The past few weeks have been a dark time for NFT lovers and players in the cryptocurrency industry, but for startups and executives that are dug into the vision of a crypto future, it’s also been an opportunity to double down.
This week, Uniswap announced that it has made a new acquisition, buying up NFT marketplace aggregator Genie for an undisclosed sum. The purchase was made by Uniswap — the startup — which has raised million in funding from firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Paradigm to help build Uniswap — the decentralized exchange protocol.
Users know Uniswap as a decentralized way to swap a wide variety of tokens; this new acquisition will bring non-fungible tokens into the mix. Genie gives users to the library of NFTs available across marketplaces and makes it so that they can see and trade NFTs across most of these platforms. Uniswap’s team say they will be using the product to build a Uniswap NFT vertical into their platform, which will launch this fall.
The company’s bet on NFT aggregation is a bet on the diversification of NFT marketplaces over time. At the moment, the vast majority of NFT volume takes place in OpenSea though some competitors like LooksRare and Magic Eden are showing signs of chipping away at parts of their market share. Coinbase has seemed to botch the early rollout of their own NFT marketplace, suggesting that OpenSea may be a pretty big market leader to unseat.
The timing of the acquisition comes as the future of NFT trading volumes has been thrown into question as the broader crypto market has plummeted. While total transaction volumes over the past month have only fallen slightly, the USD volume of NFT purchases has tanked more than 66% according to DappRadar.