OpenSea announced today that it has acquired the company Gem in a move to bolster its NFT marketplace. It made the news public via a tweet and a blog post from OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer. What’s more, the biggest NFT marketplace stated that it made this move to improve the experience of its core users.
OpenSea buys Gem to improve the experience on its NFT marketplace
The news, announced through a short OpenSea Twitter thread, made a huge splash early on Monday morning. For those who don’t know, Gem is a popular NFT marketplace aggregator. In essence, it lets you buy NFTs across multiple marketplaces with a single, low-cost transaction. In addition, Gem has rarity-based rankings for NFT collections.
To be sure, these tools make Gem a popular choice for NFT traders. Especially for those looking to sweep NFTs around the floor price of a collection. As a result, OpenSea saw these tools as a valuable addition to its NFT marketplace. Indeed, many of the features on Gem are things that NFT traders have long asked OpenSea to add.
Significantly, OpenSea has stated that Gem will continue to operate as its own company. At least for the time being. Eventually, of course, OpenSea will look to integrate more Gem features into its NFT marketplace in the near future.
Why many people are unhappy about OpenSea’s latest move
Evidently, OpenSea hoped that the Gem acquisition and its effect on the NFT marketplace would excite its users. Predictably, however, the reaction to the announcement on Twitter was less than kind, to say the least. After all, OpenSea doesn’t exactly have the highest approval rating among the NFT community at the moment.
To put it mildly, OpenSea faces an ocean of criticism with just about every move it makes these days. Although it can be quite harsh at times, the underlying critiques are not without merit. That is to say, OpenSea has had countless incidents that have eroded its users’ faith.
Most notably there’s the listing exploit of its platform which saw users losing high-value NFTs for weeks. Beyond that, there are the general criticisms of OpenSea’s customer service (or lack thereof), as well as a lack of transparency around some of its policies.
To sum up, people replying to OpenSea’s announcement were skeptical about the future of Gem. Basically, a sizable amount of people are questioning how OpenSea can improve on the services Gem provides. In their opinion, OpenSea has many of its own issues it still needs to fix.
Another key point is that Gem allowed people to buy NFTs across different marketplaces in a single transaction. Of course, it would give OpenSea an advantage over its competitors if these features were exclusive. Thus, people fear that such a move could extend the gap between OpenSea and other platforms.
That OpenSea may move to make Gem’s features exclusive to its platform is a reasonable concern. In reality, though, it will take some time to see to what extent people’s concerns turn out to be true. With any luck, the new features can bolster OpenSea without changing the Gem service that people already love.