there’s flexibility for creators.

“Creators with contracts that don’t support any of the common royalty standards can set an on-chain override through the Royalty Registry,” he said.

Coinbase joins other crypto exchanges in launching an NFT marketplace. Binance, FTX and Okcoin have all launched such marketplaces recently.

But according to Saxena, Coinbase NFT will be a preferred destination for users due to its simplicity as its main platform for buying and selling crypto.