Two cryptocurrency exchange platforms, Coinbase and FTX US are launching their own digital marketplaces for the commercialization of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The announcements highlight the increasing number of offers in the market and threaten OpenSea’s throne in the NFT marketplace sector.
While NFT prices have been very volatile in the past couple of months, NFT products have been on the rise. More and more mainstream brands and celebrity figures are launching their collections of digital assets.
As the supply of NFT offerings increases, so does the demand for platforms to commercialize them, which has led to the NFT platform launches established cryptocurrency exchanges, such as FTX, Coinbase, and Binance, which launched a marketplace in June.
For new players coming in, there is the advantage of knowing what kind of features work and which don’t. Coinbase is looking to make its platform as accessible and user-friendly as possible, moving away from the association that customers need to have a background in crypto to use the marketplace to expand the customer base. Coinbase will also add social features which should make the marketplace more engaging and enhance the sense of community.
FTX’s international arm entered the NFT space in early September. Its American associate, FTX US, is a leading crypto sports sponsor. Having a platform that supports the growing offer of sports NFT products might enhance the company’s sports-related branding.
For FTX, the NFTs will initially be minted and exchanged on Solana’s blockchain, but there are plans to expand the platform to the Ethereum ecosystem.
“We decided to create an NFT marketplace on FTX US after becoming immersed ourselves in the NFT ecosystem,” said FTX US President Brett Harrison. “In learning about so many of these projects, we’ve come to a comprehensive understanding of the needs of creators and collectors in the space. With the launch of this platform, we hope to provide both US and global users with a regulated marketplace that is intuitive and responsive to their needs.”
All these new competitors pose a threat to OpenSea. The marketplace recorded $3.4 billion in sales in August, a jump from $301 million in July, and dropped to $3 billion in September. The company has backing from leading names in the blockchain industry, including a16z.
Some other emerging marketplaces are more specialist. Digital art MakersPlace recently raised $30 million, Autograph is focused on celebrities, UNXD works with luxury brands, and Recur is entering the college sports NFT space.