The Signal: A to Z to Infinity

The Market

A,B,C D...

Amazon is likely to become even more embedded in your digital life. Their logo – an arrow points from A to Z– signifies they’ll sell you just about anything. Now they’ll likely sell more for others with their “Buy with Prime” program, announced Thursday. The program allows merchants, in their own online stores, to offer the same two-day or next-day delivery that Amazon offers on its own site. 

Country Size

Prime has more than 200M subscribers (up from 100M just 4 years ago), so there’s massive reach. Businesses invited to the program will now get to satisfy consumers’ needs for instant gratification – something many Prime members have come to expect.   It’s also likely to be a competitive threat to existing logistics and delivery companies like FedEx and UPS that offer services to these same businesses. All of this may play out over the long term, but Shopify, which caters to smaller businesses as an e-commerce platform, may be seeing a more immediate impact. Its market value fell nearly 10% Thursday, and has lost a third of its value in just the last month alone. 

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The Tech

Mainstream Authentication

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens (effectively a certificate of authenticity for items like digital art) are one step closer to becoming mainstream. Coinbase**, announced Wednesday it was opening its NFT marketplace on a limited basis to its waitlist of approximately 3 million users. 

What are NFTs?

Competition, Timing

Competition awaits. The biggest advantage for Coinbase is the user base it could convert. But the leading NFT platform, OpenSea, has been in the market for a while. More than 1.5M registered users on OpenSea have actually made a transaction, according to Dune Analytics. Interest on a waitlist is one thing, making a purchase is another.

And then there’s the question of timing. NFTs soared in popularity in the fall of 2021 and into January of this year. But that pace of growth stalled, and new exchange competitors, like LooksRare, have emerged. 

Some data points to a resurgence. The number of NFT collections available jumped more than 40% since March, and transaction volumes, according to one measure, average about $200-300M per day. Coinbase’s CEO is also on the record expecting NFTs to surpass their cryptocurrency business at some point. 

One thing is clear. NFTs are in their infancy. Just 4% of those who have an Ethereum address own a NFT – a sign there may be large upside. Platforms Aren't Everything It’s not all about the platform. Protocols are also battling for NFT dominance. ETH is winning, but Solana recently integrated with OpenSea. We also learned this week 0x (ZRX) will be the token that powers Coinbase’s NFT marketplace. ZRX’s value soared this week in anticipation of increased adoption. The market is unlikely to be winner-take-all for now. 

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* Domain Money Advisors, LLC, an investment advisor registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and an affiliate of Domain Money, is currently recommending the following assets contained in this edition of Domain Money’s The Signal as part of Managed Strategies: ETH, AMZN

** Domain Money offers services that compete with some of Coinbase’s offerings.