Devin Finzer – CEO of OpenSea – announced on Thursday that roughly 20% of employees have been let go by the NFT marketplace. The move is intended to better prepare the company for up to five years of a potentially “prolonged” crypto winter.
- Despite having faced the bear market before, Finzer said that the current market faces an “unprecedented combination of crypto winter and macroeconomic instability.”
- Laid-off employees will be granted severance, job placement support, and healthcare coverage moving into 2023. All affected workers have already been notified in person.
- Though he calls the move a “sad and difficult” decision, Finzer does not blame his company’s circumstances on a lack of foresight.
“We built this company with the cyclicality of crypto in mind,” he said. “We’ve also built a very strong balance sheet through the money we’ve raised and product market fit we’ve proven.”
- Finzer maintained that an “explosion” of innovation is coming for the NFT market, and predicts it will become the “largest market on the planet.”
- Numerous other crypto firms have announced layoffs of similar magnitude in response to the market downturn. Compass Mining and Coinbase have been forced to fire 15% and 18% of staff respectively, with both admittedly overhiring during the 2021 bull market.
- Lending platform BlockFi also released 20% of staff in June, while securing a $250 million credit line from FTX to fortify its operations.
- OpenSea has faced a host of troubles in recent weeks, affecting both its balance sheet and reputation. While a former company employee was charged with insider trading in early June, the platform reported a data breach exposing customers’ personal information about a month later.
- Earlier this month, OpenSea’s co-founder left the firm’s board of directors to focus on innovation in other areas.
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