eBay, an e-commerce giant, has announced the acquisition KnownOrigin, a nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace that will help the e-commerce company foray further into the world of blockchain technology and digital collectibles.
According to a press release on Wednesday, Manchester-based KnownOrigin has been purchased for an undisclosed amount. The firm enables artists and collectors to create, purchase and resell NFTs via blockchain-enabled transactions. KnownOrigin co-founder David Moore in a statement said that the company was founded to "empower creators and collectors by giving them the ability to showcase, sell and collect unique, authenticated digital items," adding that:
"As interest in NFTs continues to grow, we believe now is the perfect time for us to partner with a company that has the reach and experience of eBay."
eBay began allowing users to buy and sell NFTs in May of last year, at a time when increasing public interest in digital collectibles resulted in precipitous price increases. In May, the e-commerce giant announced its debut collection of NFTs through a collaboration with OneOf, a green NFT platform. eBay chief executive Jamie Iannone said:
"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."
The move signals eBay's continued interest in leveraging cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to improve its operations. eBay is one of the first e-commerce sites, and it is now aiming to become the preferred destination for Generation Z and illennials. Earlier this year, Cointelegraph reported that the firm has been looking to integrate crypto payment options for quite some time.
Related: Online marketplace eBay to allow NFT sales
Over the last few months, hundreds of NFT projects have appeared in the cryptocurrency world, seemingly emulating the multimillion-dollar sales of digital artwork on online markets. The inclusion of NFTs in an established market like eBay, with approximately 187 million active buyers, has the ability to extend the frenzy for even longer.