OpenSea ditches the original NFT artist

OpenSea closes the door on artist royalties

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The Future. OpenSea, one of the largest NFT marketplaces, is ending the practice of enforcing royalties for artists when their NFTs are resold. For OpenSea, it’s a move to stir up activity on the plateauing platform. But for artists, it’s just stirring up frustration as they lose another revenue stream and ongoing connection with their work. With the promise of endless monetization fading from the blockchain, NFTs may no longer be the gold rush it once was.

Dumb contract
OpenSea may be sinking the creator-driven NFT business model.

  • The company announced it would no longer enforce royalty fee payments starting August 31st for new collections and March 2024 for existing collections.
  • After the deadlines, the fees associated with any given work will be treated as an optional tip — buyers don’t have to pay those fees if they choose not to.

Announcing the change, OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer called the fees “ineffective, unilateral enforcement” and said creators will find new ways to make money. 

But those royalty payments — which OpenSea enforced at 0.5% of sales, but which creators could set up to 10% — were the lifeblood of smaller artists. While their collections may not have sold high initially, a surge in popularity down the road might lead to huge windfalls.

And on the flip side, it’s not like OpenSea is getting rid of its fees…

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