Dubbed as the Superbowl for NFTs, the fourth annual NFT.NYC conference was the biggest to date. A record-breaking 15,000 NFT fans, influencers, developers and 1,500 speakers descended on Times Square from June 21-23. NFT.NYC presented with much pomp, circumstance and hype. Celebrities like Ashanti and Spike Lee were present at satellite events and a Snoop Dogg lookalike was hired to drum up even more attention to the NFT summit. NFT.NYC was a beacon for those in web3 and NFTs to witness what was happening in the space.
Here are some key takeaways from this year’s conference:
Crypto winter will pass
During the NFT.NYC conference, cryptocurrency prices took a nosedive. ETH fell from $5000 to $1,100 that week and NFT trading had declined as well.
NFT.NYC served as an opportunity to celebrate despite the current bear market. The community needed some positivity and many speakers, moderators and panelists gave words of wisdom and encouragement on being steadfast on NFT holdings. The overall sentiment was that this current bear market will weed out those who are collecting NFTs for financial gain from those who are participating in sustainable endeavors.
Conversations with fellow attendees and artists alike about the state of the industry revealed many were happy and hopeful, especially with the record turnout at the conference.
High cost and lack of forethought
When you take into consideration ticket prices ranging from $500-$2,000 to attend the conference and add travel and accommodation, NFT.NYC got expensive fast. Sure, the conference was bigger than ever and that led to more organizational moving parts, however, there was a notable lack of cohesion which included room mix-ups and speakers’ presentations not shown during their time on stage.
The multi-day event led people to believe that organizers didn’t have the average Joe’s or Jane’s best interest at heart. If one of the tenets of web3 is to onboard as many people as possible, then the hefty price tag served as a non-starter and was interpreted as predatory.
As if to add insult to injury, some even went as far to say that the conference was a cash grab.
Some panelists didn’t even bother showing to their talks and for fireside chats scheduled before noon, it was common to hear how ‘hungover’ a speaker or a panelist felt from the last evening’s activities. This showed a lack of respect for folks who made the time and spent the money to attend.
For attendees there looking to get an education in NFTs, the speakers who provided any learnings were few. Those who graced the stage shilled their own projects instead of using it as a teaching opportunity for the audiences.
Lack of diversity
The lack of diversity on the stage and in the attendees was glaring. Crypto is still very much a boy’s club. In the talks Fimi representatives attended on diversity in web3, the panelists were not. Even more disturbing were the almost empty rooms for these talks.
The conference was scheduled (and broadcasted) to begin on June 20, the official day Juneteenth is celebrated and a national holiday; coupled with a last-minute call for submissions for the ‘Diversity of NFTs’ art collection showed a lack of forethought and consideration for diversity.
This is why Fimi NFT Marketplace exists where we champion art and artists from under-represented communities. Our marketplace recognizes that web3 is fast gaining ground and we need to be at the forefront to ensure all voices are heard, stories from diverse backgrounds are shared and points of view aren’t skewed to one particular side.