5 key thoughts after NFT NYC 2022

  • Scope:
  • AI
  • Artificial Intelligence

If one had to name a key takeaway from this year’s NFT NYC conference, it would be about how boring this technology may become in the future. And actually, nothing better could happen to it.

Celebrities, supercars, and the overall glamor pump up the buzz around NFTs. On the other hand, though, the whole crypto market is suffering from a downturn, no less harsh than the rest of the world. Or at least – it appears so while at the same time finding itself useful in new, sometimes surprising contexts.

So how has the largest NFT conference found itself in this new, uncertain, and challenging world? Is it really so different from last year?

Crypto landscape 2022

Times are harsh for every market, including crypto, once deemed unshakeable and crisis resistant. Yet the market has faced one of its greatest disruptions in years. According to CNBC the crypto market has suffered a tremendous loss of $2 trillion in value since its 2021 height. Bitcoin, arguably the most popular and widely-known cryptocurrency in the world, has slid down from an all-time high of $69,000 in November 2021 to its current $23,000, amounting to a nearly 70% loss.

The NFT market has suffered no less. According to data gathered by the Protocol, the weekly NFT trading volume has dropped from a jaw-dropping (pun intended) $1.07 billion in August 2021 to $23.6 million by mid-May.

Yet despite the turmoil and ongoing troubles, the market is far from fading, with the NFT NYC conference being one of the brightest events to signify their adaptivity and the changes to come.

NFTs and Cryptocurrencies

NFT’s have undoubtedly been one of the hottest topics of 2021 with celebrities both preparing and selling their own tokens. And their presence and commitment were one of the key accelerators for the market. But this was the accelerator, not the core of NFT functionality.

What is an NFT?

The core of the technology of the Non-fungible token is the blockchain-backed method of proving the authenticity of a particular digital good or entity. Contrary to cryptocurrencies, NFTs are not designed to be exchanged, at least not in the way that currency is. On the other hand, owning an NFT is currently the most effective and reliable way to prove the uniqueness of a particular digital good – which comes uneasily considering the easy replicability of digital goods.

Technology has been embraced by the world of art, both digital and traditional. It delivers a perfect platform for storing information about a particular piece of art, be it music, video, an image, or even a painting or sculpture. In certain cases, the NFT can be designed to make that content available for the owner exclusively.

NFT NYC 2022 – Key Takeaways

This year’s conference has turned out to be a huge success, with multiple interesting tracks to follow and speakers to listen to.

The conference was bigger. And I mean Bigger.

The history of the NFT NYC conference reaches back to 2019, with only a few attendees in the first edition. NFT NYC 2021 brought over 500 speakers only to be dwarfed by this year’s 1500 speakers all sharing their remarks about the overall crypto world, art, or the real-life applications of the technology.

The speakers shared their knowledge and experience with over 15,000 attendees. This growth is massive and so is interest in the technology, making this niche even more interesting for investors, entrepreneurs, and everyday folk alike.

Fewer Lambos, more meat

The bear market is definitely here and the blind hype is over. Last year came on with a huge pump up, impression making and a lot of bold talk. Also, both attendees and speakers tried to impress and build a vision of a rich market, well worth investing and exploring.

This year, few people were showing off in rented Lamborghinis or bragging about yachts or mansions. For those who did not spend their gains, a lot of profits were eaten up by the low cryptocurrency prices. The recession has hit hard.

While a lot of people were talking about the fact that now is the time for building future infrastructure, it seems that most attendees were most interested in making money quickly or hanging out with celebrities, leaving those panels dedicated to innovative approaches mostly empty.

More specialized tracks

While last year’s conference happened on three tracks, with mixed NFT applications, this year the conference was divided into the following tracks: marketing, fashion, investment, gaming and art. It was good to divide between different use cases and attendees interested in different things. Also, it shows that the technology itself has matured and the users have begun to spot new applications.

NFT is far too novel to be used as granularly as more established technologies, yet there is a clear sign that a greater focus is being defined. The buzz and “vibe” at the conference fades as the real questions about pros and cons come to the forefront.

And the conference delivered increasingly precise answers for these questions. Which takes us straight into the next step.

More “boring” applications of NFTs

As mentioned above – the conference has brought together more use cases for NFT technologies. The technology stood upon the uneasy border between technology and art – and that legacy is still strong. But not alone. This year’s conference has shown new and interesting use cases, including:

  • NFTs for licensing – an NFT is a perfect place to store information about the license a particular good is distributed with. By that, abusing the license, for example by unauthorized commercial usage, becomes more challenging and the room for confusion becomes significantly reduced.
  • Ticket verification – it is possible to make the NFT accessible to only one person – and that’s perfect for tickets for events, both digital and physical.
  • Wallet verification – the increasing popularity of digital wallets raises security concerns. Having an NFT as an authentication tool comes as a huge boost for the whole platform as breaching the blockchain is significantly more challenging.
  • Real assets (real estate, supercars, trading cards) linked to NFTs – this use case comes as a response to the need to store the documentation of particular goods. NFTs are perfect to keep short texts – and thus they are a great solution to prove ownership. By linking assets to NFTs, losing or modifying the documentation becomes much more challenging than it used to be.
  • STBs (soulbound tokens, non-transferable NFTs) – the soulbound NFT token is a special type of NFT that can never be spent, sold, given, and can not change ownership in any way. This technology is getting increasing attention in the financial sector, bringing the possibility of delivering online IDs, badges, or basically any information that cannot be exchanged or transferred.

Celebrities still make the buzz

Last year we had Tarantino announcing his new NFTs, this year Madonna performed at an afterparty – which you could attend if you held a particular NFT. Also, Snoop Dogg and Eminem performed for the Bored Apes fans.

But this is totally understandable. Artists and creators constitute the vast majority of world celebrities. NFT technology comes as an item of great interest from their perspective, solving licensing issues and proposing a new approach to royalties management.

Summary

The NFT NYC conference shows how the market is maturing and the technology has begun to find new applications in the so called “real world.” Initially, the level of buzz was unbelievable, yet after three editions the noises have gotten jammed up, leaving more and more applicable and interesting fields for users to follow, investors, businesses and celebrities alike.

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