The CEO of OpenSea, the world’s leading non-fungible token marketplace, has sought to distance NFTs from cryptocurrencies as the sector is hit by the knock-on impact of a series of scandals. Devin Finzer, 32, told the Financial Times that the crypto industry has “had some setbacks lately”, referring to the fall of FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange which went bankrupt in November and helped to reverse a drop in value of digital assets. But even before FTX imploded, a broader decline in the crypto market — the so-called “crypto winter” led OpenSea to cut 20% of its staff in July.
For the NFT sector as a whole, the decline has been stark, with monthly spending on digital offerings falling by 87% to $442 million, as measured in November. At the same time, the volume of “minted” NFTs has dropped by 60% and the volume of active buyers and sellers is a third of the levels seen at the beginning of the year. Finzler thinks NFTs still have a strong future, arguing consumers will keep spending money on digital images they can show off at home or in virtual spaces.