OpenSea, leader in NFT marketplaces, lays off 20% of its employees

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230 employees will keep their position at OpenSea FLORENCE LO / REUTERS

The platform in turn suffered the reversal of the crypto-asset market.

“It’s a tough day for OpenSea, as we have to part ways with 20% of our team”, announced Thursday on Twitter Devin Finzer, co-founder and CEO of the largest NFT purchasing platform. In a note published on the social network, Devin Finzer justifies a choice imposed by “an unprecedented combination of a ‘crypto winter’ [crash du marché des cryptoactifs] and global macroeconomic instability”. The company says the move will help it weather further market shocks for at least five years.

OpenSea had largely benefited from the boom of the NFT market in 2021, with a volume of transactions multiplied by 600. The American company had raised in a few months a total of 400 million dollars and posted a valuation of 13.3 billion dollars in January 2022. That same month, the platform had seen more than $2.4 billion in NFT purchases and resales per week, transactions on which it charges a 2.5% commission.

Wave of layoffs among crypto players

Opensea undergoes the reversal of the crypto-asset market, which saw the value of Bitcoin melt by 70% from its peak in November 2021 when it was worth $69,000 each. Plunges of 15 to 20% are also recorded among the other main cryptocurrencies on the market. All this would be due to inflation and the rise in interest rates. This “crypto winter” has led to waves of layoffs among the main players in the sector such as Coinbase, BlockFi, Gemini or Crypto.com.

Demand for NFTs has also dropped significantly. This resulted in OpenSea’s sales volume halving last month. Some sale prices drop on well-known collections, like the CryptoPunks where the Bored Ape.

The number of people made redundant at OpenSea was not disclosed, but the company told TechCrunch media that there will remain 230 employees in the company after this wave of departures. “For those leaving us, we will offer generous severance pay, medical coverage through 2023 and accelerated stock vesting for those who fall short. We will also help them find jobs and open our personal networks to support them however we can.”continues the note.

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