NFT marketplace OpenSea to slash 20% of jobs amid ‘crypto winter’

By Elizabeth Howcroft and Lisa Pauline Mattackal

FILE PHOTO: Illustration picture of non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

FILE PHOTO: Illustration picture of non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

(Reuters) – Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea said on Thursday it would cut about 20% of its workforce to reduce costs in the face a prolonged slump in digital asset markets.

“The reality is that we have entered an unprecedented combination of a crypto winter and broad macroeconomic instability, and we need to prepare the company for the possibility of a prolonged downturn,” Chief Executive Devin Finzer said in a statement on Twitter.

NFTs are digital assets that exist on a blockchain and include everything from artwork to text and tweets.

OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, saw explosive sales growth in 2021 as the rise in cryptocurrencies created a new group of crypto-rich speculators.

But the NFT has market slumped in recent months, as cryptocurrency prices collapsed and investors ditched risky assets.

OpenSea’s NFT sales volume on the ethereum blockchain plunged to $700 million in June, down from $2.6 billion in May and a far cry from January’s peak of nearly $5 billion.

Finzer said the job cuts would allow the company to maintain 5 years of growth at current volumes under various potential downturn scenarios.

Other crypto- and digital asset-focused companies, including Coinbase Global, have been forced to cut jobs in recent weeks.

(Reporting by Lisa Pauline Mattackal in Bengaluru and Elizabeth Howcroft in London; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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