NFT Marketplace OpenSea Acquires DeFi Wallet Firm Dharma Labs

Dharma co-founder Nadav Hollander will serve as OpenSea's chief technology officer.

Jan 18, 2022 at 6:04 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 18, 2022 at 7:48 p.m. UTC

Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea has acquired crypto wallet firm Dharma Labs, OpenSea announced Tuesday.

The acquisition, first reported as in the works by Axios on Jan. 4, comes just weeks after OpenSea nabbed a $13.3 billion valuation in its latest funding round.

As part of the deal, Dharma co-founder Nadav Hollander will become OpenSea’s chief technology officer. Co-founder Alex Atallah had previously been in the CTO role. Atallah will step into a new role overseeing “NFT ecosystem development efforts,” according to the company blog post.

“[Co-founder] Devin [Finzer], Alex and the entire OpenSea team have shown incredible tenacity and grit over the past four years in taking their original idea for an NFT exchange to where it is today,” Hollander said in a statement. “I’m excited to focus on scaling OpenSea’s tech to meet the reliability, performance and uptime benchmarks its users expect and deserve.”

Just like Dharma, OpenSea serves assets on the Ethereum mainnet and Polygon’s Matic network, perhaps explaining why the firm was an acquisition fit. Dharma also boasts key integrations with many U.S. banks.

Dharma launched in 2019 as a crypto lending startup before pivoting to stablecoin savings accounts later that year. More recently, it positioned itself as a mainstream-friendly gateway into the world of decentralized finance.

The vision to be the "Robinhood of DeFi" ends now, however. Dharma said the app will be shut down in one month.

OpenSea, which launched in 2017 as an eBay for NFTs, has already seen record-breaking sales volume to start off January as it is on pace to break its $3.4 billion monthly high set last August.

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Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

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Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

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