Origin Protocol Considers Subsidizing OGN Rewards After Joining NFT Royalty Wars

The protocol is trying to keep its NFT marketplace competitive with OpenSea and Blur

AccessTimeIconMar 20, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:10 a.m. UTC

Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace builder Origin Protocol may rebalance its tokenomics as it tries to compete in the zero-fee royalty wars without also ostracizing stakers of OGN token, who depend on the platform’s now-slashed fee revenue.

The protocol is moving toward backstopping its OGN staking program with ether (ETH) and OGN subsidies funded by its budget, according to a governance proposal poised to pass on Tuesday. The action is designed to combat a short-term shortfall in the fee revenue that usually supports Origin’s popular yield program, which currently holds 11% of all OGN tokens.

But those fees are going to zero – at least until June. Earlier this month, participants in Origin’s on-chain governance approved a three month freeze to the 1.25% tax on NFT sales conducted through Origin Story, the protocol’s brand-focused NFT marketplaces service.

That move placed Origin Story in direct competition with OpenSea and Blur, the top two NFT marketplaces that are currently waging a zero-fee war to woo digital collectibles traders. Origin framed its own fee reduction as an effort “to gain market share at this critical time.”

“We will have a short-term reduction of platform revenues that would otherwise have been awarded to OGN stakers” because of the fee freeze, the subsidies proposal read.

At press time, Origin’s website dashboards showed the protocol’s rewards pools for both ETH and OGN were fully depleted, indicating there were no tokens available to pay out to OGN stakers.

“If this proposal passes," the proposal continued, "we invite the community and other team members to submit more specific proposals on ETH and/or OGN budget to allocate into the pool.”

With hours left in the voting, the subsidies proposal appeared likely to pass. At press time, 27 holders of Origin’s OGN tokens had voted over 1 million tokens in favor of passage, and none against. At least three participating addresses were associated with employees of Origin Protocol. Together, they comprised over 50% of the voting power.

Two employees of Origin Protocol’s product team did not respond to a request for comment.


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