NFT.NYC has been dubbed the Super Bowl of NFTs. True to this honorific, NFT.NYC is the largest and most respected NFT conference in the world. Celebrating its fourth year, the conference returned for a three-day in-person event that brings together fans, influencers, and developers of NFTs. This year’s event attracted more than 15,000 artists and enthusiasts, and more than 1,500 speakers across multiple venues in the heart of New York.
Yet the climate surrounding this year’s event is notably different than those of the past. We’re in the midst of a historic bear market in crypto. This “crypto winter” has wiped out trillions of dollars in value from Bitcoin
Giving the NFT community a voice
Jodee Rich, one of the co-founders of NFT.NYC, looked back on how the conference has grown over the years. “NFT.NYC started in 2018 when I was having dinner with Devin Finzer, co-founder and CEO at OpenSea, and we were discussing how excited we were about NFTs and how hard it was to explain what they are by what they are not,” said Rich. “We decided we wanted to give the community a voice and that remains one of our core values today.”
Amid waves of criticism and skepticism surrounding NFT more broadly, NFT.NYC’s commitment to giving the NFT community a voice, bringing the community together, and educating the global market about the values of NFTs resonate with NFT.NYC goers. Attendees continue to flock to NFT.NYC. for the unique opportunities to rub shoulders with people working on like projects, and collectively educate the global community about the values of NFTs.
The looming opportunity for NFTs in media and entertainment
Rich says that this year, the event’s Brands track—one of several tracks—which focuses on how brands can effectively embrace NFTs and Web3 includes more speakers than the entire 2019 event. Rich, as the CEO of NFT.Kred, a platform where brands like Coach, Christie’s, and Gucci offer NFTs in a simplified user experience for consumers, has helped countless brands launch NFT offerings.
NFT.NYC is likely to draw an especially strong audience from media and entertainment players. Media and entertainment businesses have been among the earliest adopters of NFT technology, including more traditional outlets. Traditional media platforms such as the Associated Press, Time Magazine, and CNN have all embraced NFTs as important revenue streams.
Even legacy players in the entertainment and live event industries have been eager to launch NFT strategies—to not only diversify their revenue streams, but also to provide better and more unique fan experiences. Rich points to Live Nation as one notable example with its Live Stubs initiative that provides fans with NFTs as part of their event ticket purchases. Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino has said that Live Stubs bring “back the nostalgia of collecting ticket stubs while also giving artists a new tool to deepen that relationship with their fans.”
Through NFT.Kred, Rich also works with major names in sports and entertainment to harness the technology’s immense benefits for everything from events ticketing to empowering content creators. Indeed, Rich sees a massive opportunity for NFTs to propel significant innovation within live events and experiences. “You can hold an NFT in your wallet that will also give you access to an in-person event once that NFT ticket is scanned,” Rich shares. She adds, “the artwork can change and transition to be a commemorative piece of artwork that will live on as a memory of that event forever.” Rich also points to opportunities to use NFTs to engage with fans after live events for “special digital access, merch discounts, and other fan club perks.”
The limitless future of NFTs
While this year’s macroeconomic climate might be dampening enthusiasm for NFTs broadly, those in the know recognize that this is a long-term play with limitless opportunity. Beyond media and entertainment, Rich sees NFTs radically changing nearly every sector. “NFTs are going to disrupt most industries—identity, ticketing, brands, music, fashion, real estate, and more. We are still at a very early stage. This is the beginning of a long-term trend.”
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