Crypto exchange Kraken's non-fungible token (NFTs) marketplace will go live in private beta today to customers on the waitlist.
The waitlist for Kraken NFT opened in May. The marketplace was expected to launch in the summer but experienced several delays.
The marketplace will offer customers access to more than 70 NFT collections across the Ethereum and Solana ecosystems in the beta launch, a Kraken spokesperson said.
Customers will be able to buy and sell Kraken custodied NFTs without incurring any gas fees. However, if the NFTs are transferred on and off the Kraken platform then they will incur those fees.
A royal dilemma
Royalties will remain a mandatory component within the marketplace. Royalties are fees that go back to the creator of collection on every sale of their NFT. NFT creators can secure a regular income via royalties, which are a key reason why many creators have flocked to NFTs. However, they are also seen as a source of friction for NFT traders.
"A portion of the value sold on our marketplace goes back to the original content creator," a Kraken spokesperson said. "This ensures creators are always properly compensated for their time and efforts."
Royalties have become a controversial topic in the crypto industry as a number of leading exchanges such as LooksRare and Magic Eden have pivoted away from mandating a royalty-fee on NFT trades.
Other features on Kraken's marketplace include being able to list or offer NFTs in eight fiat currencies as well as over 200 cryptocurrencies on the platform and the ability to view and purchase NFTs listed on other marketplaces under the protection of Kraken’s security framework.
Kraken throws its hat in the ring
Kraken's NFT marketplace follows in the footsteps of rival exchanges that have also started marketplaces such as Coinbase, FTX and Binance. However NFT trading volumes have dropped dramatically since many of these exchanges launched their marketplaces last year.
The launch of Kraken's marketplace also comes during a time of internal change at the exchange. The exchange's founder and CEO for 11 years stepped down recently and will be replaced by the exchange's chief operating officer David Ripley. Across the pond, Kraken poached Gemini's head of UK Blair Halliday to run its UK operations
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