By Michael Bodley
June 17, 2022, 6:28 pm EDT
- The up-and-coming NFT platform has been one of Crypto.com’s fastest-growing business lines this year
- Still, it’s up against steep competition from the likes of industry giant OpenSea and upstart Coinbase
Top digital assets exchange Crypto.com, fresh off a substantial round of layoffs, has parted ways with the head of its nascent NFT business, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Joe Conyers III helped the exchange get its first NFT (non-fungible token) platform off the ground when he joined Crypto.com in March 2021. Conyers, based in New York, left the Singapore-headquartered company last week amid a restructuring of the unit, sources said.
Sources were granted anonymity to discuss sensitive business dealings. A spokesperson for the exchange declined to comment on Conyers and the rationale behind the reorganization, but told Blockworks the NFT unit is one of the company’s “highest priorities.”
Conyers, a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, previously worked for technology firms and in the music industry. His next move isn’t known.
“He’s a big loss,” one source said.
One source said the restructuring, not a downsizing, was put in motion to improve efficiencies.
The platform — which competes with incumbent giant OpenSea and rival Coinbase’s upstart offering — lets digital collectible aficionados both mint and trade NFTs. Crypto.com makes money by taking a slice of transaction proceeds.
The emphasis on the new division comes as Crypto.com and other exchanges increasingly look to diversify revenue streams away from their historial bread and butter of taking a portion of the spreads between buyers and sellers as a market maker.
That once-steady cash flow has diminished drastically as deep-pocketed traders parse the aftermath of stablecoin UST’s collapse and crypto lender Celsius’ increasingly likely insolvency.
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Michael Bodley is a New York-based managing editor for Blockworks, where he focuses on the intersection of Wall Street and digital assets. He previously worked for the institutional investor newsletter Hedge Fund Alert. His work has been published in The Boston Globe, NBC News, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post.
Contact Michael via email at [email protected]