Devin Finzer, co-founder and CEO of OpenSea, announced yesterday that the NFT marketplace will lay off about 20 percent of its staff. Announcing the layoffs, the company cited the current crypto winter as the reason.
On Thursday, OpenSea, a nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace, announced employee cutbacks citing the current crypto winter as the reason. OpenSea co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer revealed this afternoon that the NFT marketplace is laying off about 20 percent of its employees. The move comes after similar lay-offs by other crypto asset companies were reported during the ongoing bear market phase. Finzer did not indicate how many people that represented. A Forbes article in January celebrating Finzer and his co-founder Alex Atallah’s US$2.2 billion net worth (each) said the company employed more than 70 people, but an OpenSea spokesperson tells The Verge that 230 people will remain with the company.
Still, a sustained drop in the activity and prices has led to headlines about how NFT Sales Are Flat Lining or have Fallen Off the Cliff, while backlash to the entire concept has followed many companies that adopted them or suggested they might. Recently, Reddit launched an NFT Collectible Avatars feature without openly referencing the term, and just today, a Sony marketing exec had to dismiss concerns from gamers that a new digital collectibles feature would bring the blockchain and NFTs to its PS5s.
The bear market condition in the crypto market is negatively impacting the crypto firms, forcing the companies to step back and reconsider their payroll and development strategies.
Devin Finzer, co-founder and CEO of OpenSea, disclosed on Twitter that OpenSea would be reducing the headcount by 20 percent. In a message addressed to his employees, Finzer said that “an unprecedented combination of crypto winter and broad macroeconomic instability” is the reason for layoffs.
He added, “we need to prepare the company for the responsibility of a prolonged downturn. The changes we’re making today put us in a position to maintain multiple years of runaway under various crypto winter scenarios (5 years at the current volume) and give us high confidence that we will only have to go through this process once.”