Coinbase Global Inc, a major U.S. crypto exchange, launched its NFT marketplace on Wednesday, signalling confidence in the niche digital asset even as the market cools.
According to a Coinbase spokeswoman, the platform, which was first revealed in October, will initially be available to a “limited number” of users in the United States. As the platform is evaluated, more users will be added from 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 images, videos, and text.
They exploded in popularity in 2021, mirroring mainstream investors’ and companies’ growing acceptance of cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. Although some NFTs have brought in millions of dollars in bitcoin, growth has stalled 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, forgeries, and market manipulation are prevalent.
LooksRare, a cryptocurrency exchange, has produced billions of dollars in activity from a tiny number of wallets exchanging NFTs back and forth at inflated rates.
In February, another marketplace, Cent, banned transactions because users were selling NFTs of stuff they didn’t own.
Copyrighted or fraudulent content will be reported, according to Coinbase. According to the spokesperson, the option to generate (or “mint”) NFTs will be added to the Coinbase NFT platform in the future.
(Adapted from LiveMint.com)