Finzer stated, “As the NFT community grows, we’ve recognized a need to better serve more experienced, ‘pro’ users, and offer more flexibility and choice to people at every level of experience.”
Launched in January this year, Gem is an Ethereum NFT marketplace aggregator specializing in bulk buying or “floor sweeps.” It is a single platform that connects NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, Rarible, and LooksRare. Letting users purchase non-fungible tokens from any of them in a single transaction enables users to save significantly on gas fees.
According to Finzer, Gem will continue to operate independently and expand its platform by adding more features. Meanwhile, OpenSea plans to bring some of Gem’s functionalities to its own platform.
OpenSea commented, “We’re excited to invest in Gem’s roadmap, and ultimately welcome more people into the world of NFTs. That said, it’s important for our community to know that when we consider a big decision like the one we’re announcing today, we evaluate all aspects of it thoroughly. We place equal value on the people we’re forging partnerships with, as much as the product and its users.”
Finzer also acknowledged the allegations against the Gem co-founder, going by “Neso.” According to BuzzFeed, Neso is a pseudonym used by Josh Thompson, who was once a popular video game streamer by the name of Method Josh. In 2020, there were charges of rape and sexual harassment against Thompson before he completely disappeared from the internet. However, he was removed from Gem earlier this month.
“During the course of our diligence, we learned about, and immediately surfaced, some deeply concerning allegations against a now-former member of Gem’s leadership team who operated under the pseudonym Neso,” Finzer said. “Upon investigating the allegations, the employee was immediately exited prior to the close of this deal. This individual has never and will never be affiliated with OpenSea.”
For OpenSea, the acquisition of Gem is not its first purchase in 2022. In fact, it acquired Dharma Labs in January, a protocol for collective tokenized debt agreements. As per the deal, Dharma Labs stopped all operations. Meanwhile, Dharma Labs founders Nadav Hollander and Brendan Forster became OpenSea’s new CTO and Head of Strategy.
OpenSea’s acquisition of Gem comes at the perfect time when the NFT market is becoming increasingly competitive. Platforms like LooksRare, Rarible, and SuperRare have emerged to challenge OpenSea’s monopoly in the NFT market. However, OpenSea remains the industry leader by a significant margin, with billions of dollars in organic trading volume.