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This Company Reportedly Just Slashed 30% of Its Web3 & NFT Team Amid Reorganization Plans

2 mins
Updated by Ryan Boltman
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In Brief

  • eBay reportedly laid off 30% of its Web3 & NFT team, including KnownOrigins' co-founder David Moore, after buying the company in 2022.
  • Layoffs could be industry-related, as tech firms have let staff go in the past year to improve growth and profit or trim redundancies.
  • eBay has invested significantly in its NFT business, using its e-commerce knowledge to offer clients authentic and secure NFT trading.
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eBay is reportedly laying off workers from its Web3 and NFT team, according to a source the layoffs affected. The staff reduction reportedly affected 30% of the headcount following the company’s acquisition of the art NFT platform KnownOrigins in 2022. 

David Moore, whose LinkedIn profile confirms his role as KnownOrigins’ co-founder, said he “was impacted by the latest round of proposed redundancies.” He called the alleged layoffs “brutal.”

Why is eBay Laying Off KnownOrigins Team?

Another source also claimed that the layoffs affected eBay’s Chief Business and Strategy Officer, Stefanie Jay. BeInCrypto reached out to Jay on LinkedIn for confirmation but did not reply at press time.

Read more: A Guide to Digital Art and How To Get Started in the Industry

However, Moore’s use of “redundancies” suggests that eBay could follow industry trends. Sheel Mohnot of Better Tomorrow Ventures said that when one company starts reducing its headcount, it protects others from scrutiny. Therefore, layoffs at other firms may have provided eBay with cover. 

“When one company in your space or nearby does it, it gives you air cover to do it,” he said. “It becomes easier for a company to say, ‘It’s not us — it’s the industry,'” Mohnot said.

eBay revenue knownorigins
Annual Net Revenue of eBay | Source: Ori Feldstein

In January, Nabeel Hyatt, a general partner at the venture capital firm Spark Capital, said the month’s tech layoffs fell into three broad categories, two of which were “big companies seeking more growth and profit” or medium companies trimming redundancies. eBay, whose marketplace business was more profitable than Amazon’s over the ten years ending last September, could fall into either of these categories.

eBay Matches Commerce With NFTs

Unlike GameStop, which closed its NFT marketplace and axed staff amid a downturn in the crypto market, eBay appeared adamant and invested a lot of money in its NFT business. The E-commerce giant introduced features that allow purchases of NFTs to occur in a similar way to regular merchandise.

For one, eBay ensures that NFT buyers get their desired items after paying for them. Other marketplaces rely on the seller’s good faith to send the NFT when they receive payment.

Secondly, its e-commerce expertise allows sellers to list NFTs in the same format as a physical item. Some listings include the NFT Mint number and the seller’s NFT wallet address. 

Read more: 8 Best NFT Wallets in 2023

knownorigns secondary sales
KnownOrigin Secondary Sales | Source: Dune

Acquiring KnownOrigins enabled eBay to sell NFTs linked to physical items held at the eBay Vault. eBay also helps buyers avoid NFT scams by verifying the authenticity of trading card offerings.

BeInCrypto contacted eBay for a comment but did not reply at press time.

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...