Kraken‘s non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace will go live in private beta to customers on the waitlist today. Kraken NFT’s waitlist opened in May. The marketplace was supposed to go live in the summer, but it was delayed several times.
During the beta launch, customers will have access to more than 70 NFT collections across the Ethereum and Solana ecosystems, according to a Kraken spokesperson.
Customers will be able to buy and sell Kraken-held NFTs without paying any gas fees. However, if the NFTs are transferred on and off the Kraken platform, those fees will apply.
Royalties will continue to be a necessary component of the market. Royalties are fees paid to the creator of the collection for each sale of their NFT. NFT creators can earn a consistent income through royalties, which is one of the main reasons why so many creators have flocked to NFTs. However, they are viewed as a source of contention 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 contentious topic in the crypto industry, with a number of leading exchanges, including LooksRare and Magic Eden, moving away from requiring a royalty fee on NFT trades.
Other features of Kraken’s marketplace include the ability to list or sell NFTs in eight fiat currencies as well as over 200 cryptocurrencies on the platform, as well as the ability to view and buy NFTs listed on other marketplaces while being protected by Kraken’s security framework.
Kraken’s NFT marketplace follows in the footsteps of rival exchanges such as Coinbase, FTX, and Binance, which have also launched marketplaces. However, since many of these exchanges launched their marketplaces last year, NFT trading volumes have dropped dramatically.
The launch of Kraken’s marketplace coincides with an internal shift at the exchange. For the past 11 years, the exchange’s founder and CEO, David Ripley, has stepped down and will be replaced by the exchange’s chief operating officer. Kraken has hired Gemini’s head of UK operations, Blair Halliday, to run its UK operations.