World's biggest NFT marketplace OpenSea cuts 20% of workforce as crypto winter bites


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What just happened? OpenSea, the world's largest non-fungible token marketplace, is cutting around 20% of its staff as it becomes the latest company to feel the effects of the ongoing crypto winter. Co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer has also partly blamed the global economic situation and a potential "prolonged downturn" that has seen other tech firms cut back and restructure their workforce.

Finzer yesterday tweeted a screenshot of the message he sent to OpenSea staff. "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," he wrote. The changes will give the company five years' worth of runway if the crypto winter doesn't improve—or doesn't gets worse, presumably.

Those let go will be provided with generous severance, healthcare coverage into 2023, and accelerated equity vesting "for those who haven't hit their cliff," according to the note.

Finzer never revealed exactly how many people would be losing their jobs. OpenSea says it will have 230 people left after the layoffs, so that number will likely be between 45 and 60.

Back in January, OpenSea raised $300 million in venture capital funding, part of which was to go toward hiring 90 new staff members.

It's not been a good time for Web3 companies recently. The crypto crash, which is also impacting the NFT market, saw Coinbase let go of 1,100 employees last month, BlockFi lay off around 200 staff, and releasing 260 people. Celsius, meanwhile, has filed for bankruptcy, leaving customers wondering if they'll ever see their money again. There's also the overall economic downturn that has resulted in Microsoft, Google, Tesla, and others letting go of staff, reducing hiring, and restructuring.

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