NFT REVIEW The End of Mandatory Royalty Fees on OpenSea

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have emerged as a novel way for artists to monetize their work, with the promise of receiving a cut every time their piece is resold. However, this promise appears to be fading. OpenSea, once the largest NFT marketplace enforcing royalty fees, has announced a significant change in its policy, leading to a broader discussion about the future of the NFT ecosystem.

OpenSea’s Decision

OpenSea has declared that it plans to stop the mandatory collection of resale fees for artists, starting March 2024. These fees will essentially become tips—an optional percentage of a sale price that sellers can choose to give to the original artist. If the seller opts not to hand over any money, that will be their prerogative.

This decision comes in response to the declining NFT market and the race among marketplaces to lower fees to attract sellers. OpenSea will cease enforcing royalty fees on all new NFTs starting August 31st, and the fees will become optional on all sales by March 2024.

Market Response

The reaction to OpenSea’s announcement has been mixed. Critics argue that it will hurt small artists and undermine creators’ ability to control their relationship with buyers. Wildcake, the founder of the Posers NFT collection, expressed that the change is particularly disruptive to creators who built business plans around enforced royalties.

On the other hand, OpenSea’s CEO, Devin Finzer, views this as a necessary and positive change. He criticized the fees’ “ineffective, unilateral enforcement” and suggested that creators will find alternative ways to monetize their work.

The Broader Context

OpenSea’s move is not isolated. Another platform, Blur, has already overtaken OpenSea by enforcing only a 0.5 percent fee on most collections, compared to the typical 5 to 10 percent set by creators. This reflects a broader trend in the NFT marketplace, where platforms are reducing fees to remain competitive.

Implications and Future Directions

  1. Impact on Artists: The decision to make royalty fees optional may affect artists who rely on these fees. It raises questions about the sustainability of the creator’s revenue model within the NFT space.
  2. Marketplace Evolution: OpenSea’s decision indicates a shift in how marketplaces operate, leading to further changes in interactions with both creators and buyers.
  3. Innovation in Monetization: With the traditional royalty model being challenged, new and innovative ways for artists to earn from their creations may emerge.


OpenSea’s decision to end mandatory royalty fees marks a critical juncture in the NFT ecosystem. It highlights the tension between commercial interests and the rights and expectations of creators. As the NFT market continues to evolve, this development poses significant questions about the future direction of this digital asset class. It also opens the door for further innovation and adaptation, as creators, buyers, and marketplaces navigate the changing landscape of digital art and ownership.

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