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OpenSea Makes Shift To Optional Royalty Model

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Yuga Labs – creators of the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection – has unveiled its plans to cut ties with NFT marketplace OpenSea. This comes as a response to the platform’s proposed shift to an optional royalty system.

On Thursday, August 17, OpenSea announced that it is changing its creator fees framework, making royalties optional for new collections after August 31, 2023. The NFT marketplace also disclosed that it would disable the Operator Filter, a feature that enforces creator royalties.

According to the announcement, NFT collections that utilized the Operator Filter up until August 31 will have their creator royalties enforced till February 29, 2024, when the fees will become optional. 

In the blog post, OpenSea explained the rationale behind its decision, saying the Operator Filter was designed to empower creators with greater control. However, the marketplace claims that it has not received the much-needed acceptance in the web3 ecosystem.

Yuga Labs Responds To OpenSea’s Decision 

On Friday, August 18, Yuga Labs published an open letter on X (formerly Twitter), subtly criticizing OpenSea’s decision to make creator fees optional on all secondary sales for all collections by February 2024. The BAYC creator also disclosed its plans to wind down support for OpenSea’s SeaPort, a marketplace protocol that enables the buying and selling of NFTs.

Daniel Alegre, CEO of Yuga Lab, said in the response:

Yuga Labs will begin the process of sunsetting support for OpenSea’s SeaPort for all upgradable contracts and any new collections, with the aim of this being complete in February 2024 in tandem with OpenSea’s approach.

Alegre noted that while the purpose of NFTs has been to revolutionize true ownership of digital assets, it has also been about empowering artists and creators. “Yuga believes in protecting creator royalties so creators are properly compensated for their work,” he added.

Yuga Labs’ stance will likely be a significant blow to OpenSea, but perhaps not one the marketplace wouldn’t have foreseen. In January, the BAYC creators blacklisted about four marketplaces – with an optional royalty model – from its Sewer Pass collection.

OpenSea Halts Support For The BNB Smart Chain

OpenSea also recently announced its decision to disable the minting and listing of NFTs on the BNB smart chain. According to the post on X, this move was informed by the marketplace’s “need to align resources with the most promising efforts”.

The NFT platform wrote in the announcement:

Starting today (August 18, 2023), you will no longer be able to create new listings for or make new offers on BSC NFTs. However, you will still be able to view, discover, and transfer BSC NFTs on our site.

This latest development brings OpenSea’s total supported chains down to 10, including Arbitrum, Avalanche, Ethereum, Optimism, Polygon, Solana, and the recently-added Base and Zora.

Crypto total market cap at $1.03 trillion | Source: daily TOTAL chart on TradingView

Featured image from NFT Culture, chart from TradingView


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