OpenSea Acquires NFT Aggregator Gem



Move comes amid growing competition from LooksRare and other NFT secondary marketplaces

OpenSea announced today its acquisition of the leading NFT aggregator Gem. The move comes as OpenSea jostles with LooksRare for control of the secondary marketplace.

Summary

  • OpenSea acquires NFT aggregator platform Gem in deal that OpenSea CEO says ‘offers more flexibility and choice to people at every level’.
  • OpenSea removed Gem’s core developer and primary shareholder Josh Thompson from the company before announcing the acquisition. Thompson is currently dealing with accusations of sexual misconduct.
  • LooksRare’s progress in 2022 seems to be a cause for OpenSea’s move, as it looks to re-establish the strong position it holds over the NFT secondary marketplace space.

OpenSea wants to give its users the “pro” experience. Therefore it has acquired Gem, the leading NFT marketplace aggregator. This will allow OpenSea to give more features on the NFT market, possibly giving users in the future a more holistic experience. However, Gem will remain as it is, run by an independent team.

Devin Finzer, the co-founder and CEO of OpenSea, made the announcement in a blog post on the company’s website. ‘Gem has built an amazing product with the leading feature set for pro users,’ wrote Finzer. ‘Gem lets you buy NFTs across multiple marketplaces with a single, low cost transaction, and is known for its easy collection floor sweeping, and rarity-based ranking for collections.’

Importantly, Gem will continue to operate independently of OpenSea. Finzer has already assured users that nothing will change on the platform. The move, for now, will open up resources that allow Gem to continue on its roadmap. OpenSea says it will benefit from cross-platform sharing of expertise and knowledge.

Move comes amid growing competition

OpenSea is still the number 1 secondary marketplace for NFTs. We only need to look at DappRadar’s marketplace rankings page and you can see that it processes the highest volume of trades by quite a distance.

Look to the Traders column, and the position it holds as the pre-eminent secondary marketplace becomes strikingly obvious. Over the past seven days, 216,299 trades took place on the platform. The next highest number of trade took place on Axie Infinity marketplace, and that’s a specialized platform built specifically for one game.

Despite its strong position, competition for OpenSea’s crown is growing. LooksRare lurks on the horizon and isn’t afraid to employ controversial tactics in its bid to become the biggest NFT secondary marketplace. X2Y2 is another new site that also wants some control in the lucrative new sector. It, too, will deploy its own bag of tricks in its bid for power.

Trades on LooksRare over the past seven days amounted to $623.84 million and X2Y2 processed $31.68 million trades over the same period. 

As it looks to combat these incursions into its territory, OpenSea added Solana to the list of blockchains that work on its platform. As well as this new addition, users can use OpenSea to trade NFTs on the Ethereum, Klaytn, Polygon blockchains.

Adding Gem to its suite of tools will only add value for users.

What is Gem?

As Devin Finzer noted in his announcement of the acquisition, Gem has grown quickly to fill a specific niche as the go-to platform for bulk buying and floor sweeping. 

The platform allows users to bucket multiple NFTs into a single purchase, thus reducing costs. Users can even group NFTs from different blockchains and purchase them at the same time. Gem’s product also enables buyers to pay for transactions with any ERC-20 token, rather than only using ETH.

Gem is the favored platform for floor sweepers because of its bucketing functionality. Users can very easily identify a group of NFTs that they think are underpriced and quickly collect them into one purchase. In this way, anyone looking for good deals can execute them at speed.

Use our tools to check out Gem’s on-chain analytics for yourself. Follow our blog to keep up to date with this story as it evolves. Check out our marketplace rankings pages to see what other competition OpenSea might face in future. Listen in to our new podcast Off the Blockchain where we delve into subjects like this and many more every Friday at 4pm UTC.

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