- EBay announced that it has acquired non-fungible token marketplace KnownOrigin, according to a company press release.
- KnownOrigin, which describes itself as one of the first and largest NFT marketplaces, gives artists and collectors a space to create, buy and resell NFTs through blockchain-supported transactions. The acquisition will usher in “a new era of digital collecting to the world’s top destination for collectibles,” according to eBay.
- The deal was signed and closed on Wednesday, but further terms and details regarding the acquisition were not disclosed.
About a year after eBay allowed the buying and selling of NFTs on its own platform, the company decided to go all-in on cryptographic assets with the purchase of KnownOrigin.
KnownOrigin announced the acquisition on its own social media channels and said that it joined eBay to help lead NFT and digital collectibles strategy with the mission to build out the company’s Web3 capabilities. Web3 is the concept that the next stage of the internet will be driven by blockchain technology.
“Ebay is currently undertaking a tech-led reimagination and we are at the heart of their vision,” KnownOrigin’s founders wrote in a post. In another, the company said that it was impressed with eBay’s “enthusiasm to learn, embrace and immerse themselves into Web3.”
Ebay has been working on a “tech-led reimagination” strategy over the past two years which focuses on modernizing its marketplace. The company cited this strategy as one of the reasons it began exploring 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," Jamie Iannone, CEO of eBay, said in a statement.
During the company’s investor day in March it outlined its long-term strategy for the future and pointed to collectibles. The company revealed its eBay Vault, a secure storage facility and digital marketplace for trading cards and collectibles, which will launch in the U.S. next quarter with plans to expand into luxury goods.
Other retailers have recently been experimenting with NFTs. In June, Prada said it was releasing a Timecapsule NFT Collection featuring gender-neutral physical products and a gifted NFT. At the start of the year Gap launched into NFTs through a collaboration with New York-based artist Brandon Sines and open-source blockchain platform Tezos. Additionally, GamesStop is testing a digital asset wallet for users to store, send and receive NFTs and cryptocurrency, and PacSun held an NFT auction in May.