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NFT Community Splits Over Claire Silver’s Royalty Reform Call


In a recent X post regarding the NFT art realm, acclaimed artist Claire Silver expressed concerns about a notable drop in artist engagement and market dynamics attributed to diminished royalty payments. 

Royalties provide creators with income from secondary sales. Silver argues that reducing or eliminating this source of income diminishes artists’ earnings and deters their involvement, leading to a less dynamic NFT industry (though many disagree with this perspective). 

The collaborative AI artist elaborated on how royalty cuts have led artists to devalue the notion of scarcity in their works, resulting in no incentive for older collections, only new ones, adding that she’s “ashamed the space was so shortsighted.

Further, Silver outlined the domino effect of decisions behind royalties in the space: “The influx of artists stopped, so the enthusiasm left, so prices dropped, so collectors stopped collecting, and suddenly we live in a ghost town that should be a citadel. We need royalties back”.

claire silver nft royalty
Source: Claire Silver

Community Voices Debate

Reflecting on Silver’s post, celebrated artist ThankYouX—who pays homage to Andy Warhol with graffiti-inspired tribute—suggested that platforms and speculators prioritizing short-term gains over sustainable artistic ecosystems bear significant blame.

He remarks, “The whole space wasn’t shortsighted… a lot of collectors and most artists wanted to build something new and beautiful here. The flippers and platforms were shortsighted and shot themselves in the foot.”

Despite his concerns, he remains hopeful about the future. He believes that if OpenSea were to “go out of business”, it could be a positive shift. Additionally, he praises platforms like Magic Eden and others that continue to respect and implement royalty agreements, unlike the former. 

Notably, OpenSea faced significant backlash for deciding to discontinue its royalty enforcement tool last summer.

Read on: NFT Titans Voice Concerns over OpenSea’s Royalty Tool Cessation – NFT Plazas

Numerous voices on the social channel opposed Silver’s viewpoint, with one member asserting, “Royalties are definitely not the reason. It’s shortsighted to blame the mechanics of royalties. This only applies IF there are consistent sales, both initial and secondary. Most artists struggle to make initial sales. Even when they do, the revenue per sale is low.”

They went on to say, “You’re the exception to the rule. Royalties impact you much more than the average artist, who finds it hard to achieve initial sales across their collections,” drawing a connection between this gap and her prominence in the NFT art scene.

Others chimed in to support the relevance of royalties, with Avichal from Electric Capital arguing, “Royalties are definitely not dead. Marketplaces are paying out $1.5m per week in royalties. That’s a lot more than 0… Do you think this number is not enough given the current trading volumes?”

The debate surrounding royalties in the NFT art realm remains heated, highlighting the complexities and divergent perspectives within the community.

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*All investment/financial opinions expressed by NFT Plazas are from the personal research and experience of our site moderators and are intended as educational material only. Individuals are required to fully research any product prior to making any kind of investment.

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