Revenue has evaporated nearly overnight at non-fungible token marketplaces like OpenSea, thanks to a fierce price war that’s sent many NFT trading fees tumbling to zero. Now it’s a waiting game to see who can survive the drought.
Blur, a marketplace that has no transaction fees, started picking up steam in October and eclipsed OpenSea’s weekly volume by December. It kicked into overdrive in February when it started offering users tokens in its native cryptocurrency based on how active they are, essentially paying them to trade. By February, nearly 80% of global NFT trading was taking place on Blur, according to data compiled by Hildebert Moulié, a data scientist at Dragonfly Capital.
To compete, OpenSea has eliminated its transaction fees in what it calls a temporary move. Some smaller NFT startups like Rarible are holding off on cutting fees, saying doing so would be unsustainable. But with trading fees under pressure, NFT marketplaces are exploring ways to diversify, including charging NFT creators to promote their collections.