Crypto is an exciting new digital asset class that has been growing exponentially over the past few years. One of the most popular crypto exchanges, Coinbase, just announced a new feature on their platform: a NFT Marketplace! The blog post below will explain the Coinbase NFT announcement, and why NFT digital assets might soon become a standard in many crypto portfolios
What are NFTs?
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are cryptocurrencies that represent tangible things like art, music, video games, and more. You may buy and sell them on the internet. They use the same code as many other cryptos. There are some distinctions between them.
NFTs are considered digital assets or digital store of value. They are created using blockchain technology and cryptography. Just like crypto, they are secured and ownership is authenticated with a private key. They can also be transferred from one person to another without any central authority controlling them.
Because NFT’s are one-of-a-kind digital assets they are ‘non fungible’. This means you can’t exchange one NFT for another of the same NFT (like for like) because each is unique. Like you can’t swap a Monet for a Jackson Pollock for example.
NFTs have value both as cryptocurrencies and also as a digital form of expression and culture. Because of this cross over between value and culture, NFT with culture and community attached have become incredibly popular and valuable. The number of unique wallets that has either bought or sold an NFT since 2019 continues to climb as more people get excited about and involved in this new asset class.
Some famous examples include CryptoKitties, CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club.
And it’s not just art.
Industries like fashion, gaming, and music are beginning to recognize the potential of NFTs for new kinds of creativity and ownership.
What is the Coinbase NFT announcement?
Coinbase is the biggest centralised crypto exchange in the US. On October 13, 2021 Coinbase announced that they are adding an NFT marketplace to their platform.
The marketplace will enable users to make, buy, showcase and explore NFTs.
Coinbase claim that their NFT market place will be easier to use than other NFT platforms such as Opensea. It will also have a social element enabling creators to engage directly with communities.
Undoubtedly, Coinbase sees an expontentially growing market and an opportunity to make revenue through fees. They’re yet to divulge what fees will be charged to transact in the marketplace…
Coinbase NFT market waitlist
Coinbase has created an ‘early access’ waitlist. Since the Cointbase NFT announcement, we have heard that more than 1.5 million people have signed up to the Coinbase NFT waitlist. If you’re keen it get in early here is the link.
What can you do with NFTs?
NFTs are a digital store of value and there is a market around them. An entire marketplace of trading NFTs has emerged since 2020. There is an initial market where you can ‘mint’ NFTs. This just means you’re creating the NFT record on the blockchain, and authorising your ownership of it. There is also a secondary market where NFTs are on-sold.
Art and gaming NFTs are about community belong and social status. So people like to showcase the NFTs they buy. Twitter is the most popular place to do this. Twitter lets you showcase NFT art as your profile picture, after you have been through a process of validating that you are the owner of the NFT art-piece.
NFTs are assets and act as a store of value over space and time. A lot of people try to buy early and Hodl (hold) their NFTs just like any asset, hoping the value will go up over time.
You hodl NFTs buy storing them in your crypto wallet.
Where to start with buying NFTs?
If you’re looking to get into the NFT marketplace you’re going to need these things:
The coin or token for the blockchain that the NFT is built on
Most NFTs are built on the Ethereum network, but blockchain networks like Solana and Avax also have popular NFT platforms built on top of them. You need the token or coin for that blockchain to buy the NFT and to pay the network fees for using the blockchain when you buy it. For example, if you’re buying an NFT on the Ethereum blockchain, you’ll need ETH to buy it!
A crypto wallet
You need a hot wallet or online wallet to receive your NFT when you do buy it. You use your crypto hot wallet to create an account on the NFT marketplace of your choice. Once you have purchased an NFT, it’s stored in your hot wallet. Most people use Metamask wallet to buy NFTs.
A platform to buy them from
You can either Mint and NFT or buy one on the secondary market. Minting is where the NFT is first recorded on the blockchain and authorised as belonging to you. To mint, you need early knowledge of NFT project collections and a bit of luck. You mint NFTs directly from a project website. If the NFT is already minted, you can buy it from the secondary market like Opensea or the coming Coinbase NFT marketplace.
Keeping your NFTs secure
The first thing to know is, don’t leave your NFT in your hot wallet!
Like any crypto, NFTs are susceptible to hacking and theft. Especially if they’re seen as a valuable asset!
The only way to keep your NFT safe from cyber criminals is store the private keys to it in a hardware wallet.The best and most convenient wallet to use for this is the Ledger Nano.
The safest way to buy NFTs – Ledger nano + Metamask
The Ledger Nano Hardware Wallet allows you to access trusted third-party hot wallets like MetaMask via its hardware wallet software.
If you link Ledger Nano with Metamask, the private key to your NFTs is kept in the secure element chip of your Ledger Nano while it’s linked to MetaMask.
As a result, you can buy NFTs from your smartphone or computer with any NFT marketplace, such as Rarible or Open Sea, and do it securely. The MetaMask wallet will send a request to the Ledger hardware whenever you perform an activity.
Only once you physically sign/approve the request using your hardware wallet’s private key will the transaction complete.
It works like your bank texting you a one-time password to approve transactions. And no one else can steal your NFTs as long as you keep your Ledger device and protect your recovery phrase.
Here are some instructions to link your Ledger to Metamask hot wallet, so you can safely buy and sell NFTs. Have fun!