Only a fortnight ago Coinbase announced launching its non-fungible token [NFT] marketplace “soon,” and the community is waiting with bated breath. So much so, the waitlist has seen a flood of users signing in and has currently surpassed, 3.7 million users.
Twitter user @CroissantEth highlighted this enthusiasm among crypto users and noted that the number of Coinbase NFTs sign-ups is thrice the number of wallets that ever interacted with NFTs.
This was strange, however, correlated to the newness of the NFTs. Despite the hype around the field and convergence of influencers into buying and launching their own NFTs, the number of people trading on the marketplace was far less. According to the data provided, only ~1.5 million users have ever made a trade on Opensea which currently boasts to be the largest NFT marketplace.
Additionally, the 1.5 million users that did make a trade on Opensea could be an overestimate knowing that one user can have more than two wallets. Therefore, the eagerness witnessed by Coinbase NFTs is worth taking note of as it was also among the largest centralized exchange to follow the NFT trend.
So, how did Coinbase attract such a massive user base even before launch?
According to @CroissantETH, self-custody was the answer. Self-custody is defined when you hold the private keys to your wallet and not an exchange. This feature was of course available for crypto assets or fungible assets, to say. However, Coinbase allowed users to buy any NFT using self custody wallets like Metamask or Coinbase wallet, or even by just signing in to the platform and then custody with Coinbase.
This was a big change. It meant that people could hold on to their NFTs on Coinbase just like their precious cryptocurrencies. Now, a large number of users did not want to deal with private keys and thus, hold their cryptos on exchanges. For instance, nearly 15% of Bitcoin was currently held on exchanges alone. However, @CroissantEth noted,
“This isn’t about how many users will custody their assets with the exchange, either. It’s about how many people will move on to self-custody once they feel comfortable. This is massive.”
Adding to the novelty factor, Coinbase NFT was not just trying to be a marketplace but more. It is offering characteristics of web2 social media apps but on the blockchain and @CroissantEth suspects that it could act as a hosting service for NFT creators.
As we stand at the cusp of another revolution in the field of technology, Coinbase has been marketing its marketplace by introducing Spotlight, which informs users about its NFT projects and creators each week. The spotlight was on the creator of NFT collection 1,989 Sisters, Blair Breitenstein or @BlondeLasagna, as her Twitter handle goes.
It is an exciting time for crypto users and projects as the change is coming. Competition is going to increase with Coinbase NFTs marketplace launching, but we may have to wait for its arrival and there was no official date for its launch yet.