October 18, 2021

Coinbase’s NFT waitlist tops one million signups on first day

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Coinbase Global Inc.’s not-yet-launched marketplace for nonfungible tokens is already a hot spot.

There were more than one million signups on the crypto exchange’s NFT waitlist on the first day it opened, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday. It wasn’t clear whether some of the signups were duplicates or spam, the person said. Coinbase unveiled plans to launch its marketplace on Tuesday, seeking to tap into one of the biggest trends in digital assets this year.

“We are getting a LOT of signups – so grateful for all your interest,” Coinbase vice president of product Sanchan Saxena wrote on Twitter. “We are seeing insane loads on our servers and our team is working hard to get this resolved. Check back soon!”

Coinbase joins the ranks of Twitter Inc. and FTX in delving into NFTs, or digital collectibles, which have boomed in popularity this year. Daily sales peaked near $268 million in late August, according to tracker Nonfungible, with some NFTs selling for millions of dollars in recent months. Katie Haun, a general partner at venture firm Andreessen Horowitz who sits on Coinbase’s board, is also a board member at NFT marketplace giant OpenSea, according to her LinkedIn profile.

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Coinbase, which warned in August that customer usage slowed at the start of the third quarter, has been seeking to diversify its revenue as competitors such as Robinhood Markets Inc. beef up their efforts to attract crypto users. NFTs are the “next frontier” for Coinbase and could become a lucrative business for the exchange next year, according to Bloomberg Intelligence’s Julie Chariell.

“Fees are more likely to mirror retail than institutional crypto-trading commissions,” senior fintech analyst Chariell wrote in a report. “NFT trading at our 3% fee estimate would bring much more revenue per trading dollar, along with less volatility to Coinbase operations than the crypto trading platform.”

© 2021 Bloomberg

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