Is there a better way to finish the interviews that we conducted during the Non-Fungible Conference in Lisbon by its co-organizer, John Karp?
Who am I…? Good question, I am first and foremost an entrepreneur. I like to create things without really knowing how to monetize them, but I like to create them. I began a startup 12 years ago called Food Reporter, then I created Bemyapp (also known as hackathon.com). It developed well, we had around a hundred customers such as Facebook, Intel, HP and others and we organized events in more than 50 countries.
I discovered crypto and blockchain a few years ago. We organized some events around blockchain but I wasn’t too into it. I bought Eth back then but didn’t really believe in it, then I discovered NFTs two years ago, and I took a slap! I bought a plot of land in Sandbox to organize events in the metaverse because I thought it was funny… and then I dug in and fell in love with the NFT “art” movement. I was lucky enough to witness the birth of a movement and I started collecting like crazy.
With my colleague Remi, we created a live show on Clubhouse to invite artists and entrepreneurs on a daily basis a week or two before the Beeple Hype. Basically, it was to explain the NFTs to Remi and it became a daily… and we did about 250 podcasts. In parallel we wrote a book and other things, always with the aim of democratizing NFTs.
To come back to the question, I would say that my goal is to federate. We organized meetups, small events and we embarked on the NFT Factory, always with the objective of bringing more and more people into NFTs and that the people who are in it can see each other.
It’s really the fusion of my two passions: NFTs on the one hand and events on the other. I was into NFTs and I participated in a lot of events around the world but I think I needed to make my interpretation of this world, to share my vision of NFTs. Because there were mostly Bitcoin or DeFi events… which is cool, but it’s not the same audience, the same passion. When I said I was in the NFTs, I was told “oh yeah it’s good it’s booming”. And for me I thought there was a problem. There are many events where I have noticed that most of the speakers have never minted any NFTs. That’s how I wanted to make a European event for people who know NFTs.
This is perhaps a somewhat radical positioning because I did not want to discover NFTs but to go to the level above. With a clear spirit to put art and artists at the heart of the processes. In 2021 we saw a lot of evolution, the big brands have put themselves on it, there are metaverses in all directions…but before the “industry” side, it’s really about putting artists at the center.
There are awesome metaverse projects, awesome PFP projects but for this event, it was putting art at the center of attention. Last October, I set up a small team to be able to set up the Non Fungible Conference in Lisbon a few months later.
Honestly? There is no barrier anymore, we could talk about a technical barrier perhaps, but the main barrier today is psychological. To answer this problem of psychological barriers today and have mass adoption, a normal person might hear about it once, twice, four times … and is interested in it. Everyone, when they hear about NFTs today, thinks “it’s still weird to buy JPEGs”. Everyone went through this phase.
Depending on your mentality, your aversion to innovation or the trend of the world it will take more or less time for you to take an interest in it. So for me the only barrier is a time barrier. The only question is the faster we communicate and communicate strongly, the closer we get to this snowball effect that will allow mass adoption.
In 5 years I think we will use the title “NFT” less. In 5 years, in the same way as the internet which is everywhere, NFTs will be everywhere. Today we use a smartphone, we use a TV, a computer, a whole series of things that depend on the internet without asking ourselves the question of whether the internet is there or not. To take an older example, it’s like electricity..
For me we are at that point. These are underlying technologies that make it possible to do a lot of things. You’re going to play video games, you won’t realize you’re activating, using or earning NFTs. You’re going to buy skins like that kind of thing you won’t realize that you’re going to buy goods like works of art… and during the transaction you will not realize that you are using an NFT when buying. I don’t know if it will be in 5, 7 or 10 years but we are moving towards a society where we might talk less about ‘NFTs’ but they will be just everywhere.
The NFT Factory is anchored in this evangelization process. When I wrote the book ‘NFT Revolution’, it was so that my father could use NFTs. The NFT Factory follows this same logic, from the outside you see an art gallery and then behind this very accessible and very simple to understand thing there is this NFT movement. The goal is that you can come in and get going with your first with very little training, a little onboarding and an understanding of what an NFT is. The goal is really to have a team of about fifty people to have a maximum referent of this universe.
The starting point is that we do not realize how far ahead France and even Europe is on this subject. Sandbox is one of the world leaders in the metaverse. Sorare in entertainment, Ledger in security, other companies that are not yet known, artists who are already known worldwide such as Pascal Boyart, Obvious, Allota Money… In the DeFi there are monsters that are French too.
If you project yourself in 5 years precisely, this kind of box will succeed GAFA. If you look at the history of GAFA, these boxes have HP and IBM who were the leaders in computing. And in my opinion, there are new leaders who will surpass the old leaders. It’s boxes, if you want them to work, the whole continent must wake up. Maybe it goes through politicians, maybe through journalists, but it goes mainly through people.
If tomorrow in France there are 40M wallets, which buy and exchange NFTs and well behind there is a market that journalists and politicians will follow. The goal is to start at the grassroots and take people from the bottom up to the NFTs. The more collectors, consumers, sensitized people, the more you will accelerate the snowball effect and welcome people into the ecosystem.
So the objectives in the NFT Factory in summary are:
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