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OpenSea Lays Off 20% of Its Staff to Prepare for 'Prolonged Downturn'

OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer says the move gives the company multiple years of runway "under various crypto winter scenarios."

2 min read
OpenSea is a leading Ethereum NFT marketplace. Image: Shutterstock

Top NFT marketplace OpenSea has laid off roughly one in five of its employees. 

CEO Devin Finzer shared via Twitter on Thursday that the company is parting ways with approximately 20% of its workforce, citing the company’s need to adapt to current market conditions.

“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,” Finzer wrote.

“The changes we’re making today put us in a position to maintain multiple years of runway 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.”

Terminated employees will receive 12 weeks of severance pay, six months of healthcare coverage and a mental healthcare option, accelerated equity vesting if applicable, outplacement services, and other benefits, an OpenSea spokesperson confirmed to Decrypt via email. OpenSea would not confirm the exact number of employees it has laid off or which specific departments were affected.

Despite the layoffs, Finzer is confident the NFT space will continue to evolve for the better. 

“During this winter, we’ll see an explosion in innovation across the ecosystem,” he said in a Twitter thread.

OpenSea’s layoffs come just two weeks after the marketplace had its worst month in almost a year. Ethereum NFT trading volume on the marketplace plummeted by 73% in June. According to data from Dune Analytics, OpenSea had consistently generated well over $1 billion in volume on its platform per month since August 2021, averaging around $2.5 billion each month. 

Volume on the marketplace, which generates revenue from a 2.5% fee on all trades, fell to just $695 million in June. The relatively low sum may have hit the marketplace hard and signaled a need to downscale amid decreased demand.

OpenSea, valued at $13 billion just earlier this year, is far from the only company struggling as a result of retreating retail investors. Some of the industry’s heaviest hitters have recently cut staff, including Coinbase, Gemini, Crypto.com, Robinhood and others.

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