Fintech

Coinbase will start offering NFTs in a bid to reach the 'creator economy'

The crypto company vows to make buying, selling and minting digital assets more intuitive.

A person with a phone taking photos at a gallery

Coinbase said users will be able to mint, showcase and buy NFTs.

Photo: Miguel Candela/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Coinbase will be making NFTs available on its crypto marketplace, marking a bid to expand its reach in the "creator economy," the company said Tuesday.

Coinbase said users will be able to mint, showcase and buy NFTs, which are unique digital records of photos, videos, audio files and artworks. NFTs are a fast-growing segment of the crypto industry, with sales volume soaring to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, up from $13.7 million in the year-ago period.

Coinbase, one of the biggest crypto marketplaces in the world, said it hopes to make NFTs more accessible by "building intuitive interfaces that put the complexity behind the scenes."

"The excitement surrounding NFTs is high," the company said in a statement. "But if you've tried to create or purchase an NFT, you've probably found the user experience lacking. … Creating an NFT should be as simple as tapping a few buttons. Anything more complicated is a barrier to unleashing your creativity."

Coinbase cited the broad appeal and market potential of NFTs as the motivation behind its new service, which recently led Visa to purchase CryptoPunk #7610 and led DJ Justin Blau to roll out a new business model for musicians. The company said users can join a waitlist for early access to its NFT service.

"Artists have used NFTs to shake-up the traditional art world," the company said in its statement. "Industries such as fashion, gaming, and music have begun to recognize the power of NFTs to unlock new types of creativity and ownership."

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, who covers Coinbase, said the move will likely strengthen its position in a growing market. The new offering is "another notch on the belt for Coinbase and further paves the path for crypto around this NFT demand explosion," he told Protocol.

Rob Siegel, a management lecturer at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, said Coinbase is entering a space that clearly has strong momentum. But he argued that the future of NFTs is still up in the air.

"But I have to wonder at what point people will want to value something that someone has 'blessed' as the original item of something that can be replicated exactly," he told Protocol. "So, as long as someone is willing to pay for NFTs — fine. But there is no inherent value in them. But VCs and the media sure like talking about this."

Fintech

Judge Zia Faruqui is trying to teach you crypto, one ‘SNL’ reference at a time

His decisions on major cryptocurrency cases have quoted "The Big Lebowski," "SNL," and "Dr. Strangelove." That’s because he wants you — yes, you — to read them.

The ways Zia Faruqui (right) has weighed on cases that have come before him can give lawyers clues as to what legal frameworks will pass muster.

Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Cryptocurrency and related software analytics tools are ‘The wave of the future, Dude. One hundred percent electronic.’”

That’s not a quote from "The Big Lebowski" — at least, not directly. It’s a quote from a Washington, D.C., district court memorandum opinion on the role cryptocurrency analytics tools can play in government investigations. The author is Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui.

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Veronica Irwin

Veronica Irwin (@vronirwin) is a San Francisco-based reporter at Protocol covering fintech. Previously she was at the San Francisco Examiner, covering tech from a hyper-local angle. Before that, her byline was featured in SF Weekly, The Nation, Techworker, Ms. Magazine and The Frisc.

The financial technology transformation is driving competition, creating consumer choice, and shaping the future of finance. Hear from seven fintech leaders who are reshaping the future of finance, and join the inaugural Financial Technology Association Fintech Summit to learn more.

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FTA
The Financial Technology Association (FTA) represents industry leaders shaping the future of finance. We champion the power of technology-centered financial services and advocate for the modernization of financial regulation to support inclusion and responsible innovation.
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AWS CEO: The cloud isn’t just about technology

As AWS preps for its annual re:Invent conference, Adam Selipsky talks product strategy, support for hybrid environments, and the value of the cloud in uncertain economic times.

Photo: Noah Berger/Getty Images for Amazon Web Services

AWS is gearing up for re:Invent, its annual cloud computing conference where announcements this year are expected to focus on its end-to-end data strategy and delivering new industry-specific services.

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Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

Image: Protocol

We launched Protocol in February 2020 to cover the evolving power center of tech. It is with deep sadness that just under three years later, we are winding down the publication.

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Bennett Richardson

Bennett Richardson ( @bennettrich) is the president of Protocol. Prior to joining Protocol in 2019, Bennett was executive director of global strategic partnerships at POLITICO, where he led strategic growth efforts including POLITICO's European expansion in Brussels and POLITICO's creative agency POLITICO Focus during his six years with the company. Prior to POLITICO, Bennett was co-founder and CMO of Hinge, the mobile dating company recently acquired by Match Group. Bennett began his career in digital and social brand marketing working with major brands across tech, energy, and health care at leading marketing and communications agencies including Edelman and GMMB. Bennett is originally from Portland, Maine, and received his bachelor's degree from Colgate University.

Enterprise

Why large enterprises struggle to find suitable platforms for MLops

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, and as larger enterprises go from deploying hundreds of models to thousands and even millions of models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

Photo: artpartner-images via Getty Images

On any given day, Lily AI runs hundreds of machine learning models using computer vision and natural language processing that are customized for its retail and ecommerce clients to make website product recommendations, forecast demand, and plan merchandising. But this spring when the company was in the market for a machine learning operations platform to manage its expanding model roster, it wasn’t easy to find a suitable off-the-shelf system that could handle such a large number of models in deployment while also meeting other criteria.

Some MLops platforms are not well-suited for maintaining even more than 10 machine learning models when it comes to keeping track of data, navigating their user interfaces, or reporting capabilities, Matthew Nokleby, machine learning manager for Lily AI’s product intelligence team, told Protocol earlier this year. “The duct tape starts to show,” he said.

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Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia reporter digging deep and telling print, digital and audio stories. She covers AI and data for Protocol. Her reporting on AI and tech ethics issues has been published in OneZero, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, Ad Age and Digiday and heard on NPR. Kate is the creator of RedTailMedia.org and is the author of "Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about how the 2008 presidential campaigns used digital media and data.

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