The crypto market has crashed. Digital art trading has declined. But for the world’s largest gathering of NFT enthusiasts, the party has become more difficult than ever.
More than 15,000 people are expected to gather at Times Square this week for NFT.NYC, a conference dedicated to non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, a technology that has been compared to digital certificates of authenticity and which enthusiasts The Internet itself claims to be the future of everything from the industry and collectibles. Due to the rise in crypto prices, NFTs turned over $ 40 billion in the market last year.
And as a digital movement built on irresistible positivity, the NFT community has shown some signs of shaking its confidence in recent market problems.
“It’s a build market,” said Travis Wright, co-host of Bad Crypto Podcasts and an MC of the main speaker stage of the event at Radio City Music Hall on Tuesday. With the help of sponsors like Coinbase, the conference rented the legendary theater, which recently announced that it was laying off about 1,100 employees, about 18% of the staff.
“Did you feel at this conference that it was difficult right now?” Joel Kom said Wright’s podcast partner and co-MC. “No, that’s a great thing.”
Inside the nearby Marriott Marquis, where the conference rented six floors, crowded hallways, vendors occupied almost all available floor space. Many in the crowd, mostly teenagers and men in their late 30’s, were in a position to form their own ideas about how to improve the future of art and digital collections.
The NFT market has been growing steadily for several years and then exploded in 2021. But the price of some NFTs has dropped dramatically, and the number of NFTs trading accounts has finally dropped this year.
Meanwhile, the broader crypto market has also declined significantly. Ethereum, the cryptocurrency that serves as the backbone of most of the NFT and other Web3.0 projects, is now worth between one-third and one-fourth of what it was last year.
But attendance at NFT.NYC is estimated by event organizers to be three times that of its last meeting in November. Undeterred by “Crypto Winter”, participants paid between $ 599 and $ 1,999 for tickets, then waited in a long line around the block to enter the Marriott.
And many of the participants who spoke to NBC News suggested a mix of optimism and inevitability around NFT technology. While many still see it as the early days of NFT, people are well on their way to experimenting with their own projects.
David Angelo, who started an NFT art project called Naughty Giraffes, a collection of 10,000 giraffe cartoons with three friends, said he had a long-term belief in technology.
“Not everyone is going to make it,” said Angelo, who wore a giraffe dress to the conference. “Not everyone will be able to reach the promised land, which may be longer than we all expected and we all hope.”
Like many participants, Angelo, an early crypto receiver, stated that he personally enjoyed the crypto winter weather and saw it as an investment opportunity rather than a sign that the NFT market was on the rise. But he acknowledged that those who had invested in space before the crash could still hold the bag.
He is not alone in his long-term optimism. Despite the crash, venture capitalists continue to invest in NFT and other Web 3.0 companies.
FalconX, a platform for digital asset transactions, was valued at নতুন 8 billion in a new funding round, the company said Wednesday. Magic Eden, an NFT marketplace launched in 2021, has raised an additional $ 130 million. And Meta released an NFT-for-beginners guide on Wednesday, part of the company’s larger push to convince its users that it’s the home of the virtual world.
Some even see real-world applications. Jeanne Anderson, co-founder and CEO of Danvas, a company that plans to sell screens as canvas for the digital industry, told NFT.NYC that art galleries that have invested heavily in NFTs are still embracing that market despite the recession.
“Everyone knew winter was coming,” he said. “It came a little faster than some people expected, but nobody went to 2022 thinking there would be no time for change.”
“There are very few institutional museums that respond immediately to trends. It’s not usually about a museum, “Anderson said.
Still, he said he was lucky to receive $ 7 million in funding for his company in December, before the crash.
“Certainly, it will be difficult for you to start raising funds at this time,” he said. “I think I feel lucky when we raised the funds.”
NFT skeptics continue to express concern about the community’s tendency to over-promise and occasionally evade details. At one point in Marriott Hallway, a security guard cleared the way for a rapper, Snoop Dogg, who sells branded NFTs.
Only on closer inspection did it become clear that the man was a camouflage To rent By an NFT company, and its official conference badge is “Dup Snug”.