Earlier this week, Meta made headlines when the company announced details about forthcoming tools for Horizon Worlds, a virtual reality video game created by the company. Meta is creating new features for the game that will enable creators to sell digital items and art. In a blog post published on April 11, the company revealed that it would be taking a cut of 47.5% from all sales. First, they charge a “hardware platform fee” of 30% for any sales completed via the Meta Quest Store (a marketplace for VR-enabled apps and games). Second, there is a 17.5% fee that comes from Horizon Worlds itself. This announcement ruffled more than a few feathers. It seems like another case of a major corporation with billions of dollars taking advantage of independent artists. Yet, sizeable fees aren’t new to those regularly interacting with the blockchain. Nearly every prominent NFT marketplace has a variety of fees, and many NFT marketplaces are also rolling in wealth.

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So, what happened? Why is the discussion resurfacing now? As noted, Drift had a 24-hour public sale. In the NFT ecosystem, this kind of sale is known as a “limited open edition.” It’s basically a free-for-all where anyone can purchase an edition of the same NFT for a certain amount of time. Drift sold over 10,000 NFTs by the close of the sale, raking in more than $6 million. In response, some collectors started to ask Drift about what comes next i.e., about what utility he plans to add (free airdrops? live meet-and-greets?) to reward those who supported him. However, Drift has been adamant that he doesn’t owe anyone who buys his work anything. To him, and many others within the NFT community, art can just be for art’s sake. It doesn’t need to have any underlying utility beyond that. Others are underwhelmed by this ideology. They believe that NFT creators should support their community by giving back, especially when their project is so fantastically successful.

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So, what happened? Why is the discussion resurfacing now? As noted, Drift had a 24-hour public sale. In the NFT ecosystem, this kind of sale is known as a “limited open edition.” It’s basically a free-for-all where anyone can purchase an edition of the same NFT for a certain amount of time. Drift sold over 10,000 NFTs by the close of the sale, raking in more than $6 million. In response, some collectors started to ask Drift about what comes next i.e., about what utility he plans to add (free airdrops? live meet-and-greets?) to reward those who supported him. However, Drift has been adamant that he doesn’t owe anyone who buys his work anything. To him, and many others within the NFT community, art can just be for art’s sake. It doesn’t need to have any underlying utility beyond that. Others are underwhelmed by this ideology. They believe that NFT creators should support their community by giving back, especially when their project is so fantastically successful.

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