artist royalties

Weekly Recap

79AU | 11.9-17

Featured Artworks of The Week

VanDi, Abstract in Pink

Since beginning his digital art journey in 2001, VanDi has explored various mediums such as photography, film, and, most recently, digital drawing. earlier this year, VanDi began a new series of digital abstract paintings titled “Color Abstractions.” The artworks in this series sit somewhere between Bauhaus-style and Abstract-Expressionist style while leaning into modern color combinations that result in playful harmonious images. Each piece is designed to work both as physical and digital wall art.

VanDi, Abstraction in A Minor
VanDi, Finish Line

Upcoming Events With Mint Gold Dust

You heard it here first — we’re going to Art Basel! From November 29th to December 5th, the Mint Gold Dust team will be in Miami for all things art and NFTs. Follow our Twitter to stay up to date on upcoming event announcements.

Mint Gold Dust Founder and CEO Kelly LeValley Hunt on Artist and Collector Royalties 

Smart contracts for Crypto Art and NFTs have a myriad of unique features that separate them from a sale of an artwork in the traditional art world. One of the most hotly debated differences is the ability to distribute payment automatically to the artist and automatically send the art piece directly to the collector on the primary sale. Royalties are then automatically distributed after a sale on the secondary market and any subsequent sales. This is something that the traditional art world has never been able to offer. 

Average NFT royalties on the secondary market typically range from 5 to 10%, and can be set at up to 20% on Mint Gold Dust. For most marketplaces, the creator can choose their desired percentage. Payments are distributed automatically via smart contract on the secondary market, and upon each subsequent sale. The challenge is if a collector decides to resell the work on a different platform to which it was minted, the artist’s royalties do not automatically follow. This is an important point for creators and collectors to consider when navigating the secondary market and is an area which innovators have been trying to address. However, the reality is that the complexity of managing cross-platform royalties is cost prohibitive and unaffordable in the long term for many Crypto Art marketplaces, especially in a Bear Market. 

Recently the NFT community has been abuzz after a handful of the largest and most widely used commercial platforms announced potential plans to no longer honor established royalties, making them optional rather than respecting the creator’s chosen royalty percentage. As a result, over the past couple of weeks, the term “Zero-Royalties” was born.

Artists across the space voiced their opinions on one platform’s decision in favor of “Zero-Royalties.” The highly anticipated upcoming release, Badam Bomb Squad, posted their position via creator BobbyHundreds Twitter, stating:

Bobby Hundreds on Twitter

Similar sentiment was echoed across the space with artists, creators, and platforms voicing their concerns. Artists and creators worried they would lose essential future income if royalties were not honored, inciting a protest that could not be ignored.

The comments on one platform’s Twitter thread echo this and are proof that the community will not easily forget the quick dismissal of one of the fundamental benefits and differentiators of creating art using blockchain technology. This platform has now reconsidered their stance and have decided to go in the opposite direction by enforcing creator royalties on their platform. While this is a win for those fighting for the creator’s financial legacy, an intervention like this still ignores the web3 ethos of decentralization and disrespects the part that the collectors play in the ecosystem. I think of this ecosystem like, ‘Does a flower grow and bloom without water?’ 

Mint Gold Dust Community Manager @GiraffeCupcakez comments, “Even with taking the time to build a creative solution that on the surface seems like a worthwhile fix, it’s not easy to dismiss the fact that this platform’s stance flipped only after public backlash.”

Enforcing collectors to honor royalties may also have the opposite of the intended effect, and perhaps the community should be spending time on changing the cultural ethos. In other words, rewarding collectors for opting-in to paying artist royalties rather than forcing payment should be encouraged. As an example, collectors who pay royalties could gain access to exclusive pieces not available to “Zero-Royalty Collectors.” Such a change would be a testament to the power of the NFT and Crypto Art community at large and just the beginning of the next “DEgeneration” of the Crypto Art ecosystem at work.

Rakkaus Art, Coming To Surface

As we now have a new and improved way of transacting with Blockchain and cryptocurrency, we need to start thinking about how we utilize web3 to improve the economic system of every sector, and not just rebuild what we already had with this new decentralized technology. If we continue with old and out-of-date ways of thinking, we only repeat our existence–never evolving, never changing our world for the better.

Mint Gold Dust believes that royalties should be paid to the artist, especially now that there is streamlined technology to auto-distribute these payments on a single platform. However, in the spirit of true decentralization, we also believe that collectors should have the choice to be a “Zero-Royalty Collector”. Therefore we will be looking at options to implement a “Zero-Royalty Collector” search mechanism on the Mint Gold Dust platform for pieces of art that do not have royalties attached to them.

This will be accomplished by creating a collector verification system that categorizes collectors into 2 categories, “Plus +Royalty Collector” and “Zero Royalty Collector.” This membership program will offer incentives to collectors who purchase Plus Royalty Artworks while making room for those who choose to collect only Zero-Royalty Crypto Art. 

Brooke Ganster, The Quest

This new model gives creators the opportunity to monetize their work the way they want on the primary and secondary markets on Mint Gold Dust. This is not technically addressing the broader picture of cross platform (secondary market) sales. At Mint Gold Dust, artists choose their desired royalty percentage for secondary sales on the platform upon minting, giving them control of their selling power. From the beginning, we have offered 10%, 15%, and 20% artist royalty options in our smart contracts, and soon we will be adding 0% royalties as an option. To learn more about our origin story where we discuss our founding royalty percentages, check out a podcast I did in 2021 here.

As the Crypto Art and NFT space navigates the royalty evolution, we will continue to provide a decentralized platform for smooth, on Ethereum blockchain transactions for artists, creators, as well as our Collectors. 

Write your memoirs on the “Plus+Royalty” topic in your profile on Mint Gold Dust and share the link with us on Twitter or post in our Discord

Did you read our latest 79AU article featuring interviews from Arabella, QueenEarth, and Everyday Research? If not, take a look at the article here for an insight into how they utilize NFTs as an extension of their artistic practice.

Ready to get started as an artist or collector on Mint Gold Dust? Check out our Metamask start up guide to get started. Ready to start minting? Apply to talk with our curatorial team today.