Special Report: The crypto industry, and its market, has made big strides over the past year or two and non-fungible tokens are a huge, contributing factor. Global crypto platform Kraken gets that, which is why it’s gearing up to launch a new NFT marketplace.

Judging by what global crypto platform Kraken plans to bring to the table, it might be just what the NFT sector needs to safely onboard the crypto curious. Those wondering whether to dip a toe, or even ape in like a degen.

Stockhead spoke with Jonathon Miller, Kraken Australia’s Managing Director, to get an idea of what’s in store from Kraken NFT and what will make it unique in an increasingly crowded market for, um, marketplaces…


Zero gas fees for trades* 

The headline act here for the crypto exchange, and for its users, could well be this – once your NFT is custodied with Kraken NFT, you won’t be forking out for any further blockchain network fees for trading activity that takes place within the platform. Zero.

As Miller points out, this will help enable near-instant transfer speeds when building an NFT collection, and avoid additional costs on purchases and trades when blockchain network activity is really spiking.


In-built tools to track NFT rarity scores

Rarity scores refer to the billions of potential combinations of traits and attributes that make each token unique – such as backgrounds, items and outfits on Bored Ape NFTs, for example.

Having in-built capability that tracks these “is a really neat feature that some other platforms don’t have,” said Miller.

“Being able to assess NFT collections on those kind of terms, helps you to make informed decisions and readily understand and identify rare characteristics.”


Cash or crypto… payments flexibility

Another big one for Kraken NFT is its payments options for users buying and selling NFTs on the platform. Sellers can list NFTs in USD, AUD, EUR, CAD, GBP, CHF, AED or any of the 120+ cryptocurrencies Kraken supports, and buyers can bid on NFTs using any of those currencies as well.

“There’s going to be a huge amount of flexibility about the way that you transact,” noted Miller. “And I think is going to be unparalleled in the industry.”


Built for a multi-chain cryptoverse

“And not only that, we’re going to be a multi-chain, with NFTs across Ethereum and Solana,” added Kraken Australia’s MD. “We’ll keep adding chains as they become available, and layers as well, such as Polygon and potentially some of the other Layer 2s.”


Image: supplied


Security, security, security

Kraken NFT is a marketplace that’s designed to take custody of your NFTs, so it’d want to be extra secure…

“It’s a hugely important point,” said Miller. “I think security is where we stand alone in terms of our record since 2011. Kraken’s an industry-leading place to trust and secure your assets and we’ll be applying that rigour to NFTs. And I think that’s a really critical moment for the industry because it’s seeing so many problems.”

Problems – like NFT copycat scams, theft and even listing bugs or issues on some platform, right?

“That’s right. Part of what we’re doing differently is we’re going to be curating NFT collections. And that’s because we believe the space, our users can benefit from a filter that will enable that extra trust.

“So users will know they’re buying a legitimate piece from the original creator. There have been so many issues with copycats, copyright, incorrect contract addresses, phishing scams, exploits and you name it in the NFT space. So we’re doing a lot of work to make sure people will get exactly what they wanted pay for.”


Rewarding the creators

Kraken is also putting a lot of emphasis on the role and value of NFT creators, initiating a benefit dubbed Creator Earnings. And that’s essentially a way to “reward artists and innovators driving the NFT space forward” by paying them a portion of each secondary market sale price of the NFTs they created.

“It’s a really critical part of why NFTs are interesting and is such an important innovation,” said Miller. “We seriously and actively value the creators, so we’ll be ensuring that big fees are paid out to them for their efforts.”


Will Kraken be listing ‘blue chip’ collections?

“So… I’m keen to talk about those particular collections,” said Miller, “But I can’t yet! And that’s because we’re not live. But I can say that collections we’ll be listing will be well known, as well as as well as others that are new and cutting edge, but yes, there will be existing collections featuring on the platform.”

But speaking of NFT creators, you can catch Miller’s recent chat with Betty, the co-founder and director of NFT project Deadfellaz, on the latest Crypto Frontier Podcast.


‘A lot of hype… but full of innovation’

In our conversation with Miller, we also spoke more broadly about the industry and NFTs and how he views its current state and where things are heading. Here are his takes…

… on the negative perception of NFTs 

“I think NFTs are in a similar position to where cryptocurrencies were about 10 years ago. We’re still early. When people first started hearing about cryptos, they were concerned they were a fad, a scam, Ponzi schemes… And to be fair, there have been lots of projects that have failed, because it’s an experimental space. That’s part and parcel of innovation.

“And in the art world there’s sometimes a tendency to reject commercial outcomes, but I think NFTs can form a bridge there and enable a new means and mechanism for artists to express their work but also retain ownership and get rewarded for that and for the value exchange to be more fair and transparent.

“There’s a lot of hype but I really believe the positive sides of NFTs will rise above all the negative criticisms, just like we saw with crypto 10 years ago. We look at this space as full of innovation, and NFTs is a part of that story for us.”

… on the current state of the crypto market

“So we’ve seen ups and downs in in crypto before – there are always ups and downs in every market. But we’re still seeing growth in the market irrespective of market volatility.

“We’ve seen a kind of radical shift in the way people think about crypto. We’ve gone from a kind of very speculative phase, I think the first five to 10 years to now much more of a builders’ phase, with DeFi and GameFi for example. NFTs are a product of that, too – they’re people building real value on the blockchain.

“Overall, I think the metrics are changing and we need to think think about things in a slightly different way. I would say that if anything, this has been incredibly a high-growth year – especially looking at NFTs, irrespective of the volatility in some of the other assets and the global circumstances.”


* Note: gas fees will be incurred when transferring NFTs and other cryptoassets on and off the Kraken platform.

The term “cryptoassets” does not refer to any legal or regulatory category under any national framework.


The Q&A component in this article was lightly edited for clarity. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the interview are solely those of the interviewee and do not represent the views of Stockhead.

Stockhead has not provided, endorsed or otherwise assumed responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.