Declaring the move its "next experiment," the NFT collection DeGods is the latest to institute a 0% royalty policy. Calling the move the best decision for its business, it effectively removes the collection from potential future legal actions relating to artist royalties.
Non-fungible tokens, also known as NFTs, are cryptographically unique tokens linked to digital and physical content, memberships, or proof of ownership.
Prior to NFTs, the industry standard was to pay royalties to artists as a percentage of purchases on the secondary market. However, these follow-on sales were difficult to track—a problem that NFTs are well-positioned to solve.
But recent moves by artists and NFT marketplaces have shown a desire to move away from this model. Top Ethereum NFT collection CryptoPunks also has a 0% royalty structure, and other prominent creators are giving away all commercial rights to their work.
DeGods announced the change on Sunday, posting to the collection's Twitter account.
"We still believe that royalties are an incredible use case of NFTs," DeGods tweeted on Sunday. "We will continue to support creators that want to find solutions to enforce royalties."
Launched in October 2021, DeGods are a collection of 10,000 Solana NFTs. Holders of DeGods and DeadGods NFTs can stake those NFTs and earn DUST utility tokens for doing so. Dust Labs' DUST utility token was initially launched as a reward for DeGods holders.
The DUST utility token is currently trading at $1.27, down 4.7% since DeGods' announcement, according to data from CoinGecko.
DeGods says the new 0% royalties stance will apply to the t00bs and y00ts NFT collections.
"If royalties go away… I think the space will be more open to redefining what ‘rug’ means," tweeted DeGods pseudonymous creator Frank, referring to accusations that DeGods was a “rug pull” or scam. "For 5 months people labeled us a dead project & a rug."
In an effort to lower fees, Solana NFT marketplace Solanart had announced in August that it was "re-introducing" custom fees on the marketplace for buyers and sellers, tweeting, "This time YOU choose what's fair.”
Solanart took notice of DeGods' move to 0% fees today, defending the collection against claims that it is going to zero.
"We heard DeGods are going to ZERO? Well sell me all you want for 33.33 SOL then fuck off (& use 0% fees)," they tweeted.
Crown Capital DAO founder Dylan Shub challenged the DeGods announcement on Twitter.
"Considering you made a big spiel when the royalty debate started about how you will be enforce royalties or deny service," he tweeted, "I would genuinely like to hear a bit more about how you arrived at this conclusion."
"This decision is not good for the space," @hyxttcrypto initially wrote. "In the short term teams have mint funds, but long term royalties are the main incentive for teams to keep active, motivated, be able to to grow and employ people in the space. DeGods are where they are because of royalties."
While some are critical of DeGods decision, others see a benefit to the change.
"It's weird that @frankdegods is needing to defend a move to 0% royalties," tweeted @Punk9059, the pseudonymous research director for the Proof Collective. "It's a SOL transfer from him to everyone else. And everyone else is mad."
"I am for royalties. But he just got millions off y00ts mint & raised VC funding,” they continued. “Seems very off to suggest this shows he doesn't care."
"They are just frontrunning the market," wrote DeGods fan @punk828_. "Everyone is already looking for zero royalties. This just forces teams to build outside revenue streams and actual businesses and not just be a jpeg project with no real world use case."
Even @hyxttcrypto adjusted his opinion a few hours later.
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