Coinbase wants to make NFTs accessible to everyone. Here’s how.
- Coinbase will launch a new NFT marketplace that allows people to pay by Mastercard.
- NFTs are speculative investments and caution is advised.
Coinbase wants to bring NFTs to the masses with its soon to be launched NFT Marketplace. NFTs – or Non-Fungible Tokens – are digital certificates of authenticity and ownership that can be embedded in collectibles, artwork, music, game items and more. They became extremely popular last year, so much so that Collins Dictionary declared NFT its word of the year.
The cryptocurrency exchange already allows users to store NFTs in its external wallet Coinbase. But its new NFT Marketplace product will make it easier than ever for users to create, showcase, buy and sell NFTs. Coinbase’s idea is that buying an NFT should be as easy as buying a sweatshirt or any other product online.
Here are four things you need to know about the new product:
1. You won’t need crypto to buy NFTs with Coinbase
Like many aspects of the crypto industry, buying an NFT is not as intuitive as it could be. To get started, you will need an external crypto wallet containing the correct digital currency. This is often Ethereum (ETH), but other networks like Solana (SOL) are also proving popular for NFTs.
Coinbase wants to make things easier. It has partnered with Mastercard to allow anyone with a Mastercard credit or debit card to purchase an NFT. They will still need a crypto wallet to store their purchase, but the partnership certainly removes one of the biggest problems.
2. Over 3 million people have already signed up
Since Coinbase initially announced its NFT Marketplace product in October, over 3 million people have joined the waitlist. I was number 3,297,132, at the time of writing. Being on the waitlist means you can get early access to the new market, as well as receive other notifications – for example, knowing when Coinbase will actually launch its new product.
3. You can get higher on the waitlist by referring more people
The higher you are on the waitlist, the sooner you can use Coinbase’s new NFT marketplace. It depends on how quickly you signed up and how many people you refer. Once you submit your email and join the waitlist, you will receive a referral link. So if you’re not happy with being on the phone, you can encourage others to sign up and move up the list.
4. It’s only open to US residents – at least to start
Coinbase customers who live outside the United States will have to wait a bit longer before they can use the new product. The company will first roll out its NFT Marketplace to US users, but plans to launch it internationally as well in time.
There are a number of different NFT marketplaces, some focus on a particular product such as CryptoPunks or Axie Infinity items. Others sell a range of NFTs and accept payment in their own tokens or a range of cryptocurrencies. Check out our list of the best NFT markets to get an idea of which one might be best for you.
If you are considering buying an NFT, keep in mind that these are highly speculative assets that can be difficult to value. It’s a lot like buying art in the real world – the artist’s reputation, prevailing trends, and various other factors all help determine its price.
Right now, many are warning of an NFT bubble and there are fears that people will buy products they don’t fully understand in hopes that the price will rise. There are also criticisms of the environmental cost of NFTs. And some artists claim that their work has been turned into NFT without their permission.
NFTs have a lot of potential in the digital world. Technology can fundamentally change the way we own things online, whether it’s music, metaverse assets, or art. But the real value of an individual NFT is a very different proposition. It’s a good idea to buy an NFT because you like it and want to own the product rather than because you hope the price will go up.
Before buying an NFT, make sure you fully understand the risks involved. You will also need to have a place to store it. And, as with cryptocurrency, don’t spend the money you need for other financial goals. This way, you won’t be devastated if your NFT loses value.
Emma Newbery owns Ethereum and Solana. The Motley Fool owns stocks and recommends Bitcoin.
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