Coinbase is Launching an NFT Platform. Should it Keep an Eye on Patents?

Cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase has announced that it is launching an NFT marketplace by the end of 2021. The company is hoping that this new venture will help with its recent troubles, including falling stock prices and a potential SEC lawsuit that resulted in Coinbase cancelling the launch of its cryptocurrency lending platform. While NFTs are not free of regulatory issues, the market has continued to grow, with potential rival platform OpenSea transacting $3.4B in August. 

While Coinbase has typically been active in patenting, it does not have any activity in the NFT space. The sector is still in an early stage; however, major players are beginning to emerge. Mythical, which Patent Forecast has reported on in the past, received a patent in October 2021 for a platform for exchanging non-fungible digital assets. This is Mythical’s 13th patent since 2019, and the Patent Radian® suggests that the company is expanding into exchange platforms after covering ground in creating various types of NFTs. Coinbase and other platforms may not be completely boxed out of the space yet given that Mythical’s claims are directed specifically towards NFT platforms that integrate with gaming, but we predict that Mythical will continue moving into broader markets. Coinbase may be getting ahead of itself by launching a platform without a patent strategy to back it up. Keep up with further developments with the NFT Patent Forecast®.