OpenSea, a nonfungible (NFT) marketplace, appears to have weighed in on the debate over NFT royalties by introducing a new “on-chain” tool to assist creators in enforcing royalties.
OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer wrote in a blog post on November 6 that they have “watched the voluntary creator fee payment rate dwindle to less than 20%” in marketplaces where fees are optional, while in other marketplaces creator fees are “simply not paid at all.”
The CEO of OpenSea announced the launch of a new tool in the marketplace that will enable creators to deliver “on-chain enforcement” of their royalties.
The tool, which Finzer called a “simple code snippet,” enables creators to impose royalties on present and past NFT collection smart contracts as well as upgradeable smart contracts that have already been created.
Additionally, the code will limit the sale of NFT to only those marketplaces that impose creator fees.
The ability to enforce fees on-chain is clearly desired by many creators, and fundamentally, Finzer said, “we believe that the choice should be theirs to make — it shouldn’t be a decision made for them by marketplaces.”
Finzer added that while OpenSea will use an on-chain enforcement tool to enforce royalties for new collections, it won’t do so for new collections that don’t opt-in.
OpenSea is “not forcing people to use our specific solution,” according to Finzer in an accompanying Twitter Spaces. Instead, creators are free to use “whatever solution you want and implement it anyway,” he added.
Due to implementation difficulties, the tool won’t be made available for the time being for NFT collections that already exist.
Finzer suggests options like allowing optional creator fees, continuing to enforce off-chain fees for some subsets of collections, and working together on additional on-chain enforcement options for creators.
There has been a range of responses from the Twitter community and NFT creator. While “I don’t fundamentally agree with the removal of royalties, I do appreciate this execution,” Wab.eth, creator of the Sappy Seals NFT collection and co-founder of The Pixlverse and Pixl Labs, said to their nearly 60,000 followers.