Should Rarible protocol add a fee?

Use the comments to discuss your thoughts on why or why not.


Firstly, as a builder leveraging the Rarible Protocol in our Open Source Storefronts project and at, I want to begin by saying thank you to all the protocol developers for the incredible work you’ve done. Not only is this technology incredibly advanced but it is engineered in a way that makes it accessible to developers at all skill levels. I believe this obsession with accessibility is both extremely generous and exactly the type of service necessary in fostering the sustainable growth of NFTs.

Long term, I believe it is extremely important to keep the option of a protocol fee open. However, in its current state the Rarible Protocol, its documentation, and the developer relations around it are not stable enough to warrant a fee. I feel strongly that not only would a fee be premature due to the protocol’s current limitations but also destructive in achieving sustainable growth.

As a builder using the Rarible Protocol, our fates our intertwined. It is paramount to both my own projects and to the future of the protocol that the long term growth of this technology and the community around it is not cut short by short term thinking. IMHO, the number one goal for this protocol should be the rapid growth of its community. A community of builders, contributors, and end users is what will make or break the success of this project.

The success of a protocol requires a critical mass of community to inform the trajectory of its development and the processes around its dissemination. Charging a fee at this moment would only serve as a barrier to adoption and hinder the growth of the protocol when growth is most vital.

Lastly, FREE is an incredible marketing strategy and is the best way to garner the critical mass of community necessary to the success of this protocol. FREE may illicit the growth of a marketplace of applications that prove more lucrative than a base fee ever could be but there is only one way to find that out. Thank you. Xoxoxo


Thanks for the great input @jacob

I would like to probe a bit:

  • is any fee out of the question in your mind? Like, even 0.05% or something - just curious.

The reasons why I think it might be useful are:

  1. It could have a positive impact on RARI price if people see it is a revenue generating project
  2. It would prevent us from having to sell RARI to USDC or DAI every month

But I do see your point around focusing on adoption first. I’m not sure it’ll be easier later though.



Hey all, I would very much like to see an analysis on the possible effects of adding a fee right now. For different levels of fees:

  • How would the fee compare to other NFT exchange protocols / competitors of similar size?
  • How much revenue would it bring the DAO?
  • How might it effect the growth of the protocol?
  • How might it effect RARI price? (Might be mostly a guess, but we can look at other tokens before and after adding a fee to their protocols, if possible.)
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I don’t think any fee is out of the question. I do think it requires careful analysis of the costs vs benefits as @m0zrat is suggesting with his points. What’s most important to me is that there is a well thought out process for determining the best long term strategy.

I think we should not be discussing the fee in abstract but the process to determine the fee.

  • Who are the best stewards of this?
  • Who has most to gain from short term financialization of the protocol and who has most to lose?

The most important question is probably - “Are Rari holders the correct group to make these decisions?”.

A Rari holder could use a project like this to drive up the price of Rari and then dump the tokens. Maybe there should be a staking requirement for voting on Protocol decisions to incentivize long term thinking? Also, it seems important that builders on the protocol and Rari holders become more aligned. Maybe, this means certain protocol projects should have a vote relative to transaction volume they create or be rewarded in Rari?

All of this to say, voting on fees before we vote on the processes that best align the protocol’s interests seems premature and potentially desctructive. xoxox


Personally I am long-term bearish af on community-extractive fees / rent-seeking from protocols. Short-term moats (UIs, network effects from contract approvals, etc) will dry up from forks, leapfrogging, etc while fees race to zero.

A simple atomic swap protocol is just about as low in the protocol sink as you can go. A fee is simply not called for – inert public infrastructure does not need to extract fees from the community.

I think the 2.5% origin fee for dot-com is fine, they need to support their infra/team/etc. In this case, the fee makes total sense.

I think if the DAO actually supported the protocol (hosted the indexer, were doing active dev, etc) an extractive fee makes sense to pay for overhead (just like dot-com is doing).

I get the idea of allowing the DAO to capture the upside of increased transaction volume (if the DAO were the stewards of the protocol in the future, say). I think a global fee still feels bad in this case and would rather see things like:

  • protocol origin fees or rev splits for apps / projects built on the protocol that are incubated or done within the DAO
  • equity / token swaps for projects built on the protocol
  • speculation on $RARI pushing price up as products are shipped and the DAO grows

TLDR: Extractive fees feel like an archaic mechanism from industrial capitalism. I’d hope we could find more web3 native ways of capitalizing on the value a (free, and maybe one day trustless) atomic swap protocol brings to the community.

(edit) Something I’ve thought about before as a bit of a middle ground:

  • 0 global fee if origin fee = 0%
  • Some (flat, or proportional) global fee if origin fee > 0%

There’s a lot of great comments above.

IMO, a fee should be added, below is my logic:

  • I do thing the “mass market” of NFT applications is not crypto native web3 devs. These folks expect paying fees to use software.
  • I think that if we don’t set a fee, it actually sets the wrong message since I believe we should have a fee long term. As we start targeting larger and more established clients, it is important that these policies look professional.
  • “Extractive fees feel like an archaic mechanism from industrial capitalism” > sure, but if it generates a ton of revenue, even if temporary, I’m all for it.
  • The fee will be used to fund public goods and maintain / upgrade / expand the protocol (at least, that is the idea!). Right now, that is covered by .com, but we should move that to the DAO, and I consider this part of that equation.

To me the question is not so much around whether we should have a fee, but more around how much.


Some assumptions, I may be wrong with some of the below so plz correct if so:

  • 95%+ of the current exchange volume is from the dot-com origin, which has a 2.5% origin fee
  • The 2.5% fee rev is used to fill the dot-com operating treasury
  • All of the development / maintenance / centralized operating costs of the protocol are handled by dot-com
  • All funding of the DAO’s treasury comes from dot-com

It already seems like we’re extracting value from nearly all exchange users to 1) cover centralized infra costs and protocol development 2) fund the DAO / public goods [indirectly]

Adding a (global) fee on top of the origin fee at this time seems to then:

  • accomplish very little in terms of short-term revenue
  • disincentivize public usage of the protocol when there is already little to no adoption outside of dot-com

A fee might make more sense if:

  • There was a non-negligible amount of exchange volume happening outside of the dot-com origin
  • Public adoption of the exchange was trending upwards and we wanted to capture that upside