Solana-based Metaplex lays off staff following FTX collapse

Quick Take

  • NFT protocol startup Metaplex is laying off staff due to the “indirect impact” of the collapse of crypto exchange FTX.
  • Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research participated in Metaplex’s $46 million token sale earlier this year.
  • That round was co-led by Jump Crypto and Multicoin Capital, which also had exposure to FTX.

NFT protocol Metaplex laid off staff due to to the "indirect impact" of the collapse of crypto exchange FTX.

While the company said its treasury was not directly impacted and that its fundamentals remain strong, it will take a more conservative approach moving forward, CEO and co-founder Stephen Hess said on Twitter.

Metaplex is an ecosystem of tools on Solana that NFT creators can use for mints, airdrops and storefronts. Following FTX's demise, many NFT companies have scrambled to reassure their communities about any possible exposure to the once-popular crypto exchange.

“We will be re-focusing our efforts on a few key initiatives: Royalty Enforcement, Creator Studio, Fusion, Compression and continued improvement of dev tools and SDKs,” Hess said. 

Concern about possible fallout has centered on whether brands were storing treasuries on FTX, as happened with Solana-based gaming metaverse Star Atlas. None of the top NFT collections by all-time trading volume reported funds in the exchange, though Yuga Labs said it moved 19,700ETH off of FTX on Nov. 9.

Source: The Block Research, Breadcrumbs, Etherscan


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FTX's sister trading firm Alameda Research participated in Metaplex's $46 million token sale in January this year. The round was co-led by Jump Crypto and Multicoin Capital.

On Nov. 17 Jump Crypto responded to speculation that it was shutting down, stating it is still actively investing and trading. Around 10% of Multicoin Master Fund’s total assets under management is stuck on FTX, according to documents obtained by The Block, while its third VC fund also has exposure in excess of $25 million.

Metaplex did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication. 

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Callan Quinn is an NFT, gaming and metaverse reporter. She started her career working for the expat magazine City Weekend in Guangzhou, China. She also has worked as a business journalist in the UK, Somaliland and the republic of Georgia. Before joining The Block, she was a freelance journalist covering the Chinese tech industry. She speaks Mandarin, French and German. Get in touch via Twitter @quinnishvili or email [email protected].


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