Founder of OpenSea: We don't care about the "low ebb" of the market, and look forward to the explosive growth of innovation and practicality of NFT
Original author: Devin Finzer, founder and CEO of OpenSea, translated and edited by DeFi Zhidao.
When we launched OpenSea at the end of 2017, we were realistic about all kinds of potential results - from small communities buying and selling CryptoKitties to destinations where people can explore a new economy on the Internet. The GDP generated by the Internet is already quite large on an absolute basis, but people increasingly feel that there is still a lack of key building blocks - these building blocks can provide a basis for a more dynamic and open economy in the digital world.
In less than five years, the scope of these results has changed dramatically, and NFT ushered in a new Internet economy. The only question left is: "How will the world deal with this boundless blank canvas?"
NFT is the first mainstream application of blockchain. They are unique, provably scarce, publicly transferable, user owned, and available across multiple applications. They are the basic primitives of the open digital economy - users have greater freedom and ownership of their data. Developers can build powerful and interoperable applications to provide users with real economic value. In short, NFT is a basic technology and will become the basis of thousands of use cases and industries - its application is only limited by human intelligence, imagination and patience.
The spread of NFT is increasing the GDP of blockchain economy, and OpenSea's vision is to accelerate this new economy and realize its full potential. Although some people may regard NFT as a simple jpeg image today, our dream is much larger: we have seen a world where artists and creative people make a living by selling digital art; Loyal fans buy collectibles from their favorite athletes and musicians, while influential people dress up in virtual clothes; Developers start the access to their software in the form of NFT; Decentralized and sometimes anonymous groups find members, communities and sense of belonging through shared ownership; New jobs have emerged in the open and free market game economy, such as "virtual world real estate agent" or "virtual reality sculpture designer".
We believe that the real economy will eventually change in this direction; It is possible that one day, almost everything we own will be owned and transferred in the form of NFT on the blockchain. We firmly believe that this technology will eventually provide power for the largest market on earth and fundamentally change the social form. This is our vision in OpenSea.
Some Background of OpenSea and NFT Market Development
In the first quarter of this year, the NFT field grew explosively, and the trading volume on OpenSea increased 600 times from January. At that time, we often felt like we were running in the same place: we tried to keep the website running normally, keep pace with our community, and work through our customer support queue.
In the second quarter, we experienced significant functional improvements. We released Seaport, a new open source and decentralized protocol, which unlocked a lot of new functions for the community, redesigned our core page and launched a featured shelf, introduced systematic platform security improvements, improved website stability and performance, expanded our customer support business, and so on.
The workload of application layer development -- even in the "cold winter of the market" period -- is amazing. Moreover, as the basic layer of NFT becomes more advanced in each cycle, the ebb and flow of the market is now - and will continue - less extreme. We have seen these exact cycles before. In the next wave (even today you are starting to see it), there will be more extensive use case development and innovation to simplify the mainstream consumer experience.
We don't mind the low market
The sensational headlines in news reports can easily distract attention. Since the media are very concerned about numbers, let's talk about them!
The recent market situation has affected almost every industry, and web3 is no exception. Of course, since NFT is priced in cryptocurrency, the market collapse will also affect NFT (in fact, the year when we started to build OpenSea, the price of ETH fell from $1300 to $90 at the lowest). But a closer look at the data reveals a more subtle story. For example, our trading volume is still 10 times higher than that in January 2021 and 40 times higher than that 24 months ago. Between August 2021 (the first NFT boom) and August 2022 (entering the "winter" of 2022), the monthly number of participants on the OpenSea chain increased by more than 80%*
Although the excitement at the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 is very important for the platform and community, we cannot ignore the long-term commitment and development trajectory of NFT - it is important to distinguish our long-term vision from short-term market fluctuations. We still have a lot of work to do, but integrating NFT into the established ecosystem means entering these markets, such as the $500 billion game industry or the $50 billion ticketing industry. In the long run, the potential market created and consumed by NFT basically covers everyone on the earth.
Great dreams must be combined with patience and perseverance - such a huge change takes time. At present, the first generation NFT (PFP project, collection, generative art) may feel very small, even like a toy, while many of our coveted use cases (ticketing, games, music, real estate) are still in their infancy.
But we know that there will be more use cases in the future - we are using today's use cases to build the infrastructure of the future Internet economy. These basic bets will create a virtuous circle between projects, buyers and sellers. When we enter the next stage of NFT development, they will be the bricks that allow rapid innovation, creativity and experimentation.
OpenSea is not only adapting to bear markets, but these bear markets have shaped what we are today. There is a huge opportunity before us. Our long-term vision makes it possible to distinguish good ideas from hype, builders from speculators, and signals from noise. In this winter, I hope we will see the explosive growth of innovation and practicality of NFT (we are excited about many things... more information will be available soon).
*The data in this article is from the Dune Analytics Dashboard