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OpenSea Wants to Go Public, but the Community Wants a Token

As the NFT trading volumes on OpenSea increased in recent months, everybody wanted to know if the company will decide to release its very own token. The company confirmed it does have plans, but they revolve around an initial public offering (IPO) which means that an OpenSea token may not happen.

OpenSea confirmed it has hired Brian Roberts for the Chief Financial Officer position; Roberts left Lyft where he held the same position.

Roberts declared that he is working on the IPO of OpenSea:

“When you have a company growing as fast as this one, you’d be foolish not to think about it going public,” saying that it “would be well-received in the public market given its growth.”

But since the IPO plans spread on social media, crypto natives started to bemoan the fact that OpenSea seems to avoid the idea of community ownership through a governance token.

Arthur Cheong, the founder of DeFiance Capital, stated:

“Imagine being the largest and most successful NFT marketplace yet choosing to go for IPO instead of issuing [a] token. Not gonna make it.”

NFT collector Punk_2070 wrote: “Sucks to hear OpenSea is selling out and doing an IPO. Their VCs didn’t get them to where they are today. We did.”

But OpenSea didn’t say it wouldn’t issue a token. There is always the chance of creating a hybrid model that uses a traditional IPO with a community token. But the talk about IPO has made many think that the NFT marketplace will go on a traditional corporate governance model and not on a decentralized one driven by a token.

Meanwhile, Rarible released a RARI governance token which offers incentives to creators and collectors, and SuperRare did the same thing with the RARE token.

Alexei Falin, the CEO and co-founder of Rarible, stated:

“We have a little bit different approach to OpenSea. We are trying to be a Web3-native company—decentralized as much as we can.”

Cooper Turley, a DAO builder, wrote:

“Crypto companies going public will never make sense to me. Give ownership to the community that makes you valuable. Tokens will win over equity every time.”

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