“NFT.NYC”: business before art – July 6, 2022 – Le Journal des Arts

New York. It’s a bit like the orchestra off titanic : their world is collapsing, but these people continue to party. “NFT.NYC”, the annual high fair dedicated to non-fungible tokens, was full this year: Nearly 15,000 collectors, influencers, artists and industry professionals gathered in Manhattan from June 20 to 23 for three-day roundtables, events and festive evenings. They were only 500 in 2019. “With this event, we wanted to give a voice to the community”, explains Jodee Rich, one of the co-founders of the event, who does not hesitate to describe it as “NFT Super Bowl” : with prices ranging between $ 600 and $ 850 (€ 570 and € 810), admission tickets are certainly almost as expensive as seats to the famous American Football Final. The performance here consisted of many, many discussion groups organized in several places in the city by an army of 1,500 speakers from across the industry.

“The decline in the market is a very good thing”

Such an influx, however, is not without surprise. The 2022 edition of “NFT.NYC” is actually being held in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, called “crypto winter” : For several months, the price of the major cryptocurrencies used to exchange the famous tokens has collapsed, and the NFT market is at its lowest. Since April, sales volume has fallen by 150% and the average price of an NFT by 65%, according to the analysis site CryptoSlam !. In the various conference rooms, however, the participants show an unashamed optimism: “The decline in the market is a very good thing”, explains, for example, Sach Chandaria, an investor participating in a roundtable discussion on the topic of “generative art” (one of the categories in crypto art). “We need to get rid of so much shit. Get creative now!” he harangues on stage in front of a captured audience.

Announcement of the NFT.NYC trade fair on billboards in Time Square, New York, June 21, 2022.


The “NFT Awards” ceremony, one of the highlights of the event, also gave the feeling of a sector in need of good news, eager to look to a necessarily better future: Takashi Murakami, awarded in the category “Best Traditional Artist Became NFT- artist ”, thus enjoying his triumph on Twitter a few days after apologizing to his investors for the collapse of the prices of his digital collections.

The many festive evenings held on the sidelines of the event were intended to completely eliminate any idea that the state of the market could be such that collectors were concerned. Yuga Labs, the young start-up behind the “Bored Ape Yacht Club” series, the one of the now famous comic monkeys, wanted to hit hard with his “ApeFest”: during a concert given in the harbor of New York, guarded by a big inflatable visuals of “Bored Ape”, rappers Snoop Dogg and Eminem revealed their new monkey avatars there in a music video that has already been viewed more than 12 million times on YouTube. However, Yuga Labs is the company that has suffered the most since the start of the crisis, as its cryptocurrency (“ApeCoin”) has lost 65% of its value in just one month.

If economic issues were on everyone’s lips, they finally darkened the discussions affecting the content of these digital works: the large auditorium at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, which hosted the soberly-called “Art” conferences, seemed desperately empty throughout the event, rarely over 100 participants out of the 1,000 planned. The event was somewhere else: at Samsung, Gucci or Nickelodeon the children’s TV channel, which launches in NFTs. The “business” round tables are the ones that attracted the most people, especially in connection with the utility that tokens can represent for fire communication and soon for real estate, insurance or editing. We also talked about how the companies that produce the most traded art collectibles can open up to other markets: “We want to be able to offer either stuffed animals, toys or vinyl, even cartoons and video games”, enthusiastically testifies Evan Luza, one of the co-founders of the series of “Cool Cats”.

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