Aiming to capitalise on the non-fungible token frenzy, leading crypto exchange FTX has launched a new NFT marketplace, but the new venture has been bizarrely disrupted by a flood of fish pics.

The Hong Kong-based exchange’s NFT service was announced in a tweet by CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (aka “SBF”) on Monday, with US-based users now able to list NFTs for sale on the Ethereum and Solana cross-chain compatible marketplace.

However, just hours after the service went live, a deluge of fish pics were dominating the new marketplace, prompting the multi-billionaire FTX founder to take action and introduce a one-time $500 fee to submit and list NFTs on the platform.

This didn’t exactly go down well with Crypto Twitter, with a number of potential NFT creators railing against the high fee, pointing out that it would deter users and that minting an NFT directly on Ethereum costs less in gas than US$500. 

As ever, SBF was quick to respond, following up shortly after with a more palatable new fee structure of $10 per minting in an attempt to reduce the spamming.

In the lead-up to the FTX NFT service launch, SBF created a “test” NFT as a final run through to make sure everything was in working order.

Today, that NFT sold for US$270,000, instantly adding Bankman-Fried to a growing list of extremely high-value NFT artists. Albeit unwittingly.

In related news, FTX’s token FTT is continuing its recent strong performance today, even as the crypto market takes a bit of a pullback at the time of writing. Up 5.61 per cent in the past 24 hours, and 65.96 per cent over the past week, the token is currently changing hands at US$77.10, having reached an all-time high of US$83 a few hours ago.

One of the fastest-growing centralised crypto exchanges, FTX is rarely out of the headlines, mostly for the right reasons. Notably, it has sealed several sports-related partnerships in recent months, including a 10-year, US$17.5 million naming rights deal for the University of Califorina football field, which will now be known as FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium. 

In July, FTX closed a Series B funding round, which valued the company at more than US$18 billion.  More than 60 prominent investors participated in the funding round, including Coinbase Ventures, VanEck and Paul Tudor Jones.