'Pacman' Gobbled NFT Sales With Blur

Blur upended OpenSea's NFT marketplace dominance by focusing on big traders. Its cofounder, Pacman, who doxxed himself to face its burgeoning community, earns a spot on CoinDesk's Most Influential 2023.

AccessTimeIconDec 4, 2023 at 1:16 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 6:08 p.m. UTC
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In April 2022, OpenSea dominated the NFT marketplace with a more than 75% share. But its first mover heyday is long gone after NFTs' boom and bust, and trading is now at a two-year low. NFTs aren't dead, but OpenSea's market dominance is, with its share sliding to some 20%. What happened?

Enter Blur, a marketplace that turned the tables to focus on high-volume traders over casual collectors. It offered more robust analytics for investors, treating the tokens as assets to be traded rather than artworks to be collected. It issued a token, BLUR, that incentivized activity on the platform. It upended the NFT market by trading volume, facilitating some $301 million in trades in its first few months in late 2022.

This profile is part of CoinDesk's Most Influential 2023. For the full list, click here.

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By February 2023, the new kid in town overtook OpenSea's market dominance, prompting pseudonymous cofounder Pacman to come forward. After a year of enjoying the privacy of pseudonymity, the marketplace founder revealed his photo and background information on Twitter as Blur's community had "grown exponentially" and his pseudonymity was harder to maintain as Crypto Twitter began to unearth his identity.

Based on the info he provided, CoinDesk found his name to be Tieshun Roquerre, a 24-year-old software engineer and founder of decentralized username trading platform Namebase, which was later sold to DNS provider Namecheap.

Today, OpenSea is still the go-to platform for the art-forward and NFT newbie, consistently leading the market in daily active users. But Blur retains its mainstay for the power trader with a 76% share of trading volume, according to Dune Analytics data.

Logik's image of Pacman for Most Influential 2023.
Logik's image of Pacman for Most Influential 2023.


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Elaine Ramirez

Elaine is CoinDesk's head of audience development.

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