Crypto Winter Presses On: NFT Marketplace OpenSea Layoffs 20% Of Its Workforce

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Co-Founder and CEO at popular non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea, Devin Finzer, announced a reduction in the company’s workforce. The platform will let go of 20% of its staff to adjust to the current decline in the crypto industry.

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The executive shared a letter sent to OpenSea employees. Therein, the company pledged to provide its former employees with a “generous severance” package and healthcare coverage for the remaining of 2022 and 2023.

OpenSea claims it will provide its former employees with equity vesting for “those who haven’t hit their cliff”. The company also pledged to help its former employees to reallocate to a different company, “opening our personal networks to support them however we can”. Finzer wrote the following on the people that will be fired from the company:

The folks leaving us are smart, hardworking, mission-driven individuals who’ve played an immeasurable role in growing OpenSea and the NFT space to where we are today. We will miss them and they will forever be part of our story and community.

Finzer claims OpenSea was designed with the “cyclicality of crypto in mind”, thus why he believes the company will be able to pull through despite the bearish trend across the crypto market. The need to reduce its workforce was driven not just by this “cyclical” nature of the industry, but also due to current macro-economic conditions.

The executive claimed that the measure will allow the platform to survive as much as 5 years if the “crypto winter” extends. Finzer added:

(…) the reality is that we have entered an unprecedented combination of crypto winter and broad macroeconomic instability, and we need to prepare the company for the possibility of a prolonged downturn (…).

OpenSea Joins Crypto Sector Contraction

As Bitcoinist has been reporting over the past two months, the crypto market has been trending to the downside with other risk-on assets. The price of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other major cryptocurrencies have recorded over 70% losses from their all-time highs.

This has led to crypto-dependent businesses cutting down on their workforce. In addition to OpenSea, popular crypto exchange Coinbase, exchange, crypto lending company BlockFi, and others have taken similar actions.

A spokesperson for OpenSea told Fortune Magazine that the bearish trend in the sector has been triggered by macroeconomic factors and global unrest. The company’s representative expects this trend to extend and continue to negatively impact the industry and its sub-sectors.

Data from crypto research firm Nansen records a decline in the activity for the NFT sector as the price of Ethereum trends to the downside. As seen below, trading volume for the NFT sector has been experiencing a persistent decline in activity with June being an important exception.

Source: Nansen

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At the time of writing, Ethereum (ETH) trades at $1,200 with a 7% profit on the 4-hour chart.

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ETH’s price trends to the downside on the 4-hour chart. Source: ETHUSD Tradingview