Opensea has made several changes to its policy this week. Going forward, the platform will no longer support NFT transactions on BNB Chain and won’t enforce royalty payments on secondary sales.
The latest announcements have divided the NFT community as creators and collectors respond to the news.
Opensea to End Support for BNB Chain
In a statement on Friday, Aug. 18, OpenSea said that it would no longer facilitate NFT trades on BNB Chain. However, users will still be able to view, explore and transfer BNB NFTs on the platform.
Explaining the rationale behind the decision, OpenSea said:
“As our space evolves, we need to align resources with the most promising efforts. We’ve decided the cost to continue supporting [BNB chain] outweighs the impact.”
Reading between the lines, it looks like OpenSea is opting to refocus its energies on the much larger market for Ethereum-based NFTs, where it faces stiff competition from rivals.
OpenSea Claims it is Still Bullish on Multi-Chain, but Some Users Disagree
Having only launched the feature in November 2022, the decision latest is a blow to the NFT trading platform’s multi-chain ambitions.
However, OpenSea insists that it is “still bullish on a multi-chain future.”
As evidence of this, the company pointed to recently deployed Ethereum Layer 2 integrations that allow users to mint and trade NFTs on Base and Zora.
However, despite the firm’s renewed commitment to the multichain approach, users on X (formerly Twitter) pointed out that support for Tezos never materialized. Although the company promised to integrate Tezos-based NFTs onto the platform back in February 2021, users are still waiting.
Major Changes to OpenSea Creator Fees
The decision to cease support for BNB-based NFT trading isn’t the only announcement that has divided OpenSea users this week.
Creators generate income each time their NFT is sold on the secondary market. This was under the old system, which had been in place since November 2022.
To enforce the policy, OpenSea blocked transfers to platforms that didn’t agree to continue paying creator fees with each sale.
But from the end of August, NFT traders on OpenSea will no longer be obliged to pay artist royalties. The block on transfers to other marketplaces will also be lifted.
In a blog post announcing the changes, OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer argued that for the creator fee model to work, it would require the participation of the whole extended ecosystem.
“It was meant to empower creators with greater control over their web3 business models, but it required the buy-in of everyone in the web3 ecosystem, and unfortunately that has not happened.”
NFT Creators Lament Changes to OpenSea Royalties Policy
Unsurprisingly, NFT creators have responded negatively to the news. And many have denounced the move online and vented their frustrations at OpenSea. With one user responding:
Nice to see you making more poor business decisions based on incorrect assumptions of your data interpretations and further isolating your only loyal audience. Good luck with this.
Moreover, it isn’t just small artists that are disappointed by the potential loss of revenues.
Responding to the changes, Yuga Labs’ CEO Daniel Alegre said:
“As much as NFTs have been about users truly owning their digital assets, they’ve also been about empowering creators. Yuga believes in protecting creator royalties so creators are properly compensated for their work.”
The move means that Yuga Labs will effectively block all new collections from being traded on OpenSea. Where possible, it will also change existing contracts to prevent them from being listed there.
Previously, Yuga Labs has blacklisted NFT marketplaces, including Blur, SudoSwap, LooksRare, and NFTX, for some of its newer collections over their failure to enforce royalty payments.
However, collecting fees from trades of its most well-known collection, BAYC has proven more of a challenge. Due to the nature of the BAYC contract, it is unlikely that Yuga could unilaterally prevent the NFTs from being listed on OpenSea.
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