Yuga Labs, the creator of the popular NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), has announced plans to sever ties with NFT marketplace OpenSea. This is in response to the platform’s proposed switch to an optional licensing fee system.
On Thursday, August 17, OpenSea announced that it is changing its framework for creator fees and making licensing fees optional for new collections after August 31, 2023. The NFT marketplace also stated that it would be disabling the operator filter, a feature that enforces creator licensing fees.
According to the announcement, for NFT collections that have utilized the operator filter until August 31, creator licensing fees will be enforced until February 29, 2024, after which the fees will become optional.
In the blog post, OpenSea explained the reasons behind its decision, stating that the operator filter was designed to give creators more control. However, the marketplace claimed that it did not receive the much-needed acceptance in the Web3 ecosystem.
Yuga Labs responded to OpenSea’s decision on Friday, August 18, by publishing an open letter on X (formerly Twitter), subtly criticizing OpenSea’s decision to make creator fees optional for all secondary sales of all collections until February 2024. The BAYC creator also announced plans to discontinue support for OpenSea’s SeaPort, a marketplace protocol that facilitates the buying and selling of NFTs.
In the response, Yuga Labs CEO Daniel Alegre said:
“Yuga Labs will begin discontinuing support for OpenSea’s SeaPort for all upgradable contracts and all new collections, with the aim of completing this in line with OpenSea’s approach by February 2024.”
Alegre pointed out that while the purpose of NFTs is to revolutionize true ownership of digital assets, it is also about empowering artists and creators. He added, “Yuga believes in protecting creator licensing fees so that creators are appropriately rewarded for their work.”
Yuga Labs’ stance is likely to be a significant blow to OpenSea, but perhaps not one that the market did not anticipate. In January, the BAYC creators blacklisted about four marketplaces – with an optional licensing model – from their Sewer Pass collection.
OpenSea also recently announced its decision to disable minting and listing of NFTs on the BNB Smart Chain. This move was justified by the “market’s need to align resources with the most promising efforts,” according to the post on X.
In the announcement, the NFT platform wrote:
“Starting today (August 18, 2023), you will not be able to create or list new offerings for BSC NFTs. However, you can still view, discover, and transfer BSC NFTs on our site.”
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Selected image by NFT Culture, chart by TradingView.