Art Blocks, a leading figure in blockchain-generated art, has launched a dedicated secondary marketplace that comes with an artist royalty system.
In contrast to Ethereum NFT marketplaces such as Blur and OpenSea, where traders can choose to pay the artist royalties starting from a minimum of 0.5 percent of the sale value, Art Blocks’ secondary marketplace makes it mandatory for the artist to receive a royalty.
When an artwork is resold on the marketplace, the artist who created it receives a royalty of five to ten percent of the sale price.
The marketplace also allows art enthusiasts to peruse listed NFTs from all existing Art Blocks collections listed directly on the marketplace or from well-known platforms such as X2Y2 and OpenSea.
Erick “Snowfro” Calderon, founder and CEO of Art Blocks and the creator of the Chromie Squiggle collection, has been vocal about the importance of creator royalties in the NFT industry.
Calderon has also criticized market leaders such as OpenSea for their attempts to reduce royalties. He believes the decreasing trend of royalties harms artists who want to make a living from digital art.
The creator royalties are important because many artists have “quit their jobs to be full-time artists” to create art in the NFT world. That is why Art Blocks is committed to supporting artists and their creative endeavors.
Calderon explained that its launch timing was not influenced by the NFT market’s recent move away from these royalties. The CEO said this shift began in the summer of 2022 but gained momentum towards the end of the year.
The marketplace was built using the Seaport protocol, an open-source solution developed by OpenSea and Reservoir to facilitate its aggregation functionality.
The marketplace’s other highlights
Art Blocks launched the marketplace not only to respect artist royalties but also to highlight projects and individual minted pieces. Additionally, the platform aims to provide a secure space where counterfeit and fraudulent projects are kept at bay.
Rockland explained that the main Art Blocks experience involves the thrill of minting and obtaining freshly-minted pieces from the blockchain. However, he acknowledged that some individuals might prefer to browse and select from pre-minted pieces or discover certain projects after the initial minting.
“And I do think that the most compelling thing that’s going to happen is a creator that eventually provides a meaningful reward.”
Jacob Rockland, CTO of Art Blocks Inc.
By incorporating marketplace listings, Art Blocks hopes to offer a platform for artists to showcase their work even after the initial mint.
Calderon also highlighted that, unlike other platforms that introduce tokens during launch, the Art Blocks marketplace does not have a token. He said that Art Blocks has always been against the trend of introducing tokens just for their shiny appeal.
He explained that such tokens often lead to a liquidity rush during launch. As an alternative to these platforms, Art Blocks created a secure marketplace to better support artists.
Art Blocks has generated over $1.4 billion in sales since the platform’s launch, with several individual artwork sales reaching over $1 million each. Some notable projects in Art Blocks include Chromie Squiggles, as well as Fidenza by computer scientist-turned-generative artist Tyler Hobbs and Ringers by Canadian artist Dmitri Cherniak.