After two weeks in private beta, Coinbase NFT launched to the public on May 4. Straight away skeptics weighed in with concerns the platform’s embrace of social media functionality might backfire.
Coinbase has built a platform that’s part OpenSea, part Instagram. On Coinbase NFT, users can follow each other and comment on their favorite NFTs. It features a discovery feed and trending collections.
“Coinbase didn’t launch an NFT platform, they launched a web3 Instagram,” quipped Jason Yanowitz, the co-founder of Blockworks, on Twitter..
Because of Coinbase’s global brand and the ability to buy NFTs with credit cards on the platform, many users believe the platform has the potential to introduce countless new users into NFTs. Yet after its first two weeks in beta, Coinbase NFT’s results were modest. Before today’s launch, there were only 1,246 transactions and 153 ETH traded.
“I don’t think they’ll be taking away any market share away from existing platforms,” NFT collector @chief_leek told The Defiant. “People who are used to OpenSea will likely stick to OpenSea.”
John Crain, founder of NFT marketplace SuperRare, shared concerns regarding Coinbase NFT. Crain told The Defiant that it seems like Coinbase NFT “wasn’t really thought through” and was “designed by committee.”
Crain reasoned that if Coinbase’s mission is helping people get access to new asset classes like NFTs, then “just allowing people to buy NFTs via their already developed onramps and storing them in easy to use custody solutions would have made more sense.”
Coinbase is clearly betting that adding a social media piece to its platform will differentiate it from Open Sea and its ilk. That could very well be what NFT shoppers want. The move could also open Pandora’s Box and flood the site with hate speech and bullying, as well as spamming. If that happens, the site may turn off potential NFT collectors.
Coinbase did not respond to The Defiant’s request for comment by the time of publication.