OpenSea announced the acquisition of Dharma Labs for an undisclosed sum on January 18th. Following its most recent fundraising round, the world’s largest NFT marketplace was recently valued at $13.3 billion.
According to Reuters, the deal will enable the OpenSea to “dramatically improve the experience of buying, minting, and selling NFTs” on its platform.
OpenSea to Enable Fiat?
There will be a change at the top as a result of the acquisition. Alex Atallah, OpenSea’s CTO, will take on a new role leading the company’s Web3 and NFT ecosystem development. Nadav Hollander, the CEO of Dharma Labs, will take his place.
Hollander, who previously worked for Google and Coinbase, said that because of the significant expansion in NFT markets in 2021, OpenSea grew “practically 1,000x overnight,” before adding:
“We now have the historic opportunity to build a truly generational product. I’m excited to focus on scaling OpenSea’s tech to meet the reliability, performance, and uptime benchmarks its users expect and deserve.”
Dharma started as a DeFi lending app that allowed users to deposit fiat to trade tokens on Uniswap. The company is also heavily intertwined with the world’s leading decentralized exchange. It integrated with the DEX in 2020 and held a massive bag of UNI tokens, making it one of the major voting influences in Uniswap’s governance.
Dharma’s app will be retired, according to the announcement, and OpenSea will likely develop something similar to enable users to buy and sell NFTs for fiat in addition to crypto.
NFT Ecosystem Outlook
So far this year, OpenSea has achieved record trade volumes, surpassing August 2021, the previous biggest month for trading. OpenSea has sold $3.8 billion worth of Ethereum so far this month, according to Dune Analytics. Since the beginning of the year, 1.4 million NFTs have been sold on the market.
This month, the number of active traders reached a new high, with 388,843 traders. According to Dune, the previous top month for this metric was December 2021, when there were 362,679 active traders on the platform.