Photo by Matthew Smith

Today we’d like to share a number of changes we’ve made and will continue to make, to our creator management system. When we first launched MakersPlace, one of our primary goals was to build the easiest-to-use platform for artists to create and sell rare digital art. As you’re aware, creating and selling rare digital artworks requires interaction with a blockchain system. However, working with a blockchain requires a number of major technical hurdles to overcome, which include: managing digital wallets and managing “gas fees” associated with the blockchain. To make this process easier, we manage most of our artists’ digital wallets and reimburse all fees associated with the blockchain, so artists never have to think about these things. If you weren’t aware of any of this, then it means we did our job!

What are Gas Fees?

MakersPlace runs on the Ethereum blockchain, which can be thought of as a global computer, operated by many individual computers across the world. To help run the blockchain, each interaction with it requires a small transaction fee to compensate the operators of Ethereum — This is the Gas Fee.

When the Ethereum blockchain gets busy, the transaction fee increases based on supply and demand. 

You can find all the fees that MakersPlace has paid in your account manager.

High Gas Fees = Long Wait Times

Although MakersPlace pays for all gas fees, there are times when the fees become too high and it is no longer sustainable for us to pay these fees. In these cases, our system waits until the fees become lower. This has worked reasonably well, with wait times typically lasting no more than a few hours. However, over the last 2 months, gas fees have remained consistently high for extended periods of time, leading to major delays in uploading and setting prices for artworks. It’s become clear that this is no longer a sustainable option, from both a user experience perspective and financially. 

If you’ve ever needed to wait for your artwork or sale price to publish, this is the reason.

Our New Approach to Gas Fees

After many conversations and receiving feedback from the community, we’re excited to introduce a number of new features to help increase autonomy for artists, while managing gas fees in a manner that is sustainable. 

  1. A free option for when the blockchain isn’t busy.
  2. The ability to pay to speed up transactions when the blockchain is busy.
  3. An option to defer gas fees until an artwork is sold. (Currently being developed.)

A Free Option + Paying to Speed up Transactions

We will continue to pay the Ethereum transactions when the blockchain isn’t congested. However, when the network becomes busy, there is now an option to pay to “speed up” a transaction. All site actions that require interaction with the blockchain will have this option available. Both credit card and Ether is accepted as a form of payment.

It’s important to note that, even after speeding up a transaction, it can still take a few minutes to process on the blockchain. 

Speed Up: Uploading a new Artwork to the Blockchain
What will this mean for you?

If it’s important for you to upload your artwork in a timely manner, then you now have an option to do this by paying. Beyond this, it’s also important to start to keep in mind how gas fees impact the price at which you sell your artworks for.

For example, you don’t want to sell an artwork for less than the the blockchain fees required to create the artwork. We are working to make information like this available to you whenever you set a price on your artworks and when accepting offers, so that you’re mindful of this before making a sale.

Finally, if you’re using a personal wallet for creating and selling artworks, outside of creating the artwork, all other blockchain actions will now fully rely on your personal wallet.

Exploring Additional Options

The team is continuing to explore even more options to make the process of creating and selling rare digital art as seamless as possible. We’re currently working on an option that allows artists to defer gas fees until after their artworks are sold, as well as a few other improvements to reduce gas fees.

Since starting MakersPlace over 2 years ago, we’ve been blown away by the increasing excitement to create and collect rare digital art. We understand that it’s been a difficult few weeks as we’ve been working to adapt our platform to a highly congested blockchain. We want to say thank you for everyone’s patience and feedback during this time.


Get in Touch

If you’re a digital creator, you can learn more about MakersPlace here.

Ready to start your rare digital art collection? Join here.

Follow us on Discord, Twitter, Medium, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

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