Trading volume on the OpenSea non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace experienced a significant decline in August, reaching its lowest point in two years at $106 million, as reported by Dune Analytics. This marked the lowest trading volume since April 2021.
A notable development in this decline was OpenSea’s decision to disable the Operator Filter onchain tool as of August 31. This tool was responsible for enforcing the collection of royalties. Unfortunately, this decision did not receive the level of support that the OpenSea team had anticipated.
Billionaire Mark Cuban criticized this move, considering it a substantial mistake. He viewed it as damaging the trust in the marketplace and potentially harming the entire NFT industry. Additionally, Yuga Labs, the studio behind the popular NFT collection known as the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), announced its plans to terminate its cooperation with OpenSea by February 2024.
Towards the end of August, journalist Colin Wu accused OpenSea of blocking users who were involved with the Tornado Cash mixer. Wu pointed out that the investigation into this matter is ongoing, suggesting that these restrictions are a result of the platform’s proactive and strict control policy.
It’s worth noting that a rare NFT (#8585) from the BAYC collection was sold for a significantly reduced price of 153 ETH (~$254,000), representing an 80% decrease in value over 11 months.
In June, the total volume of royalty payments for NFT collections also reached a two-year low, with a total of nearly 1,000 ETH.