A Change in the NFT Landscape
Nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea has decided to retire its on-chain royalty enforcement tool, Operator Filter. This change aims to address the concerns and challenges faced since its inception.
The Rise and Fall of the Operator Filter
Introduced in November 2022, the Operator Filter was designed to allow creators to blacklist NFT marketplaces that did not respect their royalties. However, Devin Finzer, OpenSea’s founder and CEO, admits its success was less than anticipated.
Some NFT marketplaces, including Blur, Dew, and LooksRare, found workarounds, using the Seaport Protocol to elude OpenSea’s blacklists and sidestep creator fees.
Furthermore, the tool encountered resistance from creators who felt it limited their agency over their own works. As Finzer noted, the Operator Filter infringed on creators’ freedom and compromised the idea of decentralized ownership.
The Way Forward
While creator fees remain a critical aspect for many, Finzer emphasizes the broader landscape of NFT technology and its manifold applications. He stated that OpenSea’s journey is centered on powering these new applications, which include digital and physical redeemables.
Starting from the end of August, the Operator Filter will cease to impede any marketplaces. Yet, for those collections still using the tool, especially those on non-Ethereum blockchains, their preferred fees will be applicable until Feb. 29, 2024.
Reactions from the NFT World
While many in the NFT community voice concerns about the move’s impact on artists’ passive incomes, there are varied perspectives. Some view OpenSea’s decision as a setback for NFT artists, urging collectors to stand with creators by choosing platforms that enforce royalties.
Conversely, an avatar artist on Reddit thinks OpenSea may be onto something, hinting that the initial business model might have been excessively reliant on transient hype trading.
The discontinuation of OpenSea’s Operator Filter marks a significant turn in the NFT domain, underlining the evolving dynamics between creators, platforms, and collectors. Only time will reveal the full impact of this decision on the broader NFT landscape.