As of last month, up-and-coming NFT marketplace Blur began paying more royalties to creators who sell artwork on its platform than OpenSea, the NFT marketplace’s previous biggest hitter.
There are currently more artists being paid royalties via Blur, and the platform is also surpassing OpenSea in trading volume. Blur made a staggering $424 million in sales last week while OpenSea made only $92 million.
The sudden surge of royalty payments from Blur follows a new policy issued by the company that states creators are to delist their NFTs from OpenSea in order to get full royalty payments on Blur.
The platform’s move to steal creators from its main competitor is a part of the ‘battle of fees’ among exchanges. Initially, Blur also allowed a 0.5% minimum royalty fee as part of its effort to reduce users’ costs to zero. Its no-fees policy also prompted OpenSea to temporarily remove selling fees for many of its sales.
Traders and NFT creators have flocked to Blur since it was launched in January this year, mainly for the airdrop of its BLUR token. BLUR launched at $5 and despite the fact it collapsed 85% in a couple of hours, promises of another future airdrop incentivized inorganic trading activity on the exchange. In fact, it did so to such an extent that some collections like Bored Apes saw inflated floor prices compared to their listings on other exchanges.
The Blur bid pool also grew exponentially as bidders were also eligible for airdropped tokens. Blur users on Twitter laughed off claims that rewarding traders with BLUR for trading on the exchange does not incentivize “flipping.”
Blur’s approach is nothing new
As is the case with many other airdropped tokens when they see a drop in price, farmed BLUR is being sold off. There has also been criticism of the fact that a small number of holders possess a very large concentration of the tokens. Although, it must be noted that it couldn’t be confirmed if these statistics also include wallets owned by exchanges.
Blur has so far won a very unexpected battle against the world’s biggest NFT marketplace. However, its aggressive tactics regarding royalty payments are nothing new from a publishing and culture industries perspective.
Whether it’s Amazon squeezing book publishers or Google’s efforts to disrupt the press industry, aggressively extracting value from content creators has been common throughout web 2.0. And as Web 3.0 dawns, Blur is forging the same extractive type of relationship with creators.