Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken announced Thursday that it’s opening its nonfungible token marketplace beta to the public, allowing collectors to join, discover and securely trade digital crypto collectibles.
“Since 2011, our mission has been to accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrencies with a secure platform that both protects client funds and offers a comprehensive range of products and services,” said Jesse Powell, co-founder and chief executive of Kraken.
Nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, are a type of blockchain-based crypto asset that represents the ownership of digital items such as images, artwork — which are often used as profile pictures – digital trading cards and video game items. NFTs can be created, bought and sold for cryptocurrency, which gives them a value that can be exchanged for money.
The marketplace launched with a curated offering of more than 110 of the highest-trading-volume NFT collections currently on the market today in order to jumpstart the marketplace, including NFTs from Azuki, Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks and Doodles. Collections supported on the marketplace must first pass through a vetting procedure, with new collections added regularly.
Collectors can access the screener tool on Cryptowatch to track the NFT market data in real time, as well as average sale price and in-depth statistics for hundreds of different collections.
“Kraken has always championed free and diverse expression,” Powell said. “NFTs enable content creators to effectively monetize their unique perspectives and connect directly with like-minded audiences. We believe NFTs have the potential to become the way most people start interacting with crypto.”
In order to make the NFT collections on the marketplace as accessible as possible, Kraken is also making purchases and sales “gas-free.” That means that any NFTs held on Kraken can be exchanged without needing to pay transaction fees and will not deal with the underlying blockchain that they are on. Collectors can also trade during peak network activity. Transaction fees will, however, be incurred when transferring NFTs off Kraken onto other platforms.
Original content creators will automatically earn a portion of NFT sales as royalties as rewards for content creation. All of the supported collections will also have clear rarity rankings so that collectors can assess how rare an individual NFT is and inform their bids and offers.
The new market has more than 200 funding options so customers can offer an NFT in a multitude of currencies, including money or cryptocurrency supported by Kraken. Currently, NFTs can be traded for eight different world currencies and more than 200 different cryptocurrencies.
According to Kraken, the first Kraken NFT collections will begin with those built on the Ethereum and Solana blockchains. Support for other blockchains will be added in the near future. Users will be able to collect, buy, sell and trade NFTs on the platform using a single wallet even as more blockchains are added in the future.
“We were the first major exchange to list ether and recognize the promise of the nonfungible space,” Powell said. “As a secure gateway complete with curated collections and a host of unique features, we believe Kraken NFT will be the destination of choice for collectors from all backgrounds.”