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This week’s featured collector is Mortifiedmonke
Mortifiedmonke is a 22-year-old artist based in Upstate New York. Their artwork explores “concepts, styles, and mediums.” Browse Mortifiedmonke’s unique creations at lazy.com/mortifiedmonke
The Sudden Demise of NFT Royalties
We have been actively watching the NFT royalty debate for the last six months.
First, in Newsletter #70, we discussed the rise of SudoSwap, an NFT marketplace that does not pay royalties to creators.
Then in Newsletter #84, we discussed OpenSea’s strong defense of royalties, their declaration that “it’s an existential imperative for the space to preserve creator fees,” and their threat to blacklist marketplaces that did not respect royalties.
But none of that prepared us for this week’s dramatic culmination of the royalty debate: OpenSea has reversed course and no one remains to defend creator royalties.
The story of why OpenSea chose to reverse course is long and fascinating. It involves Blur, an upstart challenger that captured 70% of OpenSea’s marketplace volume, along with economic pressures from an NFT winter and a shift from platforms that earn profits from trading fees to platforms that earn profits from their native token.
For a deep dive into exactly what happened, we recommend reading The Royalty Wars.
With the royalty debate seemingly settled for now, creators are left wondering how they will earn an income from their NFT art. After all, for many artists the majority of their earnings came from royalties and not the initial mint. The lack of royalties could make things difficult for creators. Or perhaps it’ll instigate new approaches. Time will tell.
In any case, we are continuously amazed by the rapid changes happening within crypto and we look forward to seeing what will happen next!
This week’s poll: Do you support mandatory royalties for creators?
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