Crypto

Want to buy an NFT with your credit card? Magic Eden lets you do just that

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Money in coins from a mobile phone to a wallet.
Image Credits: Olena Poliakevych (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

One of the biggest complaints in the crypto world is that using the technology is, you know, kind of difficult.

Users typically have to download a crypto wallet to transfer funds from one place to another or buy an NFT, something many find so challenging to access that they just don’t bother.

As the ecosystem evolves, many big players are trying to alleviate the issue through new on-ramps or payment solutions.

MoonPay, a web3 infrastructure company, has joined forces with Magic Eden, one of the biggest NFT marketplaces, to help make NFTs more accessible through old-school tricks, the companies announced on Monday.

The web3 ecosystem “benefits from an increasing number of active users that engage with the technology,” Bree Blazak, VP of global sales at MoonPay, told TechCrunch in an email. “Traditional payment options are a gateway for non-crypto native users to engage in the space.”

Navigating the web3 world can be challenging for many users, Zhuoxun Yin, COO and co-founder of Magic Eden, said to TechCrunch. “That’s why we’re working closely with brands, creators and ecosystem builders to integrate tools that make it easier for users to navigate web3 and bring new use cases for NFTs that will attract new users to the space.”

Beyond those efforts, Magic Eden is also building out educational resources and content with partners in an effort to demystify the onboarding process and highlight areas of trust and safety for users to know about self-custody and making certain NFT purchasing decisions, Yin said.

To that end, MoonPay, which has processed about $3.5 billion in transactions across over 160 countries, will provide the NFT platform with multichain onboarding payment solutions so Magic Eden users can buy NFTs with credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay and more.

This integration “expands the universe of people who can purchase these assets from the hundreds of millions who own cryptocurrencies to the many billions of people who have debit and credit cards,” Blazak said.

In the past, Magic Eden partnered with companies like Stripe and Crossmint to offer alternative on-ramp solutions for Solana-based NFTs. The MoonPay partnership will initially focus on its Polygon on-ramp experience, but it will release “NFT Checkout on other chains on Magic Eden in the coming weeks and months,” Blazak said.

“Our mission at Magic Eden has always been to onboard the next billion users to web3 and doing so requires an NFT purchasing experience that is friendly and able to abstract away the complexities of wallet setup and crypto funding,” Yin said.

While providing traditional methods of payment may seem counterintuitive to the crypto philosophies of buying and trading NFTs with cryptocurrencies, this actually could be a positive and approachable technique to get more mainstream audiences buying NFTs. And if crypto-native users still want to buy NFTs with digital assets, they can.

“Users can buy digital assets using their pre-existing social log-ins and transact with credit cards with a high transaction limit,” Yin said. “For crypto-native users, having an easy social log-in also means that users can transact between mobile and desktop without having to connect their wallet and import their seed phrase when switching between devices.”

Magic Eden’s platform is home to over 16,000 NFT collections across the Solana, Ethereum and Polygon ecosystems. Since launching in September 2021, Magic Eden has processed over $2.6 billion in trades, the company said.

“Having a user-friendly on-ramp is especially important to creators and brands that have pre-existing communities outside of web3,” Yin said. “Having worked with over 500 creators to launch NFTs on our platform, we observe that creators with a strong fanbase will include many individuals who are new to web3 and would appreciate an on-ramp experience that makes purchasing digital collectibles more accessible.”

For example, a large majority of people who minted (or bought) the Trump Digital Trading Cards collection were buying an NFT for the first time — and many did so with a credit card, Yin said.

In general, the NFT space has seen a bit of a recovery in recent months after trading volumes rose for two months straight, with January scoring the highest volumes since June last year, according to the Dapp Industry Report: January 2023.

The growth in January marked a stark difference from the trend of the past few months — October trading volumes dipped to a low of $662 million — but in November, the market halted the downward trend to stay at $662 million, per the report. Volumes then recovered in December, rising slightly to $683 million and increasing 38.5% from that number to $946 million in January.

In the past 30 days, Ethereum, the number one blockchain by NFT sales volume, saw volumes increase 36.5% to $861.8 million across over 174,000 buyers, according to CryptoSlam data. Solana, the second-largest blockchain by NFT sales volume, fell 14% to $115.85 million across over 77,000 buyers.

While there’s a bit of divergence between the two largest blockchains for NFT sales volume, the two chains have pulled in about $1 billion in the past 30 days. When combined with all the other blockchains that support NFTs, the sales could point to another strong month in February.

“We think that we are still in the early days of NFTs,” Yin said. “Fungible token markets became a trillion-dollar market over the last few years, despite many ups and downs over the cycles. We believe NFTs will be no different, and in many ways, think the market opportunity long term will be far larger than fungible tokens.”

Blazak agreed.

“We are still very early in the journey toward mass adoption,” Blazak said. “In the last few years, some of our brand partners have explored loyalty programs that deepen fan engagement, digital certificates of authenticity designed to protect IP holders, and digital collectibles as memorabilia. Consumers will engage in projects because it offers them more than what they have had access to previously. It’s important that we continue working with leading brands and artists to develop programs and content that create true value for consumers.”

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