OpenSea, the world’s biggest NFT marketplace, has cut 20 per cent of its staff as the severe crypto rout hits firms across the industry.
CEO Devin FInzer announced the cuts yesterday, saying, “We have entered an unprecedented combination of crypto winter and broad economic instability, and we need to prepare the company for the possibility of a prolonged downturn.”
The company said it now has 230 employees, indicating 57 were let go, the Wall Street Journal said.
The NFT market has been hit by the drastic “crypto winter”, with sales of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) dropping sharply. NFT sales reached their peak in January this year at $12.6bn (£10.6bn), falling to over $1bn (£845m) in June, crypto research firm Chainalysis said according to the Guardian.
Soaring inflation and higher interest rates have led to investors dumping risky assets like crypto, prompting a selloff in the industry. Price of major cryptocurrencies have plunged and crypto’s market cap has fallen from $3 trillion last year to now under $1 trillion.
OpenSea’s decision to cut staff follows similar decisions by other companies like Coinbase, the biggest crypto exchange in the US, which laid off 18 per cent of its workforce last month. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said its costs were too high and warned of an “extended” crypto winter.
OpenSea did not immediately respond to City A.M.’s request for comment.