While Coinbase is better known for its cryptocurrency exchange, the company has also been working on a couple of self-custody wallets under the Coinbase Wallet brand. This type of wallets put you in charge of your crypto assets as private keys are stored on your devices.
Today, the company is bringing NFTs to the desktop browser. People who use Coinbase Wallet for desktop browsers will soon see a new tab called ‘NFTs’, which will let you access the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) associated with your wallet address.
While many mobile wallets let you view your NFT collection, such as Rainbow, Argent and also Coinbase Wallet on mobile, browser extensions typically don’t have a native NFT gallery feature. The feature is rolling out in a few days.
In addition to the new NFT feature, Coinbase has been working on better support for testnets and alternative networks. While you can already switch between multiple networks from the settings, Coinbase Wallet will now display your token balances across all supported networks, such as Arbitrum, Avalanche, Binance Smart Chain, Fantom, Optimism, Polygon and xdai. It’s a sort of unified inbox for your crypto assets.
Coinbase Wallet will also support EIP-3085 (EIP stands for Ethereum Improvement Proposal). If a Coinbase Wallet interacts with a decentralized application that also supports EIP-3085, it’ll lead to a better user experience for the end user.
EIP-3085 allows dapp developers to suggest a specific network for a transaction. In other words, it makes it easier to interact with multiple networks.
The main advantage of using a self-custody wallet is that you’re not limited to what’s available in the app. You can connect to a third-party dapp using WalletLink, WalletConnect, etc.
But Coinbase has also integrated some decentralized exchanges directly in the Coinbase Wallet interface. Interestingly, Coinbase is using Uniswap and 0x for those trades. Coinbase doesn’t generate revenue from users who exchange tokens through Uniswap or 0x.
In many ways, Coinbase Wallet feels like Coinbase’s web3 initiative. The company wants to remain relevant as crypto users become more and more educated and start interacting with more dapps.
MetaMask has been quite popular with new crypto users who want to buy an NFT for the first time. But MetaMask users will tell you that MetaMask is… not great. And Coinbase doesn’t want to stand still. It has acqui-hired crypto wallet startup BRD and it plans to launch its own NFT marketplace.
Disclosure: I own small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.