Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by market value announced today its plans to launch a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace in June.
The Binance NFT marketplace will enable the creation, or “minting” of NFTs, trading and feature select works through premium exhibitions and global auctions. Users will also be able to create, mint and deposit artworks from different chains, according to Binance. An NFT is a unique, non-interchangeable (non-fungible) digital asset whose authenticity and true ownership is tracked on a blockchain.
“Our goal is to make Binance NFT platform the largest NFT trading platform in the world, in terms of trading volume, user base, and variety of works,” Helen Hai, head of Binance’s NFT project, told Forkast.News in an email.
“Just as importantly, we want creators to experience the best minting, buying and exchanging experience, by leveraging the fastest and cheapest solutions powered by Binance blockchain infrastructure and community,” Hai added. “For the short term, we will support Binance Smart Chain (mainly) and Ethereum network. Through our development, we might support more blockchain networks such as Tron, Flow, Wax, etc.”
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NFTs have exploded in popularity this year and Binance’s NFT marketplace plans follow similar announcements by other cryptocurrency exchanges in recent months. Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck and Hong Kong-based Crypto.com launched their NFT platforms in March, and Hong Kong Digital Asset Exchange (HKD.com) is scheduled to unveil its NFT trading platform in the third quarter of this year.
NFT marketplaces are proliferating along with the increasingly popular use of NFTs in digital art, music, gaming, sports and metaverses. NFTs generated more than US$1.5 billion in transaction volume in the first three months of 2021, with a massive 2,627% quarter-over-quarter growth, according to data from DappRadar. The three biggest players in the NFT economy— sports collectibles NBA Top Shot, crypto art CryptoPunks and NFT marketplace OpenSea — account for 73% of total transaction volume.
While still a fraction of the size of the decentralized finance (DeFi) market and notwithstanding the softening of the NFT market in recent days, NFTs are likely here to stay as major auction houses, established brands, and publications jump onto the NFT bandwagon. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Binance, which has over 50 million users globally compared to Coinbase’s over 40 million, is also moving into the NFT business.
Originally founded in China, Binance relocated its headquarters a few years ago to Japan and then Malta as China began cracking down on cryptocurrency and then banned crypto trading. Last year, Binance was reportedly headquartered in the Cayman Islands and Seychelles.
But according to Binance, it is a decentralized company with no specific headquarters.
“You can point to any office and say that’s a headquarters — it doesn’t really mean that much,” said Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, in a recent interview with Bloomberg. “We do have a large number of regulated entities in multiple jurisdictions that we operate. So anywhere that requires regulatory compliance, where we operate, we have licensed entities. And those licensed entities have what you may call a headquarters or an office and an address.”
Hai added: “Binance has the largest user base in the crypto world, with users in over 180 countries and regions. Based on the user number, the Binance NFT platform could attract millions of potential NFT collectors in the world.”
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The Binance NFT marketplace will share the same account system as Binance.com, which means that Binance users will be able to access the NFT marketplace with their Binance accounts. Mobile versions of the marketplace for iOS and Android will be launched later.
A Binance NFT website landing page has been created for artists and creators to get in touch for collaborations.
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“In line with our commitment to the freedom of money globally and building an inclusive ecosystem, the Binance NFT marketplace will also support small value creators by providing the highest liquidity and cheapest fees for users,” said Zhao, Binance’s CEO, in a news release.
For sales at auctions or exhibitions, Binance intends to charge a 10% fee, with 90% of the proceeds going to the creators. In the trading marketplace, Binance will charge a 1% processing fee and creators or depositors of NFTs can receive a 1% recurring royalty.
“We are seeing many digital artworks sold at very high prices,” said Hai, head of Binance’s NFT project. “This is only the beginning of the NFT space and I believe that the NFT space will be as easy and as accessible as DeFi or other trends in this industry.”
See related article: NFT mania: Are blockchain art and NBA crypto collectibles a fad or the future?