OpenSea CFO jumps ship after 10 months

Brian Roberts announces decision to ‘come ashore’ and leave NFT marketplace

NFT Marketplace                                 
NFT marketplace trading activity has fallen by more than 90% in 2022 – Photo: Shutterstock

The chief financial officer of OpenSea has announced that he will step down from the prominent non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace after only 10 months in the role. 

OpenSea CFO Brian Roberts leaves

In a LinkedIn post, Brian Roberts said “it is time for me to come ashore from the ‘open seas’.” 

He added: “I’m grateful for the opportunity and proud of many accomplishments, but none more than the strength of the finance team at OpenSea. I had the rare opportunity to build a team literally from the ground up and handpicked game changers.”

Roberts revealed that he will remain as an adviser to the firm and stated: “I remain incredibly bullish on Web 3.0 and especially OpenSea. The company is heads down building and I assure you, the best is yet to come.”

OpenSea trims its sails in light of the Crypto Winter

Founded in 2017, OpenSea was perfectly positioned to capitalise on the explosion of interest in NFTs that took place in 2020 and 2021. 

At the start of 2022, the company undertook a $300m (£271m) fundraising round giving it a valuation of $13.3bn. 

However, the company has struggled in the face of the changing macroeconomic landscape. Investors appear to have cycled out of speculative asset classes with the end of coronavirus era stimulus and the move by central banks around the world to tackle runaway inflation by raising interest rates.

Daily trading volume slumps to around $8.3m

According to NFT data firm DappRadar, OpenSea’s daily trading volume of ETH stood at $8.36m on Monday, having peaked at over $400m at the start of May. 

As crypto asset valuations tumbled in the summer with the onset of the cypto winter, the company slashed its workforce by 20%

Admitting the need to prepare for “a prolonged downturn”, co-founder and CEO David Finzer said: “The changes we’re making today put us in a position to maintain multiple years of runway under various crypto winter scenarios (five years at the current volume), and give us high confidence that we will only have to go through this process once.”

In the following months, however, a number of leading OpenSea executives have departed of their own volition. 

Indeed, on the same day that Roberts announced his departure, OpenSea’s vice president of business development Ryan Foutty revealed that he also would be leaving after only 18 months.

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