Blur vs. OpenSea: But it’s the creators that lose

चलती चक्की देख के, दिया कबीरा रोये ।

दो पाटन के बीच में, साबुत बचा न कोए ॥

Looking at the grinding stones, Kabir laments.

In the duel of wheels, nothing stays intact.

The past few days have been crazy in the NFT space. Even though the pot had been boiling for a while, it just got interesting. To give you some context, it all started back in 2022, when a new NFT marketplace Blur emerged and started giving a tough fight to the NFT space’s leader OpenSea. That’s because Blur offered a trader-friendly platform with zero marketplace fee while doing away with creator royalties.

In response, OpenSea blocked the NFT creators from listing their collections on Blur if they want to earn creator royalties on their marketplace. However, with the latest $Blur token airdrop and rising metrics, OpenSea finally decided to bend the knee, saying, “it was moving to optional creator fees, with a 0.5% minimum, and it will no longer block creators from listing on marketplaces with the same policies.”

Now, it seems like Blur has won the battle this time by successfully using their leverage to pressure OpenSea to collaborate with them, but amidst all this drama, it’s the creators that lost the most. As the fog clears, creators realize that both the leading NFT marketplaces have reduced the royalty percentage to a bare minimum of 0.5%, regardless of creator preferences.

That’s not all; creators are also realizing that royalties, in fact, were just a social construct and were never written in the smart contract. Now the question arises, “Why are royalties not enforceable on-chain?”

Well, you can either head to this Twitter thread to get the full story and get your answer. In summary, an NFT contract or a smart contract cannot differentiate between an NFT sale and an NFT transfer. So, in essence, you can’t really enforce royalties in a smart contract.

And just like that, the concept of creator royalties has become a public good dilemma. So where do you stand on this argument? Should we find a way to enforce royalties on-chain or do away with royalties for once and all? Tag me on Twitter (@0xnarender) and let me know.

This week in Web3 Wednesday:

  • Blur overtakes OpenSea as Ethereum NFT volume doubles
  • Aave & Maker distance themselves from Paxos Stables
  • Crypto-AI protocol partners with electronics giant Bosch Global
  • Hong Kong contemplates letting retail investors back into crypto

Blur overtakes OpenSea as Ethereum NFT volume doubles

Following two straight months of sales growth, NFT trading rapidly accelerated over the past week as Ethereum NFT volume more than doubled.

According to data from DappRadar, Blur has generated $460 million worth of Ethereum NFT trades over the past seven days—a 361% increase over the previous span. OpenSea, meanwhile, saw a 12% increase in trading volume to $107 million during that period. The third-place marketplace, X2Y2, tallied barely $11 million in trades in that time.

Now, there’s a murmur on CT(Crypto Twitter) of OpenSea announcing its token. Do you believe OpenSea could announce its token to regain its leadership position?

Aave & Maker distance themselves from Paxos Stables

Top DeFi protocols Aave and MakerDAO are distancing themselves from Paxos-issued stablecoins after New York state’s Department of Financial Services ordered the firm to stop minting new BUSD tokens on Feb. 13.

On Sunday, members of Aave’s v2 network overwhelmingly approved a governance proposal to freeze the BUSD markets.

Meanwhile, finding its next prey, SEC has defined Terra’s Luna and UST as securities as well. It seems like SEC is hard-bent on taking away the stables from the ecosystem.

Crypto-AI protocol partners with electronics giant Bosch Global

According to Coindesk, Electronics giant Bosch and artificial intelligence-focused crypto protocol are teaming up to create a new foundation called the Foundation.

The Foundation will research and develop web3, the third generation of the internet powered by the blockchain, technology for real-world use cases in areas such as mobility, industry, and consumers. It will have a three-tier governance structure and be inspired by the Linux Foundation's decentralized innovation model.

Hong Kong contemplates letting retail investors back into crypto

In a new consultation paper, the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) proposed "to allow all types of investors, including retail investors, to access trading services provided by licensed VA [virtual asset] trading platform operators."

The proposal sparks new hope among retail crypto traders in the Hong Kong region.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has indicated its intentions to regulate stablecoins. On the one hand, it might create hurdles for stablecoin issues, while on the other, we might see the rise of non-USD-denominated stablecoins real soon.