Blur, currently the largest NFT marketplace on Ethereum as measured by trading volume, took a critical step toward decentralization this week, sending its users newly minted governance tokens that will give them a say in the protocol’s direction.
The BLUR airdrop rewarded active NFT traders and comes as a welcome stimulus package to an industry that has suffered a steep year-over-year decline in trading activity.
BLUR has a total supply of 3B tokens, of which 360M, or 12%, were claimable by eligible users on Tuesday. As of Wednesday night, New York time, BLUR was trading at $1.15, valuing the airdropped tokens at more than $400M.
So much free money hasn’t been distributed by a crypto protocol since Layer 2 network Optimism launched its OP token in April 2022.
Since its public launch in October last year, Blur has positioned itself as the most promising competitor to OpenSea and an ideological rival. OpenSea has long dominated the NFT market, but Blur has recently gained ground on the back of an airdrop campaign geared towards incentivizing usage of the platform.
Since December, trading volume on Blur has topped that of OpenSea in all but two weeks, according to data gathered by Hildobby, a pseudonymous data analyst at crypto venture capital firm Dragonfly.
It should be noted, however, that OpenSea still maintains a commanding lead in terms of active users despite the surging volumes on Blur.
Popular NFT collections have seen trading activity jump since the token launch, indicating that collectors could be using their airdrops to purchase more NFTs.
On Wednesday, Bored Ape Yacht Club volumes surged over 500% compared to the previous day, according to data from OpenSea. Meanwhile, nearly ten times as many Moonbirds changed hands.
Blur has positioned itself as the marketplace for professional traders. When it announced an $11M seed round led by crypto venture capital firm Paradigm, Blur said its mission was to “move the NFT space toward becoming institutional grade while increasing decentralization.”
With its airdrop, Blur has started to make good on the latter. And on Wednesday, it sought to further distinguish itself from OpenSea when it comes to creator royalties, a hotly contested topic that has major implications for the NFT space as a whole.
Taking Aim At OpenSea
Due to technical limitations, NFT creators must currently choose one marketplace to enforce royalty payments on secondary sales of their work.
“Our preference is that creators should be able to earn royalties on all marketplaces that they whitelist, rather than being forced to choose,” Blur wrote in a blog post published Wednesday. “To encourage this, Blur enforces full royalties on collections that block trading on OpenSea.”