Coinbase NFT Marketplace Review | The Ascent by Motley Fool – The Motley Fool
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Coinbase NFT Marketplace is an easy-to-use NFT platform where users can buy and sell digital collectibles. It prides itself on creating a community where NFT creators and collectors can interact. The Coinbase brand is reassuring, but it is early days for the platform — right now, it's missing a number of features we'd like to see. Read our full Coinbase NFT Marketplace review to find out if it's right for you.
Coinbase NFT Marketplace
Great for: Existing Coinbase and Coinbase Wallet customers.
Types of NFTs
Various, including art, collectibles, metaverse, and domain names.
Introductory zero fee offer.
Coinbase Wallet, MetaMask, WalletConnect
Reputable NFT marketplace with limited functionality.
This NFT marketplace is a good fit for: Coinbase and Coinbase Wallet customers who want to access the NFT world.
Coinbase NFT Marketplace is a relatively new community-focused NFT platform that's still in beta. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital certificates of ownership that live on the blockchain. Users can use the platform to buy and sell NFTs. It's also a place to engage with other collectors through the comments and follow function.
READ MORE: Best NFT marketplaces
The world of NFTs can feel like the Wild West at times. Accusations of wash trading, insider trading, and scams are commonplace and it's difficult to know who to trust. As a result, Coinbase's reputation is one of its biggest strengths. Founded in 2012, Coinbase is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange and has various licenses to operate in the U.S. These include New York's BitLicense, one of the harder crypto licenses to get.
On the downside, it feels as if NFTs are an afterthought on the Coinbase site right now. There's not a lot of dedicated NFT information, and the NFT platform doesn't even have its own blog. Sites that only sell NFTs have much more content whether that's in terms of support, news, or knowledge banks.
Coinbase describes its platform as a "Web3 social marketplace for NFTs." The idea is to be a place where collectors can engage with one another, by liking, commenting, and connecting. Users can follow the accounts of other collectors and creators, and creators can build communities around their work.
For a limited time only, Coinbase won't charge any fees to buy and sell NFTs. Users will still pay Ethereum gas fees, as this is the cost of recording a transaction on the network. It says its fees will be "in-line with Web3 industry standards" when it introduces them. Watch this space.
Coinbase opened its NFT platform to the public in May 2022, but the exchange is still in beta mode with relatively limited functionality. Since then, it has released some new features, but there's still a long way to go. For example, it says it plans to allow users to pay for NFTs with a credit card and support multiple blockchains rather than just Ethereum. You can buy, sell, and comment on NFTs, but you can't create your own.
Ethereum is the biggest NFT blockchain, but its gas fees are significantly higher than on other networks. Other NFT exchanges support a couple of blockchains so users can choose those with lower-cost transactions.
Some NFT marketplaces allow users to pay using a debit or credit card right there on the platform. This is an attractive option for anyone interested in investing in NFTs who isn't super familiar with cryptocurrencies and doesn't want to have to buy crypto before they can buy an NFT. In fairness to Coinbase NFT Marketplace, it is relatively easy to use Coinbase Pay via a Coinbase Wallet.
If you want multiple blockchains and multiple ways to pay: OpenSea is the biggest NFT platform and supports four different blockchains. It supports debit card payments in most U.S. states and many other countries. However, the platform has also been targeted by hackers and a former employee stands accused of insider trading.
If you want a fully-featured site that's also connected to a reputable crypto exchange: Nifty Gateway was bought by Gemini crypto exchange in 2019 and offers all the services you'd look for in an NFT marketplace. Nifty is a custodial NFT platform, meaning you don't need a crypto wallet to use it.
It is very early days for the Coinbase NFT Marketplace platform, which is still in its beta phase. If you just want to buy and sell NFTs, it will do the job. But if you're looking for additional functionality such as NFT minting or multi-blockchain support, you might be disappointed. One interesting feature that has been launched is community-driven interactivity. Users can create profiles, follow other users, and comment on people's NFTs and feeds. This fits with Coinbase's drive to become a social NFT platform.
Coinbase NFT Marketplace users can buy and sell NFTs on the platform. If you want to buy an NFT, you'll find various NFTs are available for purchase directly. If an item is not for sale, you can make an offer. Coinbase also offers NFT drops, which are timed releases of NFTs. If you're a fan of a particular drop, click "remind me" to receive updates.
However, apart from these basic building blocks, it's missing many of the extra features. For example, it isn't yet possible to mint NFTs on the platform, though Coinbase says it plans to roll out minting functionality soon. Coinbase also says it plans to launch auctions, additional payment methods, and additional blockchains.
Unlike other top NFT marketplaces, the Coinbase NFT Marketplace platform does not support multiple blockchains. Users can only buy and sell NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain, and will need ETH in their accounts to pay for the NFT and gas fees.
READ MORE: Best places to buy Ethereum
A great deal of NFTs are minted on Ethereum, so sticking to just one blockchain does not have a huge impact in terms of the range of NFTs available. However, it does mean customers can't opt to reduce gas fees by using blockchains like Polygon (MATIC) or Solana (SOL). Ethereum's gas fees can be sizable and vary depending on the level of network congestion. For example, when I tried to buy an NFT worth $15 on the platform, the gas fee came to over $8.
Most NFT marketplaces don't have custodial wallets. This means you can't store your digital currency or NFTs on the platform and will need to connect your own NFT wallet. The Coinbase NFT Marketplace supports all the main wallets, either directly or indirectly. It also allows you to connect multiple wallets to a single account.
READ MORE: Best NFT wallets
You can connect the following:
You need Ethereum to buy or sell NFTs on the Coinbase NFT Marketplace. The platform gives prices in both dollars and ETH, but all transactions and gas fees are paid in ETH. For some transactions, such as making an offer on an NFT that's not for sale, users will need wrapped Ethereum (wETH).
Coinbase NFT Marketplace does not accept credit or debit card payments. However, if you are a Coinbase customer, it's relatively easy to buy ETH on Coinbase and move it into your wallet or use its Coinbase Pay function.
For a limited time only, Coinbase NFT Marketplace won't charge any fees on its platform. After the introductory fee-free period, it promises fees will be in the single figures. However, that doesn't mean users can escape fees altogether — they will need to pay gas fees when they buy or sell items. This is the fee required to make a transaction on the blockchain. Be aware that the Coinbase exchange also charges fees when you convert your dollars to Ethereum, as do other top crypto apps and exchanges.
At time of writing, Coinbase had almost 100,000 items available for sale on its platform. However, it's difficult to know what types of NFTs you can buy with Coinbase NFT Marketplace because you can't explore by type of NFT. Competitors like OpenSea let users filter by, NFT type — for example domain names, art, music, or collectibles.
It is possible to buy a domain name on Coinbase NFT Marketplace because some collections have the words "domain name" in the title — however, that doesn't apply to other categories like music. You can also buy land in the metaverse, but you'll need to search for the name of the virtual world such as Sandbox or Decentraland and go from there.
The two biggest risks when using an NFT marketplace are fraud and attempts to hack your wallet. Coinbase scores high in terms of trustability as it's an established cryptocurrency exchange with a good reputation. It also verifies accounts using a blue tick so you can have some confidence you're not buying from an imposter. This is not a guarantee that the item you buy is authentic, but it is a start.
You store assets in your crypto wallet, not on the platform. This means that you, not Coinbase, are responsible for the security of your crypto and digital art. Never share your recovery phrase with anyone, and be on the lookout for phishing scams. Phishing is where fraudsters pose as legitimate sites or services in an attempt to steal your personal information and access.
Coinbase says it will never ask you for your private keys or recovery phrase. It uses a smart contract scanner to verify NFT collections and educates users about ways to avoid common scams. However, it is difficult to eliminate all of the risks associated with NFT purchases. In addition to security considerations, bear in mind that NFT prices are extremely volatile. There's a danger that the value of your asset could fall to nothing.
Emma lives in Bogota, Colombia, where she owns the English-language newspaper The Bogota Post. She began her editorial career at a financial website in the U.K. over 20 years ago and has been contributing to The Ascent since the summer of 2019.
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