Topline

OpenSea, the world’s largest nonfungible token marketplace, disclosed Thursday that it has laid off 20% of its workforce amid a “crypto winter” as NFT sales and prices drop.

Key Facts

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Co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer shared an internal company memo on Twitter sharing the news, blaming general economic instability and the sharp decline in the NFT and crypto markets.

The layoffs were necessary to “prepare the company for the possibility of a prolonged downturn,” Finzer wrote, adding that laid off workers were provided with a “generous” severance package, healthcare coverage into next year and help with job placement.

OpenSea is the latest in a string of crypto companies to announce layoffs, following exchanges coinbase, crypto.com, BlockFithe billionaire Winklevii twins’ Gemini, and the bankrupt lending platform Celsius.

Key Background

OpenSea was valued at $13.3 billion in January, making cofounders Finzer and Alex Atallah the first NFT billionaires, according to Forbes' estimates. Since then, the NFT market has cooled. The JPG NFT Index Price, which tracks have high-profile token collections, has dropped nearly 69% since its launch in April. Earlier this year, an NFT of former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's first tweet that sold for $2.9 million in 2020 made headlines when the owner tried to resell it for $48 million, only to receive a high bid of about $280 by the end of the auction.

Crypto Winter Watch: All The Big Layoffs, Record Withdrawals And Bankruptcies Sparked By The $2 Trillion Crash (Forbes,

The First NFT Billionaires: OpenSea Founders Each Worth Billions After New Fundraising (Forbes,

Why Jack Dorsey's First-Tweet NFT Plummeted 99% In Value In A Year (Forbes,