Shopify, the Canadian corporation behind millions of online storefronts, is launching an NFT- trading platform. This is an intriguing development, but for some reason the company didn’t formally announce the move. We only found out about it because Shopify co-founder Tobias Lütke tweeted the news Thursday.
“Use Shopify for your NFT drops,” Lütke wrote, along with a link to Shopify’s new NFT page.
Little else is known about how Shopify’s NFT platform will differ from other, similar market offerings. Right now the program is only open to existing Shopify Plus partners — those willing to pay a few thousand dollars a month for extra Shopify features. Users must also be approved after submitting an application.
Can it compete? — It’s difficult to say whether or not Shopify will be able to convince NFT artists to sell on its new platform over existing, well-known ones like OpenSea. That’s because, well, no one actually knows how well it works yet. Or even how it looks. The bullet points on Shopify’s new NFT page are abstract enough to describe basically any NFT market platform.
Shopify does have some things going for it simply by virtue of being Shopify. It’s a well-respected company, with more than 1.7 million businesses using it across 175 countries. Something like 1.58 million websites run on Shopify. Shopify could jump to the top of the list for those companies when they, too, decide to sell NFTs.
An application process — or even just some critical oversight — could also prove beneficial in separating Shopify from the pack. A marketplace that doesn’t, say, allow racist NFTs is much more attractive to most conventional businesses.
Everyone wants in — NFTs have hit the mainstream in a big way. No longer a niche interest for sketchy corners of the internet, just about every business is looking to capitalize on the still-burgeoning marketplace.
Tapping into the huge potential of the blockchain is no longer a fantasy for traditional companies. Kickstarter, for example, is even using the blockchain to create an entirely new iteration of itself.
As is the case with many crypto-focused ventures, KickStarter’s plan has been met with much derision from the media and the general public. There’s a very good chance Shopify’s NFT marketplace will be similarly polarizing. Perhaps that’s why the company didn’t make a huge deal out of it.