OpenSea Slashes Royalties & Artist Spotlight Sam Spratt

Kevin is back with Derek in front of a giant LED screen at the Foundry DTLA. They are joined by Amanda and Eli. The crew talks about:

  • OpenSea royalty changes.
  • FriendTech, where you can buy shares of people using Ethereum.
  • Highlights of Grails Season 4.
  • Iconic artist Sam Spratt’s new project “Monument Game”.

and much more. Let’s get into it!

OpenSea Slashes Royalties

OpenSea made a splash and announced that they’re making royalties optional in the next few months, which means that most likley all royalties will effectively be zero as no one will pay them.

This is a blow for artists and PFP creators who launched projects hoping for secondary royalties to be additional income streams to make more art. Now this entire line item is wiped off and they can’t count on it as revenue anymore. Projects that hired many people might have to downsize or reduce the scope of things they want to build due to lack of royalty funding. Clubs also relied on secondary royalties; some promised benefits for years but may face difficulties now delivering those promises.

There’s artist who have already shared alternative ways of moving forward. For example, Xcopy suggests holding back 20-50% of an edition so artists can sell into the market when they need liquidity or additional revenue. Sam Spratt believes in human honor and trust for ongoing support: creating a human connection where you’ve given enough to receive behavior that usually requires enforcement in most other aspects of the world.

This all sounds interesting, but you have to take into account market dynamics as well: If an NFT company started selling some artworks from their vault for money, people might think they have lost confidence in their project. The idea of artists holding back collections is good for rainy days or retirement if not planning on selling anytime soon. Or what if an artist doesn’t want to sell at lower prices than current rates, but needs to pay bills – royalties were helpful for this exact reason.

We’ll probably see lots of experimentation before any convergence happens.

Friend Tech X

In simple terms, FriendTech is a platform where you can follow content creators. Currently, the platform is quite basic and only supports text, which is mostly used for hosting AMAs (Ask Me Anything) sessions on the platform by curating questions from their followers and answering them publicly for everyone to see.

Friendtech Logo

When you join FriendTag as a creator, a bonding curve forms around your profile. This lets others buy and sell into the curve in real time. As someone buys into a creator’s curve, they gain access to messages from that creator and can have conversations with them.

One of the exciting aspects of FriendTag is that it operates on an L2 solution called Base which significantly reduces gas fees when trading within someone’s bonding curve. This makes it more affordable for users compared to other blockchain-based products.

FriendTech also functions as a Progressive Web App (PWA), bypassing app stores while offering similar functionality like push notifications using React architecture. This aspect becomes important when considering crypto-native payments without rent-seeking transaction fees common in traditional app stores.

Although there could be regulatory concerns surrounding platforms like this one, experimenting with new technology helps understand potential trends shaping future applications used by millions of people worldwide.

Grails IV Recap Website

They then proceed to recap the Grails Season 4. The mint and reveal finished last Friday and the physical exhibition allowed collectors and artists to discuss the work from Grails in person.

One highlight was the Grails patron wall at the Foundry, which showed everyone’s names, letting people see who held Grail pieces over time, bridging digital collecting into the physical space. Despite challenges faced by NFTs lately, art is here to stay.

Check out the latest season video featuring incredible artists sharing their stories from inside their homes:

Artist Spotlight: Sam Spratt

Sam Spratt is an iconic artist who worked with big names like Logic, Kid Cudi, Donald Glover, Janelle Monae and even on games like Red Dead 2 before entering Web3. But when working for others, it can be easy to lose yourself along the way and not connect yourself to the world around you because you are focussed on money and clients.

His project Skulls of Luci is both about expressing his own experiences and exploring universal human themes we all share. As gratitude for supporting his first pieces (Birth of Luci), those who bid received a Skull of Luci which led him to paint 50 skulls total. The skull represents our many little deaths we experience throughout life – moments when we fail, then rise again stronger than before.

Sam believes growth should come naturally by being thankful for support given while also pushing ourselves further creatively. Instead of just giving away free stuff or selling more things quickly,
he wants members’ interactions with his art to be meaningful so they truly feel part of the journey.

Experiencing connections across networks made him realise, that art can be communal and participatory. It means image making isn’t enough; we need participation. That’s where the Monument Game came from.

The Monument Game by Sam Spratt

The game centers around one intricate painting named the Monument Game. This complex piece took months of writing stories before even creating sketches. But this artwork couldn’t just exist on Twitter or marketplaces—it needed its own space like a museum display does. So they created an entirely new platform together with Nifty Gateway. It’s basically a digital viewer, where you can zoom and pan around like using the Photos app on your phone, and also add notes or observations as easily as writing code.

There’s a one-of-one ticket along with 256 other tickets that let you observe and write down what you see and feel about the painting. After the auction ends on August 24th, these observations will be minted into limited editions – each unique because of their observer’s input.

Sam gave his already existing collectors one of those special tickets each. But they couldn’t keep them – instead passing them along so others could join in the journey. By doing so, he involved them in the creative process and fulfil a responsibility by voting for who joins this elite club.

August 21st is when the sale begins for 209 player tickets; then observations happen from August 24th. But don’t forget: Even without a ticket anyone can view the artpiece and others’ observations so we’re all looking forward to seeing what unfolds during these exciting days ahead!

Funfact: The painting is 20,000 pixels in the digital viewer but actually has 30,000 pixels. You could print it 35 feet wide with high fidelity!


They close out the show talking about Kevins OpenSea trade with Cirrrus, which involved several Mythics and Moonbirds, plus a Chromie Squiggle and some ETH for a rare glitch Moonbird.

Watch the whole episode below:

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