OpenSea, the most popular site for buying NFTs, has made an acquisition of its own. On Apr. 25, OpenSea acquired Gem, an NFT marketplace aggregator.
Amongst other features, Gem provides the ability to buy NFTs across multiple marketplaces in one transaction. OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer wrote in a blog post that it plans to add Gem’s key features to the platform, which is doing about $124M in daily sales volume, according to DappRadar.
“OpenSea seems to be monopolizing the space as quickly as possible to keep their lead,” said Garrett Allen, a member of the product team at NFT marketplace Infinity. “There will certainly be a place for other specialized NFT marketplaces like those focused on social or gaming even with an OpenSea monopoly.”
Allen called OpenSea’s approach “antithetical to web3 values,” referring to web3’s overarching mission of decentralized finance and power.
Levi Johnson, founder of Asteria Labs and NFT collection Ethalien, applauded the deal. “Gem is a team of executors,” he told The Defiant. “Like most successful early startups, they get stuff done faster and better than most of the market. If it means direct integration of Gem’s tools into OpenSea’s platform that’s a hell of an upgrade.”
Yet the CEO of competing NFT aggregator Genie, Scott Gray, seems ready for a fight.
Within hours of OpenSea’s acquisition announcement, Gray tweeted out “$GENIE”, hinting at a potential token airdrop: a strategy to steal away users from OpenSea that worked previously with LooksRare’s massive $LOOKS airdrop. Gray followed up minutes later with a second tweet saying, “[Genie] has all of Gem (OpenSea’s) features but with fresher prices and a better UX.”