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⚓️ say no to 0% royalties
evergreen Friday is turning more into ‘back to basics’ Fridays now.
either way, it’s admittedly a horrible name…
I guess I have to start brainstorming better ideas…as a lot of in the NFT world have to start doing too.
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welcome to the new Renaissance.
at least, that’s what NFTs were *supposed* to offer us early on, right? a return to the days when art and artists were valued at a cultural level…
instead, we’re already looking back on the not-so-distant past already asking ourselves: how did we get here? *cues up The Talking Heads*
let’s jump in the time machine and head back to March 2021 when Beeple has just had the most expensive NFT purchase ever. for me, this was the first time I had other people *not* on Twitter talk about NFTs.
the conversation was mostly asinine (the right-click savers were out in full force during those days), but it did feel like it was the dawning of a new age. NFTs were ushering in new artists and those artists were being respected and *paid* for their work.
some good did come of Beeple’s notoriety and fame…people began to start tying NFTs and art together in their minds.
to artists like Beeple, NFTs were attractive too. not only was it a digital medium that didn’t require physical prints, but it offered something even more valuable…royalties.
yes…tied to a blockchain, artists could collect royalties on their sales in perpetuity. this meant artists would *finally* be paid fairly for their work. and better yet, this translated beyond art sales, but all sales on the blockchain.
how could people ignore this innovation and pretend as though it wasn’t the future of *everything*?
I wrote last week about how valuable PFPs still are as digital assets, so I’m guilty of this too. however, when we now talk about NFTs in public forums these days (backyard BBQs, holiday meals, and Twitter), they are no longer associated with the *art*. instead, NFTs are more associated now with the *Apes*.
this I would say is generally bad. but it also is what it is. we would not be where we are today without the contributions of CryptoPunks, Bored Apes, Yuga Labs, and the NFT PFP.
that being said, those projects (and their infinite spawns), have defocused NFTs away from the art in a big way. can you name the artist who created the Bored Apes? probably not.
it shouldn’t surprise you then, that this shift in the way NFTs are viewed has changed the discourse too.
today, X2Y2 (a marketplace and OpenSea competitor) announced they would allow buyers to choose the royalties percentage they would like to contribute to projects. there’s been a call to make 0% royalties a thing, and Sudoswap is a platform that does exactly that.
royalties are no longer baked into the equation. what was first seen as *the* main feature of NFTs somehow became a bug. barely a year after the historic Beeple sale, we are already trying to devalue artists again…just like in the good ol’ Web2 days.
*cues up The Talking Heads again*
so how do we get it back to the artists then? the answer is not so easy when our attention has moved away from the art and more to the “utility”.
likely though, NFT art and NFT projects will live two separate and parallel lives on the blockchain. the great thing about the term “NFT” is that it’s all-encompassing and can represent many different ideas.
(to be fair, that can also be seen as a negative since the crap cash grabs get lumped in with the true art).
regardless of the path that NFTs take, I believe royalties must *always* remain a part of their story.
if we take them away (that again, are there in theory forever for you to collect), then what innovation do NFTs *really* have to offer?
how will we attract new, bold people to the blockchain without any incentives other than saying, “hey, it’s crypto, I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now. get in on it before it’s too late!”
NFTs are not only an upending technology, they are also upending ideologies that have long been ingrained in us.
if you personally don’t want royalties to be attached to everything project that’s fine, but we need the *concept* of royalties to persist and shine through still.
otherwise, we are back to the Dark Ages.