Ascendant NFT marketplace, Blur, has declared war on leading NFT marketplace, OpenSea. In a statement released on February 15, Blur has promised to enforce full creator royalties for any collection that blocks trading on OpenSea. The move comes as retaliation for what Blur dubs OpenSea’s “non-competitive practices” that it believes sought to hurt the young NFT marketplace.
Yesterday we made an update to our royalty policy. Here’s the blog post accompanying that – it was meant to go out yesterday but due to the launch mayhem we weren’t able to publish until now. https://t.co/jeRcQYkvAr
— Blur (@blur_io) February 15, 2023
In a blog post, Blur’s team describes the policy change as a defensive survival tactic. “Creators that whitelist both OpenSea and Blur should be able to earn royalties on both platforms.” Before adding “Today, OpenSea automatically sets royalties to optional when they detect trading on Blur. We would like to welcome OpenSea to stop this policy, so that new collections can earn royalties everywhere.”
Blur launched last October and has quickly grown to become a main challenger to OpenSea’s dominance. Part of its growth has been fueled by incentives that sought to bring traders to its marketplace. For instance, the recent BLUR token airdrop was tailored to pull traders to the platform, and it worked to some degree. There were times when Blur was able to post higher trading volumes than OpenSea, even though a significant fraction of it could be attributed to wash trading.
The other incentive was making creator royalty fees optional at the height of the NFT bear market in a bid to encourage trading on its platform. While some marketplaces followed suit, OpenSea would toy with the idea before succumbing to creator outcry to introduce a tool that allowed creators to block their NFTs from trading on marketplaces that didn’t honor royalties.
OpenSea’s Policy Hurt Blur
This hurt Blur’s appeal to NFT artists as royalty fees, especially for prominent collections, can generate millions of dollars in revenue. Currently, the platform only enforces a 0.5% minimum creator royalty; however, traders can pay more if they like. This pales in comparison to OpenSea, where creators can ask for 5% to 10% on secondary sales of their works.
Their decision to get back at OpenSea has been welcomed by some users, who see it as an unavoidable outcome of OpenSea’s initial offensive move. While it’s not clear how long Blur can maintain its newly found popularity following its hugely successful airdrop, it appears the marketplace is bent on capitalizing on it by addressing peceived past injustices.
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Basil is an avid fan of blockchain technology and all its innovations, and he is passionate about sharing this narrative with his audience. He has spent over five years in the crypto space, specializing in research and creating Web3 content for various media outlets around the globe.