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OpenSea Launches NFTs Marketplace App & Addresses Insider Trading

The largest digital collectible marketplace, OpenSea, has announced its plan to launch an app for users in the Google Play and Apple App Store on Thursday.

More and more people are interested in non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are unique, collectible digital assets built on blockchain technology.

The App will be available in App stores on Friday and will provide users a way to check non-fungible token holdings, sales, and trading histories easily on mobile.

In August, OpenSea’s website saw two million transactions, bringing its total trading volume and tripling activity to $3.4 billion from July.

OpenSea Is Rolling Out a New App This Week

To date, the largest NFT marketplace has received investments from cryptocurrency leaders Blockchain Capital, Coinbase Ventures, and Mark Cuban.

The four-year-old company also has been one of the unicorns in the space through the latest fundraising round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z with the participation of Ashton Kutcher, Coatue, and Tobi Lutke, CEO at Shopify.

The company is currently sitting at a $1.5 billion valuation.

Recently, there’s reported that one of OpenSea’s employees joined an NFT insider trading scheme. An employee at the firm used inside knowledge to buy NFTs before they were promoted on the website.

After a product called Spectrum of a Ramenfication Theory was available on OpenSea’s homepage, it was found that it was bought for 0.25 ETH (£650) then sold for 1.5 ETH (£3,900) 20 minutes later.

In addition to admitting to the incident, OpenSea co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer tweeted an apology to users, said:

“We’re conducting a thorough review of yesterday’s incident and are committed to doing the right thing for OpenSea users.”

Also, the co-founder added the incident was “incredibly disappointing” but it did not represent the whole values of the team.

Although insider trading, where individuals use non-public knowledge about a company for financial advantage, is illegal in most regulated markets, the NFT market does not have such restrictions.

NFTs Are Attracting People All Over The World

NFTs are bought by using cryptocurrency, the most commonly used one is Ethereum (ETH), and stored on the blockchain, a permanent digital ledger where every transaction is logged and made publicly available.

NFTs were originally designed as a way to support artists. Then, entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk have leveraged digital collectibles as opportunities for branding, marketing, and advertising.

OpenSea is driving people’s interest in NFTs space. Some high price transactions like the $69 million Beeple sales at Christie’s have caught the mainstream’s attention.

Brokerage app Robinhood was founded with similar hopes to bring a seemingly insular and highly guarded world for users. Both OpenSea and Robinhood focus on a smooth consumer experience which is a key to operating in the space.

OpenSea’s website is a place for users to buy, sell, explore, and show off NFT collections. The coming app will integrate with social media and support the function to follow other users.

Still a Young Market

Harvard Business School associate professor Scott Duke Kominers pointed out that barriers to entry in the NFT space remain high due to significant costs and a long chain of mechanics.

Buying an NFT requires a person to open an account on a cryptocurrency exchange, at least one crypto wallet, sending money to a crypto exchange wallet, connecting the wallet to the appropriate platform, and paying a gas fee.

Besides, environmental impact is another challenge for NFTs. Digiconomist informed the NFT space releases the carbon footprint for ethereum, the blockchain is similar to that of Denmark due to the requirement of a large amount of processing power.

Atallah, co-founder, and CTO of OpenSea informed the company recently turned to the “proof of stake” polygon blockchain aiming to combat the metaverse’s drain on energy resources.

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