Coinbase has unveiled a long-awaited NFT marketplace, amping up the competition in a fast-growing sector that's been dominated by a single player, OpenSea.
The crypto exchange announced Wednesday the beta launch of Coinbase NFT where users can check out an initial collection for sale on the Ethereum blockchain.
Beta testers will be able to buy and sell NFTs with a Coinbase wallet or a self-custody wallet. The company is waiving transaction fees “for a limited time,” Sanchan Saxena, vice president of product for ecosystem products, said in a blog post.
Fees eventually will be added and will be “in-line with Web3 industry standards, and we’ll provide notice before anything changes,” Saxena said. OpenSea charges a 2.5% fee, and allows NFT creators to set their own fees, including royalties on subsequent sales.
Coinbase announced late last year that it was expanding to NFTs which exploded last year into a $40 billion market.
The move is seen as a direct challenge to OpenSea, which shares investors with Coinbase, most notably Andreessen Horowitz. Coinbase is betting on its ability to offer a better and simpler way for users to dabble in NFTs, which is known to be a complicated and expensive process. OpenSea doesn't offer its own wallet, and recommends Coinbase's wallet among others.
Users “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,” Saxena said.
Coinbase is starting with a select group of users from a waitlist who will be invited to check out the NFT marketplace.