Right now, the largest and most popular NFT marketplace is OpenSea, which grew the most in 2021. However, Coinbase is one of the largest brokers of cryptocurrencies to mainstream investors, so it makes a lot of sense that it went in the direction of NFTs. After all, cryptocurrencies are very intertwined with NFTs and the vast majority of NFTs are traded in cryptocurrencies.
Coinbase’s thinking about this move is simple. Just as Coinbase has helped millions of users gain access to cryptocurrencies quickly and securely, it wants to provide access to NFTs simply and securely. And it actually makes sense, as an equally large number of users will purchase cryptocurrencies on Coinbase before sending them to their wallets to purchase NFTs on OpenSea. This way the whole process is simplified and the unnecessary intermediate step is avoided.
It won’t be just about buying NFT
Coinbase, according to its statements, doesn’t just want to build a marketplace and the ability to buy and sell NFTs, it wants to build a social media platform that will allow collectors and creators of NFTs to create profiles, comment and interact with each other in search of new collections.
In bringing in elements of social media, Coinbase will also need to focus more on things like censorship, freedom of expression and passing judgement on social issues. Coinbase may therefore be forced to develop stricter site rules and content moderation procedures, but for now it says it will abide by the laws of the jurisdictions it serves and warn users if material may be inappropriate, sexual or graphic.
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So we’ll see how this move by Coinbase helps the entire NFT market. Overall, we are seeing a gradual decline in the interest and amount of NFT trades on the selling platforms. So, the initial enthusiasm around it seems to have died down and it will be interesting to see how this very interesting industry will develop further.