Yuga Labs, the entity behind the popular NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), has announced its decision to halt support for OpenSea due to a change in the platform’s royalty model. In a tweet on Saturday, Yuga Labs revealed its plans to wind down support for OpenSea following the removal of Operator Filter, an on-chain royalty enforcement tool. The company aims to complete this process by February 2024, aligning with OpenSea’s approach.
Operator Filter was introduced by OpenSea in November 2021 to allow creators to ensure that secondary sales of their NFTs only took place on platforms that enforce creator royalties. This feature excluded platforms like Blur from participating in such sales. However, OpenSea recently stated that it will “sunset” the tool by the end of August due to a lack of adoption, loopholes that allowed platforms to bypass the tool, and resistance from creators.
In response, Yuga Labs took to Twitter to announce its gradual withdrawal from OpenSea’s Seaport marketplace smart contract. The company emphasized its commitment to protecting creator royalties and ensuring fair compensation for their work.
Yuga Labs’ decision received support from the BAYC community, as well as content creators and founders of other notable NFT projects. Dotta, CEO and co-founder of the Forgotten Runes Wizards Cult NFT project, expressed support for Yuga Labs’ move and highlighted the power of creators to shift towards marketplaces that prioritize royalty payments. Luca Netz, CEO of the Pudgy Penguins NFT project, also indicated that his project might follow a similar course.
The issue of creator royalties has become divisive within the NFT community. Initially, enforcing creator royalties was the norm during the NFT boom in 2021. However, platforms like Blur disrupted the market by offering zero trading fees and an optional creator royalty payment model. This led to a decrease in trading fees and royalty percentages as platforms competed for users. The NFT community is now divided between those who prefer the cheaper trading model and alternative methods of compensating creators, and those who strongly advocate for the payment of royalties.