eBay has announced the acquisition of KnownOrigin, a Manchester-based NFT marketplace. The deal’s financial specifics were not disclosed.
According to eBay, the firms signed and concluded the deal on June 22nd.
For the past year, major retail platforms have danced around NFTs. Epic Games Store, for example, has sent mixed signals, but not eBay. Today, it made the bold move of purchasing one of the largest and most reputable NFT marketplaces in the world. And its hidden bid for KnownOrigin is reverberating throughout the metaverse.
“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,” further adding,
“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. We look forward to welcoming these innovators as they join the eBay community.”eBay CEO, Jamie Iannone
Last year, eBay launched its first push into NFTs as part of its “tech-led reimagination.” It will allow the sale of NFTs on its platform for sellers who match the company’s specifications starting in May 2021. It previously told Reuters that it will offer new capabilities to its platform “that bring blockchain-driven collectibles.” In May, the business debuted its own NFT collection, delivering 13 limited-edition digital artifacts featuring 3D-animated renderings of hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky. In fact, we can anticipate the corporation launching other NFT collections throughout the year. eBay and OneOf, its Web3 partner for the Gretzky drop, said they expect to release more NFTs featuring other sportsmen and redesigned copies of historic Sports Illustrated covers in the coming months.
Andy Gray, David Moore, and James Morgan created KnownOrigin in 2018. eBay has hired all three co-founders. Artists and collectors can use the platform to make, buy, and sell NFTs. eBay claims to be acquiring the entire company, including the IP and team.
Despite eBay having a substantial footprint in online purchasing, the corporation will have a difficult time competing with the dozens of crypto native NFT marketplaces that are already available. However, its acquisition of KnownOrigin shows that the corporation is taking NFTs seriously.
The acquisition of KnownOrigin by eBay is exciting for artists and creators, and we may be witnessing the start of NFT 2.0. This might be the first step for NFTs into the public, and it could also mean that the combination of digital art and tangible artworks becomes a new standard.
It certainly feels like we’re on the edge of something major; eBay’s embrace of NFTs and crypto wallets may also give consumers more confidence that what they’re buying is a genuine product, collectible, or piece of art, because an item’s ownership can be traced on the blockchain.