eBay has acquired a UK-based NFT marketplace for an undisclosed sum in a bid to further its efforts in the digital collectible arena.
Founded in 2018 in Manchester, KnownOrigin is a blockchain-powered marketplace allowing artists and collectors to create, buy and sell NFTs.
The move follows eBay’s recent foray into the NFT sector, where the platform launched its sports-themed Genesis collection in May despite waning interest from collectors and investors for digital collectibles. EBay first began allowing the purchase and sale of NFTs in May 2021.
“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.
We look forward to welcoming these innovators as they join the eBay community.”
A company such as eBay — which facilitated over $87 billion in gross merchandise volume last year — could prove to be a boon for the budding sector by lifting the profile of NFTs within the minds of the average consumer.
EBay’s move toward the sale and purchase of NFTs can also be viewed as a defensive stance since its biggest rival, Amazon, began flirting with the idea back in April.
“We founded KnownOrigin to empower creators and collectors by giving them the ability to showcase, sell, and collect unique, authenticated digital items,” said David Moore, co-founder, KnownOrigin.
“As interest in NFTs continues to grow, we believe now is the perfect time for us to partner with a company that has the reach and experience of eBay. With more than twenty-five years building similar communities of passionate individuals, we are excited by the opportunity to bring a whole new audience on this journey.
This is the start of a new chapter in the KnownOrigin story and we couldn’t choose a better time to focus on building and innovating with the team at eBay. This partnership will help us attract a new wave of NFT creators and collectors.”