Crypto exchange Coinbase has announced a partnership with Mastercard to simplify the process of purchasing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the crypto exchange's forthcoming NFT marketplace.

The partnership will see Coinbase working with Mastercard to classify NFTs as "digital goods," which will, it claims, enable "a broader group of consumers to purchase NFTs." The crypto exchange also promised to "unlock a new way to pay using Mastercard cards."

In a blog post announcing the news, Mastercard wrote, "Buying digital goods should be as simple as buying a T-shirt or coffee pods on an e-commerce site," arguing for a "one click" path to purchasing NFTs.

Solving NFT 'pain points'


"We want to make the process of buying NFTs very easy," said Coinbase senior product director for payments and commerce Prakash Hariramani, in an interview accompanying the news release. Hariramani argued that having provided an "on-ramp to crypto" for newcomers to the space, Coinbase sees its NFT marketplace as doing the same for NFTs. "We want to do the same thing for NFTs with Mastercard by solving the pain points—to make it as easy as possible to buy an NFT and make sure it’s the best consumer experience," he said.

Coinbase has been working for some time on Coinbase NFT, a peer-to-peer marketplace for non-fungible tokens; in just 48 hours following the announcement of its launch, the platform had over 1.4 million signups. As part of its deal with Mastercard, the exchange announced that it will be "able to provide a better customer experience on Coinbase NFT." In December 2021, Coinbase added support for viewing NFTs to Coinbase Wallet, its non-custodial wallet.

The exchange is focusing its attention on NFTs amid growing interest in the metaverse—a persistent virtual world in which ownership of digital goods is tied to non-fungible tokens. In a December 2021 blog post, the company's CEO Brian Armstrong outlined his company's vision for the metaverse, pointing to the use of NFT-based identity tools that will "pull all the pieces of identity together—essentially creating an identity on-ramp into the Metaverse."

Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox.