OpenSea, preparing for a 5-year crypto winter, lays off 20% of staff

The largest NFT marketplace in the world announced the decision over Slack, which was then posted to Twitter by the company's CEO.

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Prognostics for the crypto world at large — whether that’s the lending and exchange platforms serving as quasi-banks, web3 grifters, or just the market for digital currencies in general — have not exactly been trending upwards as of late. To add fuel to the fire (or panic to investors), OpenSea announced drastic layoffs this week in order to prepare for the possibility of a five-year crypto winter. Around 20 percent of the company’s workforce has been let go.

Devin Finzer, co-founder and CEO of the largest NFT marketplace in the world, announced the decision over what appears to be a Slack channel for employees of the company before taking to Twitter to elaborate on his message.

Not just crypto-related — While it is easy to attribute the layoffs to the current flailing taking place across the crypto industry, a looming economic downturn is playing a role here as well. As we’ve covered here before, there are layoffs happening across the entire tech space whether that’s in gaming, entertainment, or other internet-based businesses. Finzer cites “broad macroeconomic instability” as part of the reason for the large workforce cut.

OpenSea’s downsizing comes not long after Coinbase announced a similar 18 percent layoff of its team earlier in June. Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, also noted that an impending recession played a part in his decision to let close to a fifth of his company go. Coinbase, though, notified those affected via email initially, with the option to have an in-person meeting after the fact.