Coinbase Global Inc, a U.S. crypto exchange, opened its NFT marketplace on Wednesday, signaling confidence in the niche digital asset despite market signals of cooling.
According to a Coinbase official, the platform, which was first revealed in October, will initially be available to a “small number” of users in the United States. As the platform is tested, more users will be added to a waiting list during the next three to five weeks.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a sort of crypto asset that uses blockchain to track who owns digital items like pictures, videos, and text.
They increased in popularity in 2021, matching mainstream investors’ and companies’ growing acceptance of cryptos like bitcoin. Although some NFTs have brought in millions of dollars in bitcoin, growth has tapered in 2022.
NFT sales on the Ethereum blockchain on the popular marketplace OpenSea fell to roughly $2.5 billion in March, down from $5 billion in January.
“We believe NFTs are here to stay,” a Coinbase spokesperson said. “Beyond buying and selling NFTs, our marketplace offers better ways to find the right communities and better spaces in which they can feel connected with each other.”
Because NFTs are mostly unregulated, scams, frauds, and market manipulation are common.
LooksRare, a cryptocurrency exchange, has produced billions of dollars in activity from a small number of wallets exchanging NFTs back and forth at inflated rates.
In February, another marketplace, Cent, halted transactions because users were selling NFTs of stuff they didn’t own. Coinbase said it will allow copyrighted or fraudulent content to be reported. According to the spokesperson, the option to generate (or “mint”) NFTs will be added to the Coinbase NFT platform in the future.