“eBay is the first stop for people across the globe who are searching for that perfect, hard-to-find, or unique addition to their collection and, with this acquisition, we will remain a leading site as our community is increasingly adding digital collectibles,” said Jamie Iannone, CEO of eBay. “KnownOrigin has built up an impressive, passionate and loyal group of artists and collectors making them a perfect addition to our community of sellers and buyers.
More than a year ago, NFTs already appeared on eBay and the CEO said it planned to support them. However, eBay took a whole year to drop its first NFT for hockey star Wayne Gretsky on the OneOf NFT platform. That was just last month.
Before NFTs took off, collectibles were an important segment for eBay. For example, in Q1 2021, the gross merchandising value (GMV) of collectibles was more than $1 billion out of a total GMV of $19.4 billion. And we suspect that figure does not include art.
But startups are the ones that have made their mark in non fungible tokens. For example, in the first quarter of this year, the OpenSea marketplace’s volume was $10.7 billion just on the Ethereum blockchain. That said, following the crypto slump, this month’s sales are down to $555 million, likely making the first month below a billion since July 2021.
In its last funding round in January, OpenSea was valued at $13 billion compared to eBay’s $36.7 billion at the time (now $24 billion).
And NFT collectibles are also creeping into the physical realm. For example, Amazon invested in Dibbs, a platform that enables people to buy a share of expensive physical sports trading cards that they otherwise would not be able to afford. And that fraction is represented as an NFT.
In terms of the right time for acquisitions, there’s no question that many blockchain startups are going to be more open to selling than they were a month ago.