NFT marketplace Metaplex hires former Google dev as CEO, appoints advisory board

The Solana-based project has registered impressive growth since launching in June, underscoring heightened demand for digital collectibles.

Nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace Metaplex has hired a new CEO and appointed an advisory board comprising some of crypto’s most influential voices, setting the stage for the continued growth of the Solana-based project. 

Adam Jeffries, a developer with career stops at Google, Amazon, Citadel and Kaggle, has been appointed CEO of Metaplex Studios, the company announced Wednesday. Joining him is a new board of advisers that includes blockchain streaming platform Audius; CoinShares chief strategy officer Meltem Demirors; Cultur3 Capital co-founders Alex Yamashita, Mark Streeter and Rolf Hoefer; and Phantom chief product officer Chris Kalani. Rounding out the advisory group are Steven Irby, co-founder of Street Dreams Magazine, and Dylan Macalinao of Saber Labs.

In addition to his professional background, Jeffries was hired for his vast codebase knowledge, which includes roughly two-dozen different languages. He told Cointelegraph that his focus on the user experience through application development led him to eventually join Metaplex. He explained: 

“From my experience and also from watching the last decade of tech innovation, I know firsthand that in order for new technology to gain mass adoption, it needs to be simple and easy to use by everyone. So, building the right tools for people to interface with new technologies is incredibly important.” 

Metaplex launched on the Solana blockchain in June of this year and has since powered $385 million worth of transactions from NFT sales. Projects such as Degen Ape Academy and Aurory generated considerable uptake during their respective NFT drops in September.

NFT sales have soared to record highs this year, quickly becoming one of the most talked-about industries within blockchain and cryptocurrency. Sales topped $2.5 billion in the first half of the year before setting a single-month sales record of $4 billion in August.

Despite registering impressive growth in the first three months of operations, Metaplex trails several other leading NFT marketplaces in terms of sales volume. OpenSea remains the single largest NFT platform, according to DappRadar. Axie Infinity, CryptoPunks, SuperRare and NBA Top Shot round out the top five NFT marketplaces.

Related: NFTs could mark a resurgence in art galleries

As a result of heightened demand, venture funds have been keen to back promising NFT marketplaces. Recent data from Dapper Labs showed that projects focused on tokenized sports collectibles raised almost $1 billion in the span of a week, with Sorare accounting for $680 million.

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