OpenSea offers a marketplace online allowing for non-fungible tokens to be sold directly at a fixed price, or through an auction.
In 2021, following a heightened interest in non-fungible tokens, the company's revenue reached $95 million in February and $2.75 billion in September of that year. By January 2022, the company had been valued at $13.3 billion and was described as the largest non-fungible token marketplace. The daily trading volume on the OpenSea marketplace reached a record $2.7 billion on May 1, 2022, but four months later had dropped by 99%.
After a 2018 pre-seed round by Y Combinator, OpenSea raised $2.1 million in venture capital in November 2019. In March 2021, the company raised $23 million in venture capital; four months later the company announced another investment round of $100 million making it a unicorn.
In January 2022, OpenSea acquired Ethereum wallet-maker Dharma Labs.
On January 27, 2022, OpenSea announced it would limit how many NFTs a user can create using the free minting tool. The following day, OpenSea reversed the decision following user backlash and later admitted that 80% of NFTs created with the tool were plagiarism or spam.
On February 19, 2022, some users began to report that some of their NFTs disappeared. OpenSea later revealed a phishing attack had taken place on its platform via an exploit in the Wyvern Platform. The company denied rumors the source of the theft was its website, its listing systems, emails from the company, or an upgraded contract system. The next day, The Verge reported that hundreds of NFTs were stolen from OpenSea users causing a huge panic among the platform community. The estimated value of the stolen tokens is more than $1.7 million. According to OpenSea, only 32 users had been affected. OpenSea later revised its statement to note that 17 users were directly affected, while the other 15 users had interacted with the attacker but had not lost tokens as a result.
In June 2022, former OpenSea product manager Nathaniel Chastain was charged with wire fraud and money laundering in connection with an insider trading scheme of digital assets. On May 3, 2023 Chastain was convicted of both charges.
On 30 June 2022 OpenSea reported a massive email data breach after a Customer.io staff member misused his employee access to download and share the email addresses of OpenSea's users. Over 1.8 million email addresses are said to have been leaked.
The daily volume of NFT transactions on OpenSea peaked at $2.7 billion on May 1, 2022, but then dropped by 99% within four months to just $9.34 million on August 28, with daily users down a third to 24,020.
(millions of $)
|2018||Y Combinator, Animoca Brands||Pre-seed round|
|November 2019||2.1||Multiple sources|
|March 2021||23||Andreessen Horowitz, others||Series A|
|July 2021||100||Andreessen Horowitz, others||Series B; valued at $1.5 billion|
|January 2022||300||Paradigm and Coatue Management, others||Valuation at $13.3 billion|
In December 2020, OpenSea announced that any user can mint NFTs on its platform for free. Later, in March 2021, OpenSea announced NFT collections would not need to be approved to be listed; this decision was later criticized for allowing rampant plagiarism on the platform.
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