If you keep up with blockchain news, you’ll know that cryptocurrency and NFTs are very closely intertwined. Both are blockchain-based assets, NFTs are typically purchased with cryptocurrency, and the developments that happen within the crypto industry almost inevitably trickle down to the NFT space as well.
But according to Devin Finzer, the CEO of OpenSea, this may not always be the case. In a statement to the Financial Times, Finzer has said that while the current state of the crypto market has affected NFTs, they could very well evolve past cryptos and thrive regardless.
NFTs and Crypto
It is no secret that the rise of NFTs was partially predated by the rise of cryptos as a whole. The public had already had years of getting used to digital assets via cryptos before NFTs came on the scene. But while they have had a good run, Finzer believes that we might be paying for NFTs using fiat moving forward.
“It is not necessarily the case that NFTs will always be bought and sold denominated in cryptocurrency as they are today. There are a variety of reasons why that makes sense in the current ecosystem, but as we get broader and more accessible, there is no reason that NFTs could not at least be denominated in US dollars,” he said.
He also noted that NFTs have certainly been affected by the ongoing crypto winter and predicts that it will have a ‘prolonged downturn’ which will leave OpenSea with about 300 employees. He clarified that OpenSea, which is backed by such companies as Coatue and Andreessen Horowitz, is prepared to ride out the current situation.
Finzer also touched on NFT-focused regulations. Around the world, more regulations are being put in place to oversee the NFT space and while Finzer is in support of these, he once again emphasized that the crypto and NFT spaces are different and should not have laws blanket-applied to both.
“It is really important that regulators and government officials understand that this is not the same as the broader crypto industry where there is a lot of focus around financial use cases,” he said.
Overall, Finzer appears to be positive about the future of the NFT space, current issues aside. He noted that people are engaging more with NFTs inside of their homes and that hopefully, more people will do the same over time.
Should NFTs be Separate From Crypto?
On a smart contract level, NFTs cannot be divorced from cryptos, given that they are both based on blockchain. But Finzer has a point in that people can, in the future, pay for NFTs with cryptocurrency.
This would also mean that NFTs will not be as affected by the state of the crypto market and can also be targeted towards a wider market. After all, there are people who are interested in NFTs but not necessarily crypto. Regardless of how soon NFTs are separated from crypto, if at all, Finzer seems confident of its future.