OpenSea’s Betrayal: A Fiery Requiem for the NFT “Industry”
The recent move by OpenSea to drop support for creator royalties is merely the latest indicator that the so-called NFT ecosystem has devolved into nothing more than a cesspool of speculative gambling and greed. It’s also the last straw for me personally. As both a creator myself and the CEO of an NFT platform built to empower artists (not speculators), I view OpenSea’s decision as an utter betrayal of the community and the supposed values underpinning NFTs. It is now abundantly clear that the “industry” serves only to enrich a tiny cabal of insider traders and tech bros, not the artists and creators who provide the actual value. I will not shed a single tear when the final embers of this dumpster fire are extinguished.
What Happened at OpenSea
Last week, OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, announced that it will stop enforcing creator royalty fees on secondary sales. This means that the original artists who minted the NFTs will no longer receive a percentage of profits when their work is resold on OpenSea.
Previously, creators could set royalty fees from 0–10% when minting new NFTs on OpenSea. The marketplace would then automatically deduct the royalty percentage during each resale and pay it to the original creator. This was a core value proposition of NFTs — allowing artists to benefit from secondary sales and maintain an ongoing relationship with their work.
However, in a shock move, OpenSea stated that enforcement of royalty fees will become optional starting August 31st for new mints. For existing collections, mandatory royalties will be discontinued by March 2024.
The company cited complaints from sellers, difficulties enforcing royalties across platforms, and a desire to “empower more forms of creation” as reasons for the change. But many in the NFT community see it as a blatant money grab at the expense of creators.
The decision sparked immediate backlash, especially from blue-chip NFT brands like Yuga Labs, creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Yuga Labs decried the change and stated they will prevent newer NFTs from being traded on OpenSea in protest. Numerous…