Yesterday was Australia’s first NFT Festival. Supported by Blockchain Australia and put together without any funding by Greg Oakford and Richelle Cox, in about three weeks, in Melbourne’s sixth lockdown.
To say it was a success is an understatement. There were over 4000 attendees to the virtual event, 30 plus speakers and a pretty wild chat room. The event covered off everything from the heavy side like intellectual property, capital gains tax and legislation to the lighter side like dance tunes in metaverse and number of iterations of lipstick colour needed in a project like World of Women. If you don’t know what a metaverse is, look it up, but if you fall down the weird and wonderful rabbit hole of NFTs, don’t blame us.
Key takeaways and highlights of the event include:
• The event happening at all and pulling together Australia’s previously less united NFT and blockchain community.
• Steve Sammartino’s bookshelf caused quite a stir as did the matching haircuts of Greg Oakford and Blockchain Australia’s CEO Steve Vallas.
• Senator Bragg’s genuine (yes I’m serious) interest in the NFT community and its success, coupled with a need to get the regulatory settings right. He highlighted the fact that the big four banks control much of the financial political will in Australia. The banks are good at lobbying and have a lot of money. Conversely the Crypto community decries centralisation which makes it difficult for pollies to fly the blockchain flag. Fair point.
• Professor Ellie Rennie of RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub dived deep into DAO thinking, explored the success of Immutable and also looked at gaming NFT collectibles through a social science framework.
• Caroline Bowler CEO from BTC Markets said “show me the money”. And they did. Gazillions of dollars (fiat and crypto) being invested and reinvested in a burgeoning ecosystem. But is it a bubble? Did they call the top. No way. Just check out John Henderson’s (Airtree VC) personal collection. There is a long way to go. Henderson highlighted the three reasons people buy NFTs: because they like they art, they want to make money or they are buying into a community.
• Women of the World finished up with some down to earth marketing tips for those about to jump into the circle and self reflected on how nervous they were when they launched. It was heartwarming.
• Favourite chat moment was “R.I.P Web 2.0, hello Web 3.0” or something like that…….