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Coinbase's NFT Marketplace Opens To All, But Users Don't Show Up (bloomberg.com)

Posted by msmash on Friday May 06, 2022 @01:23PM from the closer-look dept.

Coinbase's new marketplace for nonfungible tokens is now officially open to all -- and it's getting off to a very slow start. From a Bloomberg report on Wednesday: After letting in a select number of users from its waiting list in the last few weeks, the U.S.'s biggest crypto exchange opened the marketplace to everyone as of noon Wednesday New York time. The site -- which Coinbase says is still in testing -- recorded fewer than 110 transactions as of about 5:15 pm, representing less than $60,000 in sales, according to tracker Dune Analytics. (Update: Fewer than 1,700 transactions at the time of publication, representing less than $700,000 in sales) That compares with $124 million in transaction volume for No. 1 NFT marketplace OpenSea on May 3, the most recent day available, per Dune. The result is hardly the mad rush expected by some on Wall Street after Coinbase's NFT project attracted several million signups to its waiting list when it first announced the marketplace last fall. The new site is part of efforts by Coinbase to diversify its revenue and fuel growth, which is expected to turn negative this year. The NFT project is overseen by Surojit Chatterjee, a former Google employee who joined Coinbase last year at a compensation package of $646 million.

Nick Tomaino of 1confirmation, an investor at Coinbase, tweeted earlier this week, in part: I haven't sold a share of Coinbase but will sell all my shares if the company doesn't make a strong move in NFTs in the next year. The current NFT product is not it. Coinbase built a massive business by being the bridge that connects fiat and crypto and keeping a finger on the pulse of the bleeding edge of crypto. For the first decade of the company the main way people entered the space was cryptocurrency so being laser focused on BTC and later other coins made a lot of sense. NFTs are now the most important onramp to crypto. The data this year is undeniable. Macro enviornment weak, NFTs strong. The fact that Coinbase hasn't yet shipped a fiat NFT onramp product is very bad for shareholders. There's already been billions of dollars left on the table by not offering a marketplace product.

Their whole approach to NFTs has been off. Months of vaporware to drum up hype and then an Instagram-like feed for NFT influencers feels like an approach from an out of touch Silicon Valley company who knows NFTs are hot but doesn't understand them deeply from user perspective. This is a major divergence from the crypto native company with a finger on the pulse that Coinbase has been historically. Being first to trends and having the will within the company to get meaningful shit done has been the hallmark. As a company grows it's always hard to keep that, but if the finger on the pulse is gone and Coinbase is no longer the leading bridge between fiat and crypto it is no longer a great asset to own imo.

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