On Wednesday, Coinbase — the largest crypto trading platform in America by volume — launched the beta version of its marketplace for non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
"We’re looking to empower people to create, collect, and connect," said Sanchan Saxena, Vice President of Product for Coinbase. Beta users selected from a waitlist will be allowed "to buy and sell NFTs using any self-custody wallet," the company says. Although Coinbase plans to institute transaction fees at a later date, for now the cost of all transactions will be free.
Coinbase boasts approximately 89 million users, trades about $547 billion in crypto each quarter and holds $278 billion in digital assets. Part of the company's foray into NFTs owes to its desire to strengthen a sense of community and give users the ability to connect to one another through digital assets.
Today, NFTs have emerged as a $41 billion market, albeit one rife with scams. In February, the Department of Justice appointed the first-ever director for its National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, which has taken a particular interest in NFT scams.
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In March, the DOJ had its first-ever case involving NFTs, featuring $1.1 million-dollar Frosties NFT fraud scheme.
"The rise and popularity of various cryptocurrencies have changed the landscape of buying and selling investments, leading to ample opportunities for new fraud schemes," said U.S. Postal Inspection Service Inspector-in-Charge Daniel Brubaker. "These assets may seem like a good deal or a way to become wealthy, but in many cases, as in this situation, only lead to the loss of your money."