The Biggest NFT Marketplace Is Sacking 50% Of Its Workforce

OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, announced Friday that it was ending the employment contracts of half of its workforce. CEO Devin Finzer revealed they are starting again with a new OpenSea product line and culture in a nine-part Twitter thread.

OpenSea Restructures

OpenSea is moving forward with a more streamlined workforce in an effort to innovate, as part of a planned strategy that Finzer recently announced on social media.

With this challenging but important step, the organization hopes to build a stronger and more direct contact with its user community.

Finzer delivered a sobering statement, announcing the company’s choice to split with certain colleagues, which is a big step forward for the company’s future.

Finzer explained that although the layoffs were painful, they were required to alter the way the market functions. He expressed gratitude to individuals affected by the choice and stated that their leaving did not speak poorly of them.

A representative for the company said the terminations impacted around 50% of the staff.

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OpenSea 2.0 Launch Amid Drop In NFT Prices

The reduction in workforce coincides with the company’s forthcoming introduction of a reimagined marketplace known as OpenSea 2.0, amidst a period of declining pricing for non-fungible tokens. The site facilitates the trading and acquisition of NFT collections, such as Bored Apes and Pudgy Penguins.

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According to Finzer, there will be a modification in their operational approach, wherein they will transition towards a more streamlined team structure that fosters a direct and intimate relationship with their user base.

“So today, we’re saying goodbye to a number of OpenSea teammates. This is the most difficult part of this change. These folks played a key role in getting us to this point and I’m incredibly thankful for their contributions.”

OpenSea Offers Support To Affected Workers 

A representative for OpenSea stated that the company will moving forward take a flatter organizational structure. Workers impacted by the layoffs will get an accelerated equity vesting schedule, six months of health and mental health services, and four months of severance pay.

Importantly, OpenSea wants to take back the lead in the NFT market, where it was formerly dominant with an over 70% share in October last year, but by November 2023, it had only around 18%. Such challenges call for a fresh commitment to innovation and leadership in the NFT arena, in addition to a thorough corporate restructure.

Amidst a shifting landscape in the NFT market, OpenSea confronts intensified rivalry from emerging platforms that tout reduced fees and cost-free minting. Finzer’s disclosure aligns with a period of market struggle, signifying the challenges the NFT space currently grapples with.

The NFT craze saw a surge in 2021, attracting celebrities and artists, but the downturn in 2022 and subsequent extended market slump significantly impacted the NFT industry’s trajectory.

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