Leading NFT Marketplace OpenSea acquired crypto wallet startup Dharma to push boundaries this 2022! The partners’ first order of business is to onboard and activate fiat payments. This will be a tremendous step towards ease of use and mass adoption.
Last year, the platform upgraded itself to the elusive Decacorn status, merely five months after receiving its Unicorn title. Building upon this momentum, the team identified four core priorities this year which Dharma will help achieve:
- Accelerating product development
- Expanding trust, safety, and reliability efforts
- Meaningfully investing in the NFT and Web3 ecosystem
- Significantly grow the team
— Devin Finzer (dfinzer.eth) (@dfinzer) January 18, 2022
OpenSea x Dharma
Dharma’s expertise is seamlessly onboarding fiat currency to blockchain projects. So it perfectly fits OpenSea’s grand vision to make using NFTs become easy and delightful for the average person. The partners are confident that “this union will be a force multiplier for NFTs and web3 adoption.” Ultimately, it will dramatically improve the experience of buying, minting, and selling NFTs on OpenSea — whether you’re a beginner or a pro.
With DeFi and crypto-wallet service Dharma in the picture, OpenSea can now provide the same service as competitors Nifty Gateway and Rarible. The two platforms have been supporting fiat as a mode of payment for quite some time now. So the NFT Marketplace giant is poised to assert its dominance and lead.
With the acquisition, Dharma Labs’ Co-Founder and CEO Nadav Hollander will join OpenSea as its new Chief Technology Officer. He is a seasoned leader from the early Ethereum community. In addition, “he built, launched and evangelized some of the most influential protocols and products in the DeFi space.”
In a blog post, OpenSea’s CEO Devin Finzer expressed his delight to have Hollander’s fresh, crypto-native expertise to OpenSea’s leadership. He is confident that the new CTO’s impact will be wide-reaching, particularly in terms of two aspects. Firstly, in improving the technical reliability and uptime of products. Then, building web3-native mechanisms for engaging with and rewarding the early and loyal community.
Backstory: The Two CEOs
Hollander and Finzer actually go way back. In a lighthearted tweet, Hollander shared that he first met Finzer in 2017 shortly after starting Dharma Protocol. In fact, he unsuccessfully tried to recruit him to join Dharma. Since then, they have kept in touch. When CryptoKitties exploded, Finzer told Hollander of his idea to build an ERC-721 Marketplace. Needless to say, the rest is history.
Here’s how we got here, and some of the challenges I’m excited about 👇🏻
— Nadav Hollander (@NadavAHollander) January 18, 2022
Hollander added, “OpenSea now stands at the precipice of building a truly generational product. I believe the volume of commerce in digital goods will one day exceed that of physical goods. Through that lens, OpenSea’s opportunity is historic.”
Despite growing 1000x practically overnight, OpenSea is facing tremendous challenges. For example, scaling is not just about buying more servers. As Hollander puts it, “it means solving hard engineering problems that take time, talent, and ingenuity.” Plus, the competitive pressure is stronger than ever. So there’s plenty of work ahead for Dharma and OpenSea.
Meanwhile, the NFT market is off to a good start in 2022. OpenSea recorded $3.4 Billion in trading volume in just 15 days this January making it the best performing month ever for NFTs. So we can certainly look forward to more phenomenal news and updates in the industry!