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What Are NFT Royalties And How They Work

A unique feature that sets NFTs apart from other types of digital art is their ability to distribute royalties to the original creators from resales.

For instance, when the digital artist Beeple sold an NFT piece for millions of dollars, he received a 10% royalty when the art piece resold on a secondary marketplace for 100 times the original sale price.

This is possible since NFTs have smart contracts built into them, which facilitate and enforce the terms and conditions of the transaction.

Here is a breakdown of how NFT royalties work.

How NFT Royalties Work?

With NFTs, when an artist or creator of an NFT sets it up, they have the option to customize the code using a smart contract.

This smart contract ensures that a percentage of the proceeds from the resale is sent back to the original creator.

The terms of the smart contract are secured by the blockchain, which will remain unchanged as long as the smart contract and blockchain exist.

These terms are usually defined by the marketplace where the NFT was created and sold.

Royalties can differ from platform to platform, how royalties work on OpenSea might be different to other marketplaces.

How Customizable Are The Terms Of A Smart Contract?

Since there are no laws that define the extent to which a smart contract can be customized, the creativity of the creator and the capabilities of the native blockchain are the only limitations.

However, market forces have established norms with the idea of perpetual royalty picking up steam within the NFT ecosystem.

That could change in the future and more finite terms could be established.

For instance, the terms could be set to ten years or twenty years.

That will all be determined by market forces without input from third parties.

Another factor that could determine this limit is the asset attached to the NFT.

For instance, the limits could vary depending on whether it is a digital art piece or movie ticket.

Benefits Of NFT Royalties

One of the main benefits of royalty systems via NFTs is that artists do not need to rely on third-party platforms to keep track of royalties.

That means that they get to keep most of their royalties, unlike current systems where most of the royalty fee goes to third parties such as IP lawyers and the studio managing an artist.

Another benefit is that since everything is defined in the smart contract, there is no risk that an artist will miss out on any royalties due to improper calculations.

Blockchain technology will ensure that artists never miss any of their money due to failures in the royalty system.


While NFT royalties are still in their infancy, the concept looks promising for creators and artists.

For now, the law on how to enforce NFT royalties is still murky.

However, as more people advocate for the sector, streamlined laws will be created, which will make the sector more appealing to the masses.

It could be especially useful for small artists who do not have the backing of large entities to ensure they get their dues from their work.

Josephine Tsang

Josephine Tsang

Software Engineer, Blockchain enthusiast, Bitcoin miner, gamer and anime fan. Love to share knowledge on the web (on my own blog, for immla, on twitter or reddit). Always on the look for the coolest and newest Web3 updates. Hope you guys enjoy my writing!

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