OpenSea Opts for Ethereum Proof-of-Stake Post Merge

The NFT marketplace giant won’t support Ethereum forks, but OpenSea competitors might


Blockworks Exclusive Art by Axel Rangel


key takeaways

  • OpenSea processed $31 billion in trading volume since its inception
  • Other platforms won’t necessarily follow OpenSea’s selective stance, a crypto exec told Blockworks

OpenSea will support the proof-of-stake Ethereum chain once the network’s highly-anticipated upgrade — the Merge — is completed. 

The Ethereum Merge will shift the blockchain from its current proof-of-work consensus to a more environmentally friendly version which is 99.9% more energy efficient. The event — expected to occur on or about Sept. 15 — has driven many crypto platforms to gear up for the change.

“First, and most importantly, we are committed to solely supporting NFTs on the upgraded Ethereum PoS chain,” OpenSea said in a Twitter thread on Thursday.

It also referenced potential Ethereum PoW forks that may try to launch alternative chains, noting that existing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum proof-of-work mechanism will no longer be supported or reflected in OpenSea’s marketplace.

OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace for crypto collectibles on the Ethereum blockchain and has touched $31 billion in trading volume since its December 2017 launch, DappRadar data shows.

Many have branded Ethereum’s upcoming transition as a defining moment for the blockchain space. Most platforms that currently run on Ethereum will also support the PoS chain because not doing so would effectively cut them out of the ecosystem, according to Asaf Naim, CEO of decentralized application developer Kirobo. 

“However, I do not expect these platforms to follow OpenSea’s selective stance,” Naim told Blockworks. “I expect we will see these platforms inclined to also support a forked chain that remains on POW.”

“It is worth noting that any forked chain will lag behind the new PoS chain in terms of both use and price,” Naim added. 

Stablecoin provider Circle has taken a similar stance to OpenSea’s, saying it will solely support the PoS chain, and that its USD Coin (USDC) can only exist as a single valid version. Combined with a similar decision by Tether regarding its USDT stablecoin, the lack of support is poised to wreak havoc on DeFi applications on any forked chain.

Web3 platforms prepare for the Merge

Several platforms apart from OpenSea have also announced contingency plans to support the transition. DeFi lending protocol Aave recently proposed halting ether borrowing until the Merge, pointing to potential issues in liquidation transactions due to high utilization. 

NFT marketplace LooksRare also announced its mitigation plan, saying it would go into maintenance mode shortly before the event. The plan is designed to prevent replay attacks by temporarily suspending trading until after the Merge. Absent such precautions, users who execute trades on an Ethereum PoW fork could be at risk of losing their NFTs on the post-Merge Ethereum PoS chain.

Crypto exchanges have also announced support for the Merge transition, but some may be more accommodating of Ethereum forks, unlike OpenSea. Coinbase will briefly pause new ether and ERC-20 token deposits and withdrawals as a precautionary measure.

Both Coinbase and Binance have said they will consider listing ETH PoW forks if they arise post-Merge.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Top Icon.png


Osmosis thrived in H2 2023 on the back of increased DeFi activity deriving from recently launched Cosmos-related projects and better market conditions. With new value accrual mechanisms for the native token, Osmosis is well-positioned to continue its strong performance in 2024.



Though the opposing flow trend is likely to slow over time, industry watchers note, bitcoin fund assets could one day eclipse the $90 billion gold ETF space


Celestia had the first mover advantage. EigenDA has staked ether. What sets Avail apart?


Bitcoin moved 1% higher Monday morning in New York, Matrixport analysts say $62,000 could happen next month


It’s hard to believe right now that crypto — even with all of its flexibility and massive capabilities — could ever be like cash on the internet


Michael Saylor announced Monday morning that MicroStrategy bought 3k more bitcoin after the X account was compromised over the weekend


Plus, Pudgy Penguins grows its brand and a group of Autoglyphs sell for $14.5 million