Sotheby’s, the renowned auction house, has entered the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with the launch of Sotheby’s Metaverse, a peer-to-peer marketplace for trading NFTs.
The platform operates on Ethereum and Polygon blockchains and allows users to buy and sell NFTs using ETH or MATIC tokens. It charges a 2.5% transaction fee for every trade.
The platform features a curated selection of handpicked artists, with 13 artists, including XCOPY, Tyler Hobbs, Claire Silver, Sam Spratt, and Refik Anadol, available at launch. Sotheby’s plans to rotate artists periodically.
One of the unique features of Sotheby’s Metaverse is its commitment to honoring artist royalties. The platform enforces royalties using smart contracts, ensuring that creators receive their fair share of the profits when their work is sold. Sotheby’s Metaverse is one of the few major NFT marketplaces that have pledged to honor artist resale royalties.
Royalties have been a hot topic in the NFT community, with marketplaces taking different stances on the issue. OpenSea, another popular NFT marketplace, announced in February that it would collect a minimum royalty of 0.5% on all collections.
According to a Dune Analytics query, NFT royalties paid to users have declined by nearly 75%, with the two biggest NFT marketplaces, Blur and OpenSea, generating less than $3.5 million collectively from creator royalties in the past seven days.
The decline in royalties paid comes amid a severe downturn in the NFT market, with collectors selling their NFTs for heavy losses, and volumes across NFT marketplaces dwindling. Interest in blue-chip NFTs has waned, causing their floor prices to drop.
Despite the challenges facing the NFT market, Bitcoin Ordinals, a project that generates unique digital numbers using Bitcoin transaction data, recently surpassed the two million inscriptions mark, providing a glimmer of hope for the future of NFTs.
Sotheby’s Metaverse represents an exciting new opportunity for artists and collectors to trade NFTs with the assurance of fair royalties and a trusted platform.