eBay Acquires Established NFT Marketplace KnownOrigin

eBay made its biggest move yet in the world of digital collectibles with the news that the company has acquired NFT marketplace KnownOrigin. The online auction company is keeping tight-lipped on the value of the deal, but confirmed in the press release that the deal is closed as of June 21.

“This partnership will help us attract a new wave of NFT creators and collectors,” said KnownOrigin co-founder David Moore.

KnownOrigin describes itself as “one of the world’s first and largest NFT marketplaces,” currently ranking 12th in all-time transaction volume for Ethereum-backed NFTs at $7.8 million, according to radardapp. The most popular and highest ranked markets include OpenSea (No. 1) with an all-time trade value of $30.43 billion and Decentraland (No. 8) with $155.66 million.

NFTs like this currently look like a regular eBay listing, with the seller having to explain in the body which digital wallet they need to purchase it.

eBay began allowing NFT sales on its site last year. With the acquisition of KnownOrigin, eBay has the opportunity to control a proper digital marketplace where NFT transactions can be monitored and controlled, not just offered with fingers crossed and hoped that the seller will successfully transfer an NFT to the buyer’s wallet.

Currently, approved sellers on eBay can list NFTs in the same format as a physical item, and many listings today share the details of the NFT mint number and what digital wallet the buyer will need to receive the post-sale transfer. eBay’s current NFT selling method also includes some caveats, such as a $10,000 maximum, a buy now model (no deals or best deals), and a requirement that the buyer and seller be in the same country. NFTs also cannot be sold together with a physical item.

The latest caveat of not being able to attach a physical item to an NFT sale is very intriguing as, earlier this month, eBay opened a new real-world vault to protect physical collectibles, with the option to allow instant digital sales of the articles. without ever sending them. eBay declined to comment on whether there will be any integration between physical collectibles in the vault and NFTs in the future.

eBay has been pushing its collectibles business hard in the past year, expanding its authenticity guarantee to make sure trading cards sold on eBay aren’t fakes and launching live auctions to showcase even more collectibles. Collectible item sales are at an all-time high in the wake of the pandemic, and eBay is taking the opportunity to hedge both digital and physical assets with the acquisition of KnownOrigin and eBay Vault, which, at the time of writing, is not yet a place NFTs are eligible to be stored.

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