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Coinbase Drops Free Ethereum NFT via Zora to Mark Base Network Launch

Coinbase Drops Free Ethereum NFT via Zora to Mark Base Network Launch

Base, a layer-2 scaling network for Ethereum that was built with Optimist, was announced today by Coinbase as a major new project. To mark the event, the exchange put out a free Ethereum NFT that anyone can mint, but not through Coinbase’s own NFT marketplace, which is struggling.

“Base, Introduced” is a free NFT that Coinbase makes available through Zora, which is a platform for minting NFTs and a business that specializes in Web3 creation tools. It’s an open edition NFT, which means that anyone can get one of the same collectibles until Sunday, but only one per wallet.

More than 24,000 Ethereum NFTs have already been made since Base was released this morning. As a result, the NFT’s smart contract, which contains the code that runs the project, has become the top “gas guzzler” on the Ethereum network, using nearly $271,000 worth of gas (or network transaction fees) in the past three hours.

Zora, great place for Web3 developers

Zora is a well-known place for Web3 developers to mint NFTs, but Coinbase already has its own NFT marketplace. Since its launch in the spring of 2017, Coinbase NFT hasn’t gotten much attention. Statistics from the public blockchain show that less than $8,000 worth of NFT was traded in the week before.

Compare this to the $596 million worth of trades that happened at Blur in the last week. Blur is the leading NFT marketplace, and it recently passed OpenSea, which had been the leader for a long time, because whale traders were quickly flipping assets to get the most out of BLUR token trading.

On its marketplace, Coinbase NFT shows Base, Introduced NFTs. However, these are secondary listings made by users who minted through Zora. Emilie Choi, President and Chief Operating Officer of Coinbase, said on an earnings call this week that the exchange is “not throwing in the towel” on its NFT goals, even though it has “a very small team working on it right now.”

In the past, the exchange’s NFT marketplace has been able to handle NFT mints, such as The Bill Murray 1,000. But the company said earlier this month that creator drops on Coinbase NFT have been “paused” so that resources can be put toward other marketplace features.

“Open edition meta” inspiring free Basic NFT

The free Base NFT alludes to the recent “open edition meta” in the world of NFTs, in which creators launch low-cost NFT mints and then add gamification elements, sometimes giving holders an incentive to “burn” (or permanently destroy) a number of them in exchange for a unique, rarer version that is not the same as the others.

Coinbase has not said that the Basic NFT will be useful or have benefits in the future. On secondary markets, though, NFTs are becoming more popular. Now, most of them are selling for about 0.01 ETH ($16) each, which is a fairly low price. But some of the early editions and the ones with what are called “vanity numbers” are selling for more money.

For example, NFT #888 was bought this morning for 0.888 ETH (about $1,455). The buyer is now selling it for 8.888 ETH (about $14,700) in the hopes of making a big profit. Since the free mint came out this morning, other three-digit NFT variants have sold for hundreds of dollars.

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About MahKa

MahKa loves exploring the decentralized world. She writes about NFTs, the metaverse, Web3 and similar topics.

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