As NFT activity continues to slow, some major players in the space have joined forces to expand its reach. The latest to do so is OpenSea, which has launched natively on the layer-1 blockchain, Avalanche, both firms exclusively told TechCrunch.
“The future of web3 is multi-chain; and it’s always been our goal to offer the best selection and connect people with projects and creators across the chains they prefer,” Shiva Rajaraman, VP of product at OpenSea, said to TechCrunch in an email.
OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, will operate on the blockchain alongside existing platforms like NFTrade and other Avalanche-focused NFT marketplaces, including Joepegs and Kalao. With Avalanche, OpenSea users will be able to settle NFT transactions in under a second with low transaction fees, the company said.
“We listen to our community, and part of our community really wanted to have OpenSea,” John Wu, president of Ava Labs, told TechCrunch. “We have a budding and vibrant creator and NFT community, and they wanted OpenSea as a choice.”
To start, about 10 Avalanche-based projects will be featured on OpenSea, and more will be rolled out over time.
Additionally, Avalanche is working with a handful of web2 enterprises such as business and consumer brands and sports teams, Wu said. These companies wanted OpenSea as a choice on Avalanche, Wu said.
“They want to know there is a chain that’s scalable, because web2 is so much bigger than web3. They want a chain that can handle massive amounts of activity from its users,” Wu said. “These brands are far more comfortable working with OpenSea.”
To date, over $20 billion in volume has been traded across about 80 million NFTs on OpenSea. In January, the platform hit a $13.3 billion valuation, when the sub-sector was exploding in popularity. With about $404.6 million in sales, Avalanche is the seventh-largest blockchain by NFT sales volume, CryptoSlam data shows.
Even though the NFT market has slowed down in recent months, over the past 30 days, Avalanche’s NFT sales volume rose 38.52% to $2.1 million in sales, per CryptoSlam data.
“The whole NFT market is down, and it’s down a lot,” Wu said. “But if you break down the NFT market […] a lot of the fluff is gone. What is starting to pick up is a new category of utility and fan engagement, along other categories outside of the collectible world.”