Last night I got a cryptic email from OpenSea which started, “We are writing to you because your account has at least one inactive listing on an item. An inactive listing is a listing of your NFT that was never canceled and is still fulfillable.”
I always cancel my inactive listings on OpenSea and because I know the first rule of NFT safety: DO NOT CLICK EMAIL LINKS, I popped onto OpenSea to investigate. After clicking around on the platform a bit I finally got to the listings they said were inactive…but it didn’t make a lot of sense because they were active. I didn’t have any underlying listings that should have triggered an email like this, the likes of which I’ve never seen before.
It was late, I was tired, and I’m careful transacting on ETH because mistakes are expensive, so I just went to bed.
When I woke up there was another email from OpenSea offering “a bit more clarity on when we recommend canceling an inactive listing.”
This email did not live up to its promise of providing clarity but I got the idea. (They really need to hire someone (me?) to translate tech speak into something laypeople can understand – there are a lot of new folks using OpenSea who don’t know the lingo yet.)
When I logged into Twitter I saw this:
What feedback? From whom? Does this have anything to do with the cryptic emails?
(This OpenSea Support account was created on January 25, 2022, btw. This time last year we were just tagging devs on Twitter for help and account verification. My how things have changed!)
*slurps more coffee*
I’m guessing that with the influx of new artists to the NFT space over the past year OpenSea is a victim of its own success. Lazy minting is an attractive, affordable option for artists just getting started. You pay gas for your first couple of transactions and after that minting is free. The buyer pays the gas when they purchase your NFT. I’m sure their servers are overloaded. It’s clear their staff is, based on my experiences with support tickets going unanswered for extended periods of time and royalties not being paid out timely.
Still, a little warning to all of the folks who have been supporting and helping grow their platform for the past few years would have been nice.
This change to their contract limits was a surprise to a lot of artists who started collections and are now forced to discontinue them.
To me, the bigger issue I haven’t heard anyone talking about is how this change will impact the value of 1/1s and editions already minted on the platform. With the NFT space’s obsession with leaderboards, sales volume, and floor prices, it’s now impossible for artists to compete with 10k pfp project juggernauts, which are not impacted by this change – they’re minted on their own contract.
The net result is probably a win for artists. We’re being pushed into minting work on our own contracts rather than relying on OpenSea’s shared contract. That’s a best practice all NFT artists should adopt (me included 😬). This is very much a web2 (centralized) v. web3 (decentralized) conflict we’re going to be navigating for some time.
There are options like Manifold and Wemintart which enable artists to deploy their own contract without being required to write code.
Things move quickly in the NFT space, so in the time it’s taken me to write this post I’ve heard rumblings (unconfirmed) that OpenSea is reversing this change to their contract. Which kind of answers the question: whose feedback were they listening to regarding their creator tools?
It certainly wasn’t the artists.
And if rolling back this change to the OpenSea contract was in response to the collective outrage on Twitter, the platform is unstable.
OpenSea is a business, I get it. But limiting accessibility after extending it for so long is a sucky business model.
And a last little bit before I just hit publish because I could keep updating this post for hours…was OpenSea hacked? Sudden contract change, surprise OpenSea Support twitter account. Bored apes getting scraped by bots for way below floor and then flipped for astonishing profits. Hmmmm.
This last part is just tea…I’m not sure I buy the “OS was hacked narrative” but it’s entertaining nonetheless. Never a dull moment! Bee tee dubs, the featured image for this post is a POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol) I received during a big OpenSea dustup in September 2021 (the “insider trading” one). So yeah. FUN!
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