OpenSea announced today that it has acquired Gem to bolster its NFT marketplace. The news was made public via a tweet and blog post from OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer. In addition, the largest NFT marketplace has stated that it has made this move to improve the experience for its core users.
“As the NFT community grows, we have recognized the need to better serve more experienced and “pro” users, and offer more flexibility and choice to people at all levels of experience,” he wrote.
OpenSea buys Gem to improve the experience in its NFT marketplace
The news, announced via a brief OpenSea Twitter thread, caused quite a stir Monday morning. For those who don’t know, Gem is a popular NFT marketplace aggregator, which allows you to buy NFTs on multiple marketplaces with a single, low-cost transaction. In addition, Gem has rankings based on the rarity of NFT collections.
1/ Exciting news!
To invest in the "pro" community and continue improving the OpenSea experience, we’re excited to share that we’ve acquired @gemxyz !
Read more in the official announcement blog, and below 👇https://t.co/IBn38f2d3U
— OpenSea (@opensea) April 25, 2022
Without a doubt, these tools make Gem a popular choice for NFT traders. Especially for those looking to sweep NFT around the minimum price of a collection.
NFT aggregators have become a favorite of professional NFT traders looking to profit from their participation in multiple ways, including trading, staking, swapping and royalties.
OpenSea also intends to learn as much as possible from Gem’s experience and knowledge of NFT communities, thus bringing the best of Gem’s features to OpenSea.
However, Gem will continue to operate as an independent product and brand.
“The Gem you know and love will not change; and over time, we will bring key Gem features to OpenSea to make purchasing NFTs seamless and delightful for all levels of experience,” Finzer added.
OpenSea assured its community that it took due diligence steps before making the announcement, saying that big decisions like these are always thoroughly evaluated.
“During the course of our due diligence, we became aware of, and some deeply troubling allegations against a former member of Gem’s leadership team operating under the pseudonym Neso came to light immediately.”
The company assured the community that the individual had been exiled from Gem and would never be welcome back to the community.
As a result, OpenSea found these tools to be a valuable addition to its NFT marketplace. In fact, many of Gem’s features are things that NFT merchants had long been asking OpenSea to add.
It’s worth noting that OpenSea has stated that Gem will continue to operate as its own company. At least for the time being. Over time, of course, OpenSea will try to integrate more of Gem’s features into its NFT marketplace in the near future.
Clearly, OpenSea had hoped that the acquisition of Gem and its effect on the NFT marketplace would excite its users. Predictably, however, the reaction to the announcement on Twitter was unkind to say the least. After all, OpenSea doesn’t exactly have the highest approval rating among the NFT community at the moment.
1/ Some News today: we’re thrilled to share that we’ve been acquired by @OpenSea! The Gem you know and love won’t change a bit, and we’re pumped to keep building for you – even faster. https://t.co/plq2qBAKBO
— gem.xyz (@gemxyz) April 25, 2022
To put it mildly, OpenSea is facing an ocean of criticism with every move it makes these days. While they can be quite harsh at times, the underlying criticisms are not without merit. Namely, OpenSea has had countless incidents that have eroded the faith of its users.
The most notable is the attack on its platform, which caused users to lose valuable NFTs for weeks. In addition, there is general criticism of OpenSea’s customer service (or lack thereof), as well as the lack of transparency in some of its policies.
In short, respondents to OpenSea’s announcement were skeptical about Gem’s future. Basically, a considerable number of people wonder how OpenSea can improve the services offered by Gem. In their opinion, OpenSea has many problems of its own that it has yet to fix.
Another key point is that Gem allowed people to buy NFTs on different exchanges in a single transaction. Of course, OpenSea would have an advantage over its competitors if these features were exclusive. So people fear that this move could widen the gap between OpenSea and other platforms.
That OpenSea is moving to make Gem’s features exclusive to its platform is a reasonable concern, however, we will have to wait some time to see to what extent people’s concerns turn out to be true. Hopefully, the new features can strengthen OpenSea without changing the Gem service that people already love.