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In Highly Controversial Move, OpenSea Lowers Fees to 0% for “Limited Time”

As part of the race to the bottom in the NFT sector, OpenSea will adopt Blur’s no-fee approach.

OpenSea, the top NFT marketplace, said in a Tweet on Feb. 17 that it would temporarily remove its marketplace price, intensifying the competition for market dominance with zero-cost platform Blur.

OpenSea highlighted fierce competition in the NFT space as the basis for their policy shift.

“There’s been a major shift in the NFT ecosystem,” the company announced on Twitter.

“In October, we started to see meaningful volume and users move to NFT marketplaces that don’t fully enforce creator earnings. Today, that shift has accelerated dramatically despite our best efforts.”

OpenSea also declared that it will amend its blocklist of other marketplaces that do not honor full royalty payments to creators, and that it would now allow sales on NFT marketplaces with similar practices, like Blur.

The rivalry between OpenSea and Blur has heated up with the debut of Blur’s native cryptocurrency on Tuesday.

BLUR is now rated #117 among all cryptos by CoinMarketCap, with a 24-hour trading volume of $509 million; the coin is currently trading at $0.0976 after debuting on February 14 at $0.50.

The token’s trading volume hit $500 million shortly after the airdrop.

Blur surpassed OpenSea in trade volume for the first time since its launch in October on February 15.

Despite the loss to Blur on the day, OpeaSea’s weekly volume was significantly higher. According to Nansen data, OpenSea’s weekly volume was 36,608 ETH. Blur’s weekly volume, by contrast, was merely 11,424 ETH. From February 7 and February 14, OpenSea had an average of 8.37 times more sales and approximately eight times more wallets than Blur. The gap between the two platforms, however, has shrunk and was the narrowest on Wednesday.

OpenSea had 19,908 total sales on that day, which was just 1.63 times larger than Blur’s 12,185 sales. The number of active wallets on each platform follows a similar pattern. The difference between the two is currently barely two-fold, indicating that competition between the two major markets is intensifying.

Blur issued a blog post geared at NFT creators on Wednesday, describing the differences in royalty payment methods between the two platforms and urged its users to blocklist OpenSea in order for authors to collect full royalties.

The debate over creator royalties has caused a schism between the two platforms, with OpenSea taking a hardline stance on the issue in November by launching a royalty enforcement tool, a move they have since reversed, despite widespread calls from artists who argue that royalties serve as their de facto pensions in the Web3 digital economy.

Royalties were formerly regarded to be the holy grail for NFT proponents, cited as one of the major reasons artists should use blockchain technology. In actuality, this is under threat since, in a race to the bottom, several NFT platforms have eliminated fees and royalties.

“Now, 80% of overall ecosystem volume does not pay full creator earnings, and the majority of the volume (even when inorganic activity is taken into account) has gone to a zero-fee environment,” OpenSea stated on Friday.

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