eBay has taken its biggest step yet into the world of digital collectibles with its acquisition of Manchester-based NFT Marketplace KnownOrigin.
The online auction company maintains confidentiality about the value of the deal. But it confirmed in the press release that the deal is closed as of June 21.
KnownOrigin was founded in 2018 by Andy Gray, David Moore, and James Morgan. The three co-founders join eBay.
The platform allows artists and collectors to create, buy, and resell NFTs. eBay says it has acquired the entire company, including the intellectual property and the team.
“This partnership helps us attract a new wave of NFT creators and aggregators,” said David Moore, KnownOrigin co-founder.
KnownOrigin describes itself as one of the world’s first and largest NFT marketplaces and currently ranks 12th in trading volume for Ethereum-backed NFT at $7.8 million.
The top-rated and most popular markets include OpenSea with a trading value of $30.43 billion and Decentraland with a trading value of $155.66 million.
eBay began allowing NFT sales through its site last year. With the acquisition of KnownOrigin, eBay has the opportunity to control a clear digital marketplace where NFT transactions can be monitored and controlled.
Currently, eBay-certified sellers can list an NFT in the same format as a physical item. Many listings share the details of the NFT SDK number and digital wallet that the buyer needs to receive the transfer after the sale.
eBay’s current NFT sales method also comes with some caveats, such as a $10,000 cap, a buy now form (no bid or best offers), and a requirement that the seller and buyer are in the same country.
Nor can NFT be sold together with a physical item. And this caveat of not being able to attach a physical item to an NFT sale is the most interesting.
eBay now has an NFT marketplace
eBay earlier this month opened a new real-world store to protect physical collectibles, with the option to allow the instant digital sale of items without having them shipped.
The platform declined to say if there will be any integration between physical holdings in the store and NFT in the future.
In the past year, eBay has been boosting its collectibles business. It has extended its guarantee of authenticity to ensure that the trading cards sold through it are not counterfeit. It also launched live auctions to display more collectible items.
Sales of collectible items reached their highest levels after emerging from the pandemic. eBay is seizing the opportunity to cover both digital and physical assets with the acquisition of KnownOrigin and the new store, which remains a non-qualified place to store NFT.
The acquisition comes a month after eBay launched its first collection of NFTs in partnership with the OneOf platform. The company’s new NFT Genesis collection features 3D interpretations and animations of the iconic athletes who have appeared on the covers of Sports Illustrated over the years. The company says a boom in the collectibles market led to its first NFT collaboration.
And its acquisition of KnownOrigin indicates that the company is getting serious about NFT. She says NFT represents an important area of growth for her business. The company’s recent acquisition has boosted its drive into the world of blockchain technology and digital collectibles.