eBay Could Be Considering Exiting NFT Sector, Reportedly Trims Web3 Team

eBay, the US-based ecommerce giant, is reportedly planning to bow out of the NFT space. As per reports, the platform has trimmed its Web3 team by 30 percent this week. While not a lot is known about eBay’s reported decision, some drama seems to have unfolded between eBay and the NFT marketplace KnownOrigin that it acquired in 2022. During the acquisition at the time, eBay was looking at establishing itself as a notable player in the NFT arena.

In the past few weeks, some senior officials from eBay tendered their resignations. Stef Jay, eBay’s business and strategy officer and one of KnownOrigin founders, David Moore – both have not been actively associated with the company for some weeks, as per a report by CoinGape.

After acquiring KnownOrigin, eBay absorbed the team running the NFT marketplace. The plan was to expand and build on partnerships that were already working with KnownOrigin. In the last eighteen months since the acquisition however, tensions between the eBay team and the KnownOrigin team reportedly rose. The information was disclosed in a report published by NFTGators, citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter.

“Many within the company are unhappy, blaming the lack of leadership and strategy for the layoffs. There are internal criticisms, even at senior levels, questioning the qualifications of the current head of Web3 as well as eBay’s strategy team,” the report quoted the source as saying.

In what seems like an internal communication, Moore informed his teammates that he has been impacted by the latest round of proposed redundancies in the company.

“Witnessing that level of layoffs within the team was brutal,” Moore said in his message – a screenshot of which has been published as part of the report by the NFTGators.
As of now, eBay has not addressed the situation. It remains unclear if these layoffs by eBay are part of an internal restructuring. Afterall, the overall NFT market recorded an all-time low in sales in 2023.

The sales of NFTs peaked in September 2021 when sales of these digital collectibles managed to amass around $881 million (roughly Rs. 7,344 crore). However, as of November 2023, NFT sales only managed to bring-in $10.85 million (roughly Rs. 90 crore).

Members of the KnownOrigin team have also not addressed the situation on any public domain as of now. eBay is planning to lay off a thousand more employees. This information was circulated to the eBay team by CEO Jamie Iannone in January.

“The most significant and toughest of these decisions is to reduce our current workforce by approximately 1,000 roles or an estimated nine percent of full-time employees. Additionally, we plan to scale back the number of contracts we have within our alternate workforce over the coming months,” the official note had said at the time.

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