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.