Once again, hundreds of cryptocurrency and Web3 enthusiasts descended upon Melbourne’s Alex Theatre for day two of NFT Fest 2022. While many crypto & Web3 conferences discuss the idea of blockchain technology more broadly, NFT Fest — as the name suggests — was primarily focused on all the ways that non-fungible tokens can change the way we do art, music, business and marketing.
The morning kicked off with a quick speech from Ridley Plummer of Tennis Australia who informed the crowd that all holders of the Australian Open (AO) Art Ball project — would be receiving seven day passes for the Australian Open this year.
He also shared how AO Art Ball became one of Australia’s leading NFT projects from a major sporting institution. Plummer said that Tennis Australia created a “data-driven, Web3 native” to capitalise on the passion of existing NFT enthusiasts. In the future, Plummer says this will help to create a more mass-market facing project that can bring more utility to Tennis fans.
Zeneca on “making it” in Web3
Next up on the main stage was ‘Zeneca’, a popular NFT personality and Web3 founder who provides educational content for beginners in Web3. Interviewed by Minnie, a developer at Voltura Labs, Zeneca shared some advice for those feeling a little overwhelmed in a space that can often be dominated by technical jargon.
“There’s so many different ways to make it in the Web3 space,” said Zeneca. “You can be a personal brand, you can be a content creator, or a developer, or an artist, there’s just so many different paths to leveraging your talents when it comes to NFTs.”
How to be a Web3 founder: Australia edition
Three major Australian NFT founders, Ashur of Lazy Lions, Shan of Project Godjira and Amutoz of Fusion XYZ took to the main stage to share some of their secret sauce on how to become the founder of a successful NFT project.
“Get comfortable with being transparent. Over communicate. You have to be active and open as a founder. At the end of the day, we just stick to our core values and we treat everyone with respect. It’s really that mentality and having that personal touch that makes all the difference,” said Ashur.
Building blockchain games with Kieran Warwick
Iconic Australian crypto founder Kieran Warwick sat down with Binance’s Charis Campbell to chat about the development of Illuvium, which is what Warwick calls the “first” AAA blockchain game.
Speaking to the difference between Illuvium and other GameFi products, Warwick said that the creation of Illuvium DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation) will allow for players of the game to help guide the creation of the game itself, something that is quite different from conventional games.
“We’re allowing our community to run operations. This makes it an ongoing, cooperative effort, which is a first in gaming. Being able to decide where to take the game and what to add in next isn’t something gamers typically get to do,” said Warwick.
The blockchain gaming industry is plagued by complaints of games not being any fun, with most games requiring players to undertake repetitive and monotonous tasks to earn money. To that point, Warwick said that Illuvium is being built with ‘fun’ as the primary focus.
“In 10 years from now, Illuvium players won’t call it a ‘crypto game’, they’ll just call it a ‘fun game’,” said Warwick.
When will decentralised media eat the world?
For Keith Grossman, the President of TIME Magazine, the unique differentiating factor of Web3 as a technology can be boiled down to the concept of ‘choice’.
“In Web3 you have the choice: do you want to be an online renter or an online owner?”Keith Grossman, President of TIME
“In Web3 you can choose your identity and control your own privacy. In Web2 you’re simply not given that choice,” Grossman added.
Farokh added that while choice is a significant part of it, NFTs also allow for people to be financially rewarded for participating in communities, something he says will be a major driving force behind the success of brands that choose to leverage Web3 tech.
How should brands enter Web3?
After a lunch break where once again, the streets of St Kilda were overtaken by an army of famished NFT aficionados, things restarted with a panel on all things marketing in Web3.
Amanda Green, the Global Digital Director of Penfolds (yes, the wine) was joined by Lisa Teh of Web3 marketing agency ‘Mooning’ and Mo Hamdouna, the Managing Director MoWorks. In a deeply insight conversation, the panellists shared some contrasting advice for brands looking to make the leap into Web3.
For Teh, who describes her style of branding as “jumping off a cliff building a plane on the way down”, it’s critical that brands start diving into Web3 as quickly as possible.
“When you start to push past the pictures of apes, it’s clear to me that this technology is going to change the world. If you get started now, you’ll have a part in the next iteration of the internet,” said Teh.
Green offered some different advice. “Take your time and really learn the area. What does your consumer want from you? What’s the problem that you’re trying to solve and how does Web3 help you solve it? Work from a roadmap. Start with your community and go forward from there,” she said.
Green also shared how Penfolds is adopting Web3 tech to give wine lovers a new consumer experience. Penfolds is leveraging blockchain tech to visually trace every step in the wine making process, from the point that grapes are picked from the vine all the way to when the wine is poured into the bottle. Green says that NFT tech doesn’t just clear up murky supply chain issues, but they also help create an authentic link to the product, all wrapped in something that real wine aficionados already love: collecting.
Game on! Sports NFTs take the stage
The second last main panel of the day went into everything sport, featuring Ridley Plummer of Tennis Australia, Jardian Orsmby of the NRL and Joan Norton of Cricket Australia.
Ormsby, the head of product at the NRL spoke to the importance of making sure that NFTs or “digital collectibles” are accessible for everyone, which starts with asking some basic question:
“What problems do NFTs solve that people already struggle with?” Ormsby pondered. He added that NFT utility at a sporting event would look something like helping people skip the beer line on game day.
“Mass adoption in tech has typically only occurred when it has made people’s lives easier. Right now there’s two big barriers to NFTs for regular people: the perception of the space itself and the process of onboarding,” said Ormsby.
Upending the music industry with non-fungible tunes
NFT Fest came to a close with a final panel on how NFTs can be leveraged to upend the existing music industry, with panellists sharing insights into how Web3 can transform nearly every step in the music creation pipeline from studio production to ticket sales.
Sean Gardner of MODA DAO, Clint Arthur of Ocean Floor Music, Jake Denny of Mycelium and Web3 founder cross musician Jacob Lee spoke kicked things off with a discussion about the state of the ticketing industry, which in light of the US Senate inquiry of Taylor Swift tickets quickly became passionate.
Denny said: “ticketing agencies are essentially cartels. Ticketing today is just a massive value extraction process where everyone gets screwed by the guys at the top.”
For Denny, NFT tech democratises the industry by removing the predatory value extraction model present in the ticketing industry today.
“Blow up the ticketing agencies.”Jake Denny, Mycelium
Lee spoke about how NFTs can help artists monetise, create and share their music without needing to rely on a label.
“The wonderful thing about NFTs is it allows creators to sell separate assets, like lyrics, music videos, notes or private moments. I’ve never needed a label because of this and I’ve been able to stay independent the whole through my music career,” said Lee.
When talking about how to price various NFTs, Lee asked a simple rhetorical question: “How much is a car? It varies.”
Gardner added that while predatory ticketing agencies are worthy villains for blockchain enthusiasts to try and defeat, the real utility of Web3 is more focused on new offerings.
“It’s about proving a connection with the artist. If you can prove that you have Taylor Swift’s first album you should get a priority spot in the line for tickets because you can literally prove that you’ve been there the longest.”Sean Gardner, MODA DAO
Despite the bear market wreaking havoc on the prices of crypto assets themselves, if we take the words from the speakers at NFT Fest to heart, the future is undeniably bright for the world of Web3.