Alex Atallah and Devin Finzer: We Respect Copyrights

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OpenSea, a ubiquitous name for anyone who has dipped their toes into the world of non-fungible tokens. Yet, only a handful are familiar with the architects of this enterprise. Let's shed light on the youngest billionaires in the cryptosphere.
OpenSea was birthed in 2017 by two enterprising developers, Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah. Back then, the duo who would go on to helm the largest NFT trading stage were under 30 and lacked the financial resources to propel their project.
Their arsenal was merely an insatiable desire to pioneer their own digital item trading marketplace, a passion for the online game CryptoKitties, and modest programming experience in tech corporations.

The genesis of OpenSea

What catalyzed these prospective billionaires to actualize the proverbial American Dream, the narrative of a land of equal opportunities where anyone could amass wealth enough for a Lamborghini?

Their inaugural funding tranche of $2 million was amassed through the accelerator Y Combinator. This financial boost enabled Devin and Alex to relinquish their positions as salaried programmers, dedicating their hours to crafting the code of their forthcoming project, and affording the services of designers and a marketing expert. The platform took flight in 2018, with a quintet leading its promotional efforts.

The trajectory of this venture was shrouded in uncertainty until the twilight of 2020, when Nifty Gateway, a platform conceived by the Winklevoss twins, ignited a surge in the crypto community by initiating premium digital art auctions. An immediate demand for a similar, yet more economically accessible project was voiced by the community.

Fast forward 26 months after their debut, Devin and Alex's venture boasted a modest 4,000 active users, executing transactions amounting to $1.1 million per month. This translated into a paltry $27,500 in monthly income, considering OpenSea's 2.5% commission on sales. However, fortune favored Devin and Alex as they found themselves at the epicenter of a crypto-evolution. They unveiled their ambitious plans to steer the platform towards trading artistic NFTs and succeeded in securing $100 million from the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

By July 2021, OpenSea reported transactions tallying up to $350 million. The subsequent month witnessed transactions catapulting to $3.4 billion - a breathtaking tenfold surge, which yielded $85 million in clear profit from commissions for the company. These impressive statistics enabled the founders to draw an additional $13 billion in investments and augment the platform's capacities.

Today, the OpenSea crew numbers 70 individuals. The founders each possess an equal 18.5% stake in the company. Each founder's net worth is pegged at an estimated $2 billion.
Alex Atallah and Devin Finzer. Source: Forbs

Alex Atallah and Devin Finzer. Source: Forbs

What do we know about Devin Finzer?

Devin Finzer is a software engineer and entrepreneur. 

1. He was born in San Francisco in 1990 to a family of a doctor and an IT engineer.
2. Finzer is an alumnus of Brown University, one of the oldest Ivy League institutions in the United States.
3. He has a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics.
4. After graduating, he worked as a programmer at Pinterest, an image sharing service.
5. Finzer co-founded his first startup, Claimdog, a search engine, in 2015. He sold this startup a year later to Credit Karma, although the financial details of the deal weren't disclosed.
6. He met Alex Atallah in 2016 while they were both working on a project called WifiCoin. They had planned to develop a service that would reward users with cryptocurrency for sharing their Wi-Fi.

Their interest in CryptoKitties, however, led them to change their plans and focus on creating a marketplace instead.

Information about Alex Atallah

1. Alex Atallah was born to a family of Colombian immigrants in 1992 and was raised in Paris, where his parents relocated.
2. He later returned to the United States for his higher education. 
3. In 2016, he received his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Stanford University, followed by a Master's degree from the same institution.
4. After completing his education, Atallah worked at several tech companies, including Palantir Technologies and Dropbox. 
5. In 2012, he contributed to the development of Zulip, an open-source messaging platform, which was later acquired by Dropbox in 2014. Recognized as a promising coder, Atallah spent several years at Dropbox before leaving to co-found OpenSea.

According to members of the NFT community, Atallah and Finzer are notable for their humility, which is unusual for billionaires. They are also known for their responsible approach to copyright issues, and there have been no complaints about delayed royalty payments from the platform. In September 2021, they dismissed their product director within days after discovering that he was purchasing NFTs at low prices before they were listed on OpenSea's main page at significantly higher values.

It remains to be seen how Atallah and Finzer will navigate the challenges presented by the Blur project. Success in the crypto world often involves complex maneuvering and strategic plays.