$2 million: Coinbase Ventures, Blockchain Capital, Others invest in Marketplace for Crypto Collectibles

May 12, 2018
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A startup is creating an “eBay for crypto collectible” and some high profile names are interested. OpenSea is a platform for users to buy and sell crypto collectibles like CryptoKitties. The startup which came from accelerator program Y-Combiantor last year announced Thursday that it raised $2 million in a seed stage funding.

The seed equity round of funding was led by 1confirmation and featured notable cryptocurrency investors, Founders Fund, Foundation Capital, Blockchain Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Chernin Group, Stable Fund and Blockstack.

Crypto collectibles are gaining popularity since the success of CryptoKitties last year. Several digital collectibles have surfaced like cryptopets, cryptodogs, cryptobots, ethermon, the list goes on.

These are made possible by Ethereum Request for Comments proposal #721 (ERC 721) pioneered by the creators of CryptoKitties. Whereas most ethereum tokens use the ERC-20 standard, crypto collectibles use this ERC 721 or more recently, an ERC 821 standard. Crypto collectibles are different from cryptocurrencies or tokens in that they are scare and non-fungible; that is, there are not identical and are not interchangeable.

Given the growth of these crypto collectibles, a marketplace to buy or sell only makes business sense. According to OpenSea’s cofounder, Devin Finzer is hoping to benefit from flurry activities around these digital items. When CryptoKitties came out, it was this exciting, mainstream, fun use case for blockchain,” he told CoinDesk.

The launch of Cryptokitties, an ethereum-based decentralized application (DApp) for breeding digital cats, in November last year opened up a new opportunity for a relatively unknown use case for blockchain. It got so successful and popular that it weighed down the ethereum network with increased transactions. To date, over $23 million has been spent on CryptoKittes alone.

What has followed is a $12 million funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures in March and a lot of interest in the space. Rare Bits recently raised $6 million for its marketplace while OpenBazaar, a platform for physical items plans to support crypto items.

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It is interesting is that with the ERC721 standard that allows people to own their unique asset, items like licenses, software, etc. can be traded on the platform.



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