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As OpenSea Flexes Marketplace Influence, Some Users Are Worried

Twitter users are reacting to OpenSea’s seemingly haphazard verification processes and constant policy changes. The marketplace recently flipped-flopped on its stance on creator royalties before deciding to continue enforcing creator fees on all existing collections.

Users are now complaining that OpenSea is “unfairly” verifying certain accounts while disabling others.

According to one user named nirozin, all of his wallets on OpenSea were suddenly disabled “after 2 years of trading for a total of million of $ and thousands of NFTs on several wallets.”

When he emailed customer service, the OpenSea Customer Experience team responded that his accounts had been found to have violated their terms of service, but provided no further explanation.

Nirozin’s collection is reportedly one of many smaller creators who have had difficulty getting verified.

Others claim that OpenSea has “obstructed” verification and “manually removed the request verification button” for specific collections, citing OnChainBirds as an example.

Users are also commenting on another move announced by OpenSea on Thursday regarding its stance on enforcing creator royalty fees. It stated in a Twitter thread that it will hand over ownership of the list of Ethereum marketplaces that have been blocked for “not respecting creator fees” to a multi-signature collective.

OpenSea, Nifty Gateway, Zora, Manifold, SuperRare, and Foundation are members of the Creator Ownership Research Institute (CORI), which will enforce the use of the blocklisting “Operator Filter” tool that OpenSea introduced last month.

It supports the Royalty Registry, an on-chain contract that assists marketplaces in properly allocating royalty amounts to the appropriate recipients. CORI allows contracts that did not previously support on-chain royalties to easily add them.

According to one user, it gives the impression of a “cartel,” and it would be “better if it was controlled by respected artists rather than marketplaces.”

Another user warned, “If a sufficient percentage of the cartel is forced to implement any unpopular feature, they will try to force everyone to do it in order to prevent other exchanges from stealing their market share.”

OpenSea claims to be acting on a “existential imperative for the space to preserve creator fees,” but this move comes at a time when NFT marketplaces are divided between defending the royalty scheme for NFT creators and ensuring they maintain their market share of users and sales volume. Experimenting with different policies could have come at the expense of its customers.

Nonetheless, OpenSea remains the most popular Ethereum NFT marketplace. It recently stated that creators on the platform would earn more than $1 billion in 2022 directly from creator fees on secondary NFT sales, excluding sponsorship revenue, engagement incentives, and grants.

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