- Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said NFTs could upstage cryptocurrency trading on the platform.
- Armstrong said he wants the company’s NFT platform to be like Instagram, not eBay.
- He made the comments on the company’s third-quarter earnings call in which it had a trading slump.
The head of Coinbase thinks NFTs could someday surpass cryptocurrency trading on the platform.
Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong made the comments on a conference call about the company’s third quarter earnings, in which the platform suffered a steep drop in trading volume. Armstrong said nonfungible tokens, which are digital artworks or tokens verified on the blockchain, will be a “very large area for crypto in the future.”
“It already is today,” he said late Tuesday, according to a transcript from the Motley Fool. “Traditionally, Coinbase is focused on FTs, fungible tokens, and we’re equally excited about NFTs. I think it could be as big or bigger.”
In just the third quarter, NFTs registered $10.7 billion in trading volume, up from $2 billion in the prior quarter, according to DappRadar.
Coinbase announced it would launch its NFT trading platform by the end of the year. The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US has already received 2.5 million emails from users asking to sign up for it, according to Bloomberg. By comparison, NFT marketplace OpenSea has had about 234,000 active unique users in the last 30 days, according to DappRadar.
Armstrong said he wants Coinbase NFT to be similar to Instagram versus an auction-type site such as eBay. “This is going to be a global phenomenon. We want to make sure our NFT platform is interoperable as every other platforms out there.”
Emilie Choi, Coinbase’s president and chief operating officer, said on the call the company has been spending “a lot of time” working on NFTs in the metaverse as there’s “just an abundance of innovation in this space, and we want to keep doubling down on those opportunities.”
The concept of the “metaverse” has become mainstream since Facebook rebranded to “Meta.” But according to crypto podcaster Andrew Steinwold, who’s a managing partner of digital token-focused firm Sfermion, NFTs were the missing piece of the puzzle for the metaverse to get started.
“Now that that’s enabled, the metaverse is actually coming to fruition,” he told Insider previously.