eBay has been eager to capitalize on the hype around NFTs, and today it announced it acquired KnownOrigin, a marketplace for buying and selling digital collectibles. (NFT is short for Non-Fungible Token, a unique digital asset backed by the blockchain.)
While eBay greatly restricts the sale of digital downloads on its marketplace, last year it announced it would allow “trusted sellers” to list NFTs on eBay. And last month, it entered into a collaboration with a company called OneOf to sell NFTs on the eBay marketplace.
eBay doesn’t explicitly say whether it will use KnownOrigin’s technology and expertise to work on making the eBay platform NFT-friendly or if eBay will simply push buyers to KnownOrigin for NFT purchases.
In a LinkedIn post, KnownOrigin wrote, “We are excited to share the news that we have joined eBay to help lead their NFT and digital collectibles strategy with the mission to build out their web3 capabilities.”
Here’s what eBay CEO Jamie Iannone said in today’s announcement of the acquisition:
“eBay is the first stop for people across the globe who are searching for that perfect, hard-to-find, or unique addition to their collection and, with this acquisition, we will remain a leading site as our community is increasingly adding digital collectibles.
“KnownOrigin has built up an impressive, passionate and loyal group of artists and collectors making them a perfect addition to our community of sellers and buyers. We look forward to welcoming these innovators as they join the eBay community.”
You can find the full announcement on the eBay corporate blog, where eBay did not disclose the purchase price.