- OpenSea recently reduced its workforce by up to 50% due to the ongoing NFT market slowdown
- CEO Devin Finzer emphasized the challenges within the NFT industry, with prices and activity down
- Several NFT exchanges have shuttered in recent months during the bear market
NFT giant OpenSea last week announced that it has cut its workforce in response to the continued sluggishness in the NFT market. CEO Devin Finzer made the announcement via X on Friday, underscoring the challenging circumstances in the NFT industry and explaining that the company was looking at how to help the nascent industry evolve. Reports indicate that the size of the redundancies may have been as high as 50% and come at a time when the floor prices of even the most popular NFT collections continue to stagnate or drop.
Finzer Lays Out the Future
The news came of the restructuring via a thread on X from CEO Devin Finzer in which he laid out the problems affecting the exchange and how the more streamlined staff count would help it navigate what are very choppy waters for the NFT industry:
OpenSea is making some big changes today to focus on the next version of our product.
— Devin Finzer (dfinzer.eth) (@dfinzer) November 3, 2023
In the thread, Finzer noted the strides the company has made since in December 2017, moves that have catapulted it to the top of the tree during the NFT boom. However, Blur has taken its place as the top NFT exchange by volume during the bear market and now conducts more than three times more trading volume than OpenSea, although the latter can boast three times the active traders.
Finzer announced that OpenSea is “re-orienting the team around “OpenSea 2.0,” a big upgrade to our product – including the underlying technology, reliability, speed, quality, & experience. He added that OpenSea will be “building a new foundation so we can innovate faster” and will share details soon and that it will be doing with “a smaller team with a direct connection to users.”
OpenSea Trying to Survive
While OpenSea didn’t state how many employees are to lose their jobs, Decrypt claims that the number is as much as 50%, which shows a huge change in direction and reflects the state of the NFT market at the moment; floor prices of even the most reputable NFT collections continue to stagnate and even drop despite the resurgence in the crypto market, while other NFT exchanges such as Nifty Marketplace and Recur have shuttered following the downturn.
Friday’s announcement isn’t the first time OpenSea has resorted to layoffs, having previously cut about 20% of their staff in July 2022. At that time, Finzer cited the “unprecedented combination of crypto winter and broad macroeconomic instability” as contributing factors, preparing for what he saw as a potential “prolonged downturn” in the NFT market. Things, it seemed, haven’t improved, leading to OpenSea taking drastic action in order to survive.