OpenSea lays off 50% of staff with severance in preparation…
Nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea announced on Nov. 3 that it was laying off employees. Co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer broke the news on X (formerly Twitter), saying the company was launching OpenSea 2.0 with a smaller team.
OpenSea launched in 2017, when NFTs were an innovation. It operates on a model comparable to eBay and Etsy and accepts payment in Ether (ETH). It laid off 20% of its employees in July 2022, citing the crypto winter, after which it had a staff of 230, according to press reports at the time. A spokesperson at the pioneering marketplace told Cointelegraph by email:
“Today, we are making significant organizational and operating changes as we focus on building a more nimble – and ultimately better – version of OpenSea. We are immensely grateful for the contributions of those who are leaving OpenSea, and we are supporting them with a robust package consisting of both financial and non-financial support.”
The spokesperson added that around 50% of employees would be affected across all functions and particularly mentioned that the number of middle managers would be reduced. The employees would receive four-month severance packages, accelerated equity vesting and six months of continued healthcare and mental health care.
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The market for collectible NFTs peaked in 2021. Since then, use cases such as tokenizing assets, identity and legal documents have gained popularity as the value of many collectibles declined.
OpenSea was in the right place at the right time with the right product. But so was Tower Records. What can OpenSea do to maintain this lead they have? The answer is simple. Become a DAO, drop a governance token to users. It will be valued in the tens of billions. Everybody wins.
— Beanie (@beaniemaxi) November 11, 2021
OpenSea faced significant community pushback in August when it announced that it was retiring its operator filter, a feature that allowed creators to blacklist marketplaces that did not enforce royalties. Yuga Labs, creator of the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks NFT series, began to taper off its use of OpenSea’s Seaport marketplace smart contract in response.
“As we rebuild, we’ll continue supporting our existing products, and will be iteratively testing OpenSea 2.0 in public,” Finzer said in his X post. The company currently lists 12 open positions on LinkedIn with starting salaries ranging from $90,000 to $270,000.
Magazine: Animoca Brands doubles valuation to $5B, OpenSea tops $3.5B in January volume, Microsoft eyes Metaverse gaming: Hodler’s Digest, Jan. 16-22