Coinbase NFT, the cryptocurrency exchange’s newly launched NFT marketplace, is so far failing to attract users.
On its first day, the marketplace, which opened its beta up to the public yesterday, saw fewer than 150 new users make a trade on the platform, according to public blockchain data available on metrics site Dune Analytics. That brought the total number of active users on Coinbase NFT to 1,112 as of Wednesday evening, per data from Dune.
These figures, however, do not account for the number of people who may have signed up for Coinbase NFT via email and not yet made a trade. Coinbase does not share those numbers, and a representative of the company declined to comment to Decrypt about the platform’s metrics thus far.
According to data from Dune, the total number of transactions on Coinbase NFT in its first day open to the public amount to about $75,000 of (ETH) traded. That’s less than the price of one Bored Ape.
So coinbase NFT is live for everyone. No one seems to care…
— 0xBotwin.eth👑🦁🧬 (@0xBotwin) May 4, 2022
NFTs are unique tokens, largely on Ethereum, that are used to demonstrate ownership over digital items, such as art, video game items, or other assets. The market for NFTs ballooned to more than $20 billion in 2021 and is on pace to far exceed that figure by the end of 2022.
Right now, OpenSea is far and away the biggest NFT trading platform in the market, generating billions of dollars worth of trading volume every month. The leading NFT marketplace saw $177.2 million of ETH traded on its platform yesterday, and it has amassed over 1.65 million total users since launching, according to Dune data.
Why aren’t NFT collectors rushing to sign up and trade on Coinbase NFT? Well, there are a number of possible reasons. For one, there’s already lots of competition, with LooksRare, Rarible, Foundation, NiftyGateway, and SuperRare filling niches for smaller markets.
And more competitors are coming. Kraken announced Wednesday that the waitlist is now open for its marketplace Kraken NFT, which will offer zero gas fees (the costs typically associated with transacting on the network) through custodied trading and is set to launch in a few months.
1/ 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…
— Nick Tomaino (@NTmoney) May 4, 2022
Coinbase isn’t offering users any dramatic financial benefits for making the switch from OpenSea, other than promises of no trading fees on the platform for a limited time (though users still have to pay gas fees).
The timing of the launch is also likely an issue for Coinbase's NFT marketplace. Crypto remains firmly in a bear market, with Ethereum currently down 44% from its all-time high of more than $4,800 in November. Monthly NFT sales are also down from the January high of nearly $5 billion, though the market has recently rebounded with a strong showing in April ($3.8 billion) following a relatively weak March.
coinbase NFT is pretty underwhelming but keep in mind that this was always about attracting newbies who have no exposure to the space at all
power users complaining about missing features is pretty irrelevant to whether this has an impact on the market or not
— Giancarlo (@GiancarloChaux) April 20, 2022
Coinbase NFT’s sluggish start has also suffered high-profile, customer-service issues. Samuel Cardillo, CTO of Nike’s Web3 brand RTFKT Studios, today reported that he’s been blocked from Coinbase NFT “for absolutely no reason beside getting ETH from sold NFTs.” He tweeted that he has been trying to restore his ability to use the platform for weeks since gaining access during the closed beta.
“That’s why I will never ask any of our collectors to use their platform,” Cardillo said of Coinbase NFT.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to specify that 150 new people used Coinbase NFT on the first day of its public beta, but that is not necessarily the number of people who signed up for the platform; Coinbase would not share that number.