Today, eBay bought the NFT marketplace KnownOrigin, which is the biggest step it has taken so far into the world of digital collectibles. The online auction company won’t say how much the deal is worth, but they did say in a press release that the deal is done as of June 21.
David Moore, a co-founder of KnownOrigin, said, “This partnership will help us bring in a new wave of NFT creators and collectors.”
DappRadar says that KnownOrigin is No. 12 on the list of all-time trading volume for Ethereum-backed NFTs at $7.8 million. It calls itself “one of the world’s first and largest NFT Marketplaces.” OpenSea, which is ranked No. 1 and is one of the most popular marketplaces, has an all-time trading value of $30.43 billion, while Decentraland, which is ranked No. 8, has a value of $155.66 million.
Last year, eBay began letting NFT sales happen on its site. With the purchase of KnownOrigin, eBay will be able to run a real digital marketplace where NFT transactions can be monitored and controlled, instead of just being offered with the hope that the seller will send the NFT to the buyer’s wallet correctly.
At the moment, approved sellers on eBay can list NFTs in the same way they would list a physical item. Many listings include the NFT mint number and what kind of digital wallet the buyer will need to receive the transfer after the sale. eBay’s current NFT sales method has some restrictions, such as a maximum of $10,000, a “buy it now” model (no bidding or best offers), and a requirement that the buyer and seller be in the same country. NFTs can’t be sold with a physical item either.
The last thing, that you can’t attach a physical item to an NFT sale, is the most interesting. Earlier this month, eBay opened a new real-world vault to protect physical collectibles, with the option of letting the items be sold instantly digitally without ever having to ship them out. eBay wouldn’t say anything about whether or not NFTs and physical collectibles in the vault will work together in the future.
In the last year, eBay has put a lot of effort into its collectibles business. It has expanded its guarantee of authenticity to make sure that trading cards sold on eBay aren’t fakes, and it has started live auctions to show off even more collectibles. As a result of the pandemic, sales of collectible items are at an all-time high, and eBay is taking the chance to cover both digital and physical assets with the purchase of KnownOrigin and the eBay Vault, which, as of this writing, is still not a place where NFTs can be stored.