eBay rethinks NFT strategy with KnownOrigin, lays off Web3 team

Source: CryptoTvplus

eBay is reevaluating its foray into the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) space, leading to a significant shakeup within its Web3 division.

According to insider reports from NFTgators, eBay has laid off over 30% of its Web3 team and seen the resignation of its business and strategy officer of the Web3 division, Stef Jay.

About 18 months after eBay acquired KnownOrigin and incorporated it into the Web3 division, this move aligns with eBay’s larger plan to grow its digital collectibles business.

The acquisition of KnownOrigin, a notable NFT marketplace, in June 2022 marked eBay’s entry into the NFT market. This move aimed to tap into the rising demand for digital collectibles by merging KnownOrigin’s technology and user base with eBay’s global platform.

eBay is an online auction and commerce website that enables people and businesses to buy and sell a wide variety of goods and services worldwide. It was founded by Pierre Omidyar in September 1995 and has since grown into a multibillion-dollar enterprise operating in more than 40 countries.

KnownOrigin is an Ethereum NFT marketplace for digital artwork. It supports primary and secondary market activities, with 12.5% of secondary sales going to original artists. The platform helps creators by minimizing gas costs for editions through a “mint-on-demand” model.

While the e-commerce platform and NFT project have enjoyed a mutual relationship over the past two years, the relationship has allegedly deteriorated, leading to the layoff of David Moore, one of the founders of KnownOrigin.

In a surprising move, eBay has suspended all digital art initiatives, sparking uncertainty about the future of NFTs on its platform. The decision to lay off a significant portion of its Web3 team has also raised concerns among employees.

The recent change in eBay’s strategy has led to discontent among employees, who are critical of what they perceive as a lack of leadership and strategic direction. Questions about the qualifications of the current head of Web3 and eBay’s strategy team have further complicated the situation.

The outlook for NFTs on the platform is now uncertain, given the suspension of digital art initiatives and tensions with KnownOrigin, leading to speculation about eBay’s commitment to this rapidly evolving market.

The NFT market is anticipated to reach $231.98 billion by 2030, growing at a rate of 33.7% from 2022 to 2030. However, OpenSea, a major NFT marketplace, experienced a significant decrease in trader count, falling from 1,478,717 in August 2022 to 483,694 in August 2023.

Also, the overall NFT trading volume fell by 31%, dropping from $800 million in August 2022 to $559 million in August 2023. Despite this, there was a 44% increase in daily Unique Active Wallets, rising from 217,126 in August 2022 to 314,614 in August 2023.

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