Announcing our $100M raise, led by a16z

A paradigm shift

It’s becoming increasingly clear that blockchains represent one of the most exciting paradigm shifts in the history of technology. Just as the Internet transformed the global distribution of information, so blockchains will reimagine the global distribution of value. But the question has always been: how exactly will this happen? Just as the Internet’s killer apps (like web pages and instant messaging) were difficult to predict early on, so too the killer applications for blockchains may be yet unimagined.

At OpenSea, we believe NFTs are emerging as one of the first consumer-oriented killer applications for blockchains. NFTs are a simple primitive for digital goods (think digital art, game items, domain names, and more) with brand new properties: they’re unique, provably scarce, liquid, user-owned, and usable across multiple applications. NFTs represent the building blocks for brand new peer to peer economies, where users have greater freedom and ownership over their data, and developers can build powerful, interoperable applications to provide real economic value to users.

From information transfer to value transfer

OpenSea’s immediate mission is to build the best possible marketplace for NFTs, and today we are proud today to remain the largest and most powerful NFT marketplace. But our broader mission is to help create the systems and standards that enable the conversion of all types of digital wealth into forms that are truly ownable and freely exchangeable. In other words, OpenSea’s broader mission is to turn the internet from an information transfer machine into a value transfer machine.

To further this mission, we’re announcing our $100M raise led by a16z, with participation from Coatue, along with Michael Ovitz, Kevin Hartz, Dylan Field, Kevin Durant, Ashton Kutcher, and Tobi Lutke. A huge thank you to a fantastic group of investors.

A multi blockchain future

As NFTs enter mainstream awareness, the technology underlying them is also evolving: the last few years witnessed a Cambrian explosion of new blockchains and scaling solutions. Today we’re officially announcing cross-blockchain support, starting with a gas-free marketplace on the Polygon blockchain. Buyers no longer have to pay blockchain fees when making trades on OpenSea, and creators can fully earn their way into crypto for the first time. Try it out here.

Join us

Today’s consumer internet feels stale. Market share has largely consolidated around just a few companies, with business models that rely on storing proprietary user data in the cloud. NFTs represent a new renaissance in the consumer Internet, and it’s a perfect time to join the ground floor. If you’re interested in a role at OpenSea, we are hiring across the board. We couldn’t be more excited about the journey ahead, and we hope you’ll join us.

Artist spotlight, July 2021

Introducing Leila Fakhrealami, Alice Labourel, and Army Risa.

I’m a Persian painter and my mixed-media female portraits capture a raw and emotive energy and expression that is a fundamental component of my path as an artist and human: my work overcomes my emotions, and is designed intellectually. Though my toolset spans from oil to watercolor and acrylic, it is my recent body of coarse and frenetic pen and ink compositions that I am showcasing on OpenSea.

OpenSea | Twitter | Instagram

French but based in Barcelona, I work as a freelance artist for architects and TV productions. As a former ballet dancer and architect, I tend to represent movement and poetry through my art, using 3D simulations, renderings, and strong atmospheres.

Each artwork tells a story that is open to interpretation, and my pieces are often based on mythological tales. I aim to stimulate the imagination with my work, and I hope my audience feels the emotion I put into every creation.

OpenSea | Twitter | Instagram

I’m a concept artist based in Indonesia. My art spans from the playful and cartoonish, to painterly realism. I have experience working in film, television, and animation, and stay active and inspired by incorporating improvisation and an expressive and consistent sketching routine into my day-to-day life. 

OpenSea | Instagram

If you’d like to suggest an artist or put your collection forward for consideration, don’t be afraid to let us know on socials. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t made any sales yet – we’re keen to spread the word about creators minting their first NFTs too!

Edition365: A portrait of the year that changed everything

Guest post by 1854.

An open call to artists

Since the coronavirus pandemic swept the world in March 2020, humanity has shared – and documented – an extraordinary experience. History has unfurled in front of our eyes; cracks in our systems have been magnified, and across oceans and borders, ways of thinking, acting, and existing remain in flux. 

Intended to stand as a historical reference for decades to come, Edition365 is the newest open call from 1854 and British Journal of Photography, set to produce a global and multi-faceted portrait of the year that changed everything. Edition365 will culminate in a major virtual exhibition in collaboration with growing nexus of the digital art space, New Art City, alongside a collectible photobook and an NFT auction. 

As the landscape of art continues to seismically shift in the digital age (and amidst the pandemic), the rise of NFTs has seen artists capitalize on new and unique ways to sell their work — in some cases for huge sums. “NFTs change everything for artists and art collectors,” says Marc Hartog, CEO of 1854. “As a unique digital identifier that cannot be copied or altered, NFTs verify scarcity and ownership of the underlying art, while opening up brand new ways for artists to connect with collectors and increase their net income exponentially.”

For Edition365, the winning artists’ work will be part of a collection that is sold in limited editions in partnership with a major environmentally conscious (layer2, PoS) NFT platform, with winning artists sharing 70% of the net income generated. 

“We are partnering with OpenSea as the largest marketplace in this space to maximize income for artists,” continues Hartog. “Edition 365 will create a uniquely compelling collection to auction as NFTs, alongside an opportunity for artists to be part of the most ambitious virtual exhibition New Art City has ever attempted. This is the beginning of a next-generation cultural shift. We are extremely excited to be driving it forward.”

Submit your work

Anybody, from anywhere, practicing any form of expression, can submit an Edition365 entry entirely free of charge (1854 Access Members can submit up to ten entries). Photographs, moving images, digital art, musical compositions, spoken word, and videos are all eligible, and the work can relate – whether directly or indirectly – to any of the significant events that have occurred in the last year.

The work should be created between 11 March 2020, when the World Health Organisation officially announced a global pandemic, and 10 March 2021: 365 days, captured in 365 artworks, by a vast and dynamic array of creators from around the world.

Enter Edition365 free now | Deadline: 19 August 2021, 18:59 EST

Artist interview: divergence_art

PROOF OF {ART}WORK, by generative artist divergence, uses NFT IDs as seeds for a mathematical equation to produce artworks. While the algorithm is simple, seeds that produce beautiful pieces are rare—and thanks to the butterfly effect, changing a seed by even a single bit results in a completely different image. As a result, not only are the tokens non-fungible but so too are the artworks.

The equation plots millions of individual points to produce emergent organic forms and smooth gradients, and the interactive explorer allows viewers to magnify greater than 4,000,000x to see the exquisite microstructure—all within the OpenSea listing. The total number of dots is governed by a mathematical property called divergence, which is used to price the tokens at 0.1ETH per million points as larger pieces are rarer.

The latest collection has 10 series, each with 3 qualitatively similar editions, to be listed for direct sale at 16:00UTC on July 14. An exciting addition is the introduction of a further 8x 1/1 editions of multi-seed composites that will be put up for auction shortly after.

Eagle-eyed collectors will see that Composites I and VI are missing… they’ve been withheld for an on-chain treasure hunt.

View the collection:

What’s an on-chain treasure hunt?

Persistence of NFT art is so important that I made sure to include my rendering software on the blockchain. Given a piece’s token ID, anyone can render a static image of the respective artwork at any magnification—to paraphrase DEAFBEEF, you need nothing but a Go compiler.

The treasure hunt is a fun way to demonstrate this by withholding two of the multi-seed composites and instead running a competition for collectors to find and render them. The first person to render one of the unseen artworks and post it on Twitter wins a po{a}w single-seed artwork of their choice, up to 1ETH in value. The runner-up wins one up to 0.5 ETH as long as they render the other unseen piece. Both withheld composites will then be minted and auctioned.

What’s unique about your process compared to what we’ve seen from the likes of ArtBlocks and Autoglyphs?

I love both of these projects, and deeply respect how they’ve paved the way for new directions in generative art.

Autoglyphs are the epitome of on-chain art, literally inside the contract. If I were to do the same, the gas cost alone would make it impossible to mint a po{a}w NFT. I instead store the Go source on the chain and perform rendering elsewhere as this allows me to push the boundaries of interactivity.

The biggest difference with Art Blocks is that their seeds are randomly chosen at the time of minting whereas most po{a}w candidate seeds are discarded. An exhaustive computational search for rare seeds is analogous to blockchain proof of work—finding attractive po{a}w tokens is like finding a valid block hash—so my art is in fact mined and has mathematically enforced scarcity. As with Ethereum mining, it’s hard to find a valid value but very easy to verify that it’s correct. The only difference is that po{a}w verification also uses the human eye.

One of the beautiful things about searching for my tokens is that since everything is based on fairly simple maths, the seeds and their resulting artworks have always been there. I’m merely finding them and giving people a new way to visualize them in all their complexity.

Isn’t proof of work the main driver of the environmental impact of blockchains?

Before I embarked on the project I performed an impact analysis to ensure that my mining would have negligible environmental impact. I calculated that mining a collection of 10×3 editions would use approximately 31kWh of energy, which is equivalent to a half-hour charge of an electric vehicle*.

The massive energy consumption of entire blockchains arises because miners are racing each other; everyone other than the winning miner has simply wasted their energy. I’m the only person mining po{a}w tokens, which is why the impact is negligible.

*Being the nerd that I am, I’ve cited my references in the artist notes of my Genesis collection.

What novel code did you write for this and what libraries did you rely on? Are you piecing together interesting bits of existing tech or building from scratch?

The frontend component of the viewer relies on an open-source project for interactive maps called Leaflet. The standard way of displaying online maps is to split them into a grid of “tiles“, but instead of pointing Leaflet to a geographical map, I wrote entirely bespoke backend software to render portions of the artworks based on the requested magnification and coordinates. Because of the sheer number of tiles that would otherwise be necessary, my software renders them on the fly.

Beyond the Go standard library, the only dependency is on an implementation of Hilbert curves, but it would be trivial to remove this if I wanted to be a purist.

What does it take to get something of this size to function smoothly in the browser? It must be tricky to transition across so many different scales?

I’m a senior engineer at Google and this was one of the most difficult pieces of software I’ve ever written. To give an idea of size, these are exapixel images—that’s kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, exa. If you were to print one at 250 dpi it would be larger than the area of Jamaica!

Rendering a static po{a}w image without time constraints is fairly easy, but catering for on-demand exploration meant that I had to take a more fundamental theoretic approach. In computer science, we have the concept of algorithmic “complexity”, which is a measure of how the number of steps performed by an algorithm grows with respect to the size of its input. There’s a similar concept that describes how much memory is required, and I’m bound by constraints of both time and RAM.

Using a construct known as a Hilbert curve, I was able to reduce memory usage to the theoretical lower bound (only 64 bits per point, regardless of the number of zoom levels) and a logarithmic time complexity. But even once I’d designed the algorithm, I still lost many nights’ sleep on the implementation!

Can you tell us more about your background and how it informed the project?

I’ve been writing code for almost 25 years now, since I was a kid. Throughout this time I’ve always considered myself to be creative but not in the artistic sense—I would literally create useful software from nothing, and this was a huge thrill. Coupled with my general curiosity and the fact that I become way too interested in subjects (proudly aspy), I’ve spent two and a half years exploring the emergent properties of the po{a}w equation. I’m by no means the first person to obsess over it, but I believe that my renderer provides a perspective never seen before.

My introduction to Hilbert curves came from the S2 geometry library while working as an engineer at Google. The real-world applications are at play every time you use Google maps.

Before becoming a full-time software engineer, I qualified as a medical doctor and worked for a short period in hospitals in Australia, before being lured back into the technical world. Although this didn’t influence the project, it gives you a glimpse of how deeply I go into rabbit holes if I think something is interesting!

Are there any good resources for creators looking to get into the world of generative art?

The p5.js Web Editor and reference are great places to start, especially if you’ve never written code before as they even explain foundational concepts. Art is a wonderful way to learn about software because of the immediate and readily understood feedback—the first code I ever wrote was in Logo.

If you already know the basics but want to take your art to the next level, then Tyler Hobbs’ essays are a must for honing artistic expression, and The Coding Train is an excellent artistic-coding resource. Keep an eye on my Twitter as I’m currently working on a new platform,, to help generative artists of all experience levels bring their work on-chain. I’ve got some very cool (but currently secret) features that I hope will help artists and thrill collectors at the same time! I should have something ready to share in a month or two… watch this space.