Crypto Connect in West Palm Beach, Florida certainly hit the mark for the late-summer crypto & NFT convention South Florida needed. Between all the informative panels featuring a unique list of NFT realtors, cryptocurrency lawyers, and inspiring crypto-fluent kids — we were just grateful to soak up all the insight they had to offer.
The conference was split up over the weekend of August 20th and 21st, a Saturday and Sunday of devoted crypto collectors, NFT creators, and novices alike. Day one started strong with an introduction to getting started in cryptocurrency around 10 am, followed by a chat about why NFTs are here to stay.
During The Power of NFTs & Why They’re Here to Stay, we caught something that rang true; a quote from Erik LaPaglia of Miami NFT stating, “it’s just too much for most people to wrap their head around…it’s a massive opportunity to make the friction around everyday transactions a lot more simple.” This was a common theme of most of the panels, and it gives us inspiration that our own brand, and hopefully many to follow, are going to make this an easier space to get educated and involved in. Most panelists stated how hard it was to enter the space, and while that’s true, it’s obvious that the majority of brands are trying to smooth over this common difficulty of those wanting to be more involved with Web3 in the future. This discussion was especially interesting, being that Gareb Shamus, the creator of ComicCon, and now CEO of HeroMaker Studios, an interactive digital community input NFT comic storyline called Kumite, possessed an inspiration that seemed to overtake the crowd. He truly understands that the future is not only in the semantic web, but the community is what powers the brand, and giving them the direct initiative to evolve the brand in itself is what is going to make web3 so vastly different than web2.
The most inspiring panel of the morning was a group of kids being interviewed about their experience in the space as creators, hosted by NFT Kids Magazine. The kids ranged from ages 7 through 14, and their insight was a comforting reminder that this space is not only up and coming for us adults, but is truly changing the lives of kids, and molding their future. The ability to have access to blockchain technology has given kids the opportunity to share their art, and passion for the space with others, as well as help others in less empowered walks of life. Their takeaways were to practice more giving, to help others in need, and to love creation — something we all need to work on throughout our lives.
There was one panel of female-identifying speakers on each day, and both of them quite possibly gained the most attraction and the loudest applause from the crowd. The attendance and response made it clear that women in web3 are here to stay, and the power behind the movement is something many of us have been waiting for. Something powerful that Michelle Abbs of Web3Equity mentioned is The Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988 allowed women to get a business loan without a male co-signer, effectively driving home the reminder that it hasn’t been that long since women haven’t been considered property of men. As a woman witnessing the crowd shake their head in agreement, I think I can speak for many women that we’re here and ready for the space to come for women in web3. The fact that women were not only sought after, but created their own roles and their own communities, and large ones at that, shows the commitment across the board to have a more broad range of people on founder boards, in core teams, and finally being one of the big players in the space — disrupting the previously bro-reliant space.
Among the different booths, ranging across the board of IRL art, NFT projects, and even real estate, it’s clear that the web3 space is evolving, and personally, I’m here for it. I’m one of those people that truly believe that blockchain technology is only to evolve with us over time, though, I will admit I’m skeptical about the folks that want our healthcare information and social security cards on the blockchain, but I digress. I do think, however, that the future looks promising as far as art, creation, transparency, and even aiding in the support of DAOs will further change over the next pivotal years through the infancy of web3.
Some of the most interesting buzz-worthy topics that seemed to be gaining traction during this convention, were the mention of fractionalization, legality, and real estate. There were multiple booths with crypto-fluent lawyers, which is quite actually, a breath of fresh air. Not only is it completely necessary in the space, but, as times go on, it’s going to be a necessity for all of us, especially when crypto and NFTs gain more traction since currently, only 9% of the world is crypto-literate. The information at this conference gained through peer-to-peer discussion was well worth the ticket price.
Fractionalization of NFTs is something that is truly attention-grabbing, and by the interest of the crowds during the talks and surrounding the booths, might be the next big thing, along with real estate. Fractionalization would likely change the game, especially when it comes to token gated events. Imagine being able to go in on a large purchase, like real estate or a prime-priced NFT, and being able to equally distribute the deed with your core group of friends through blockchain technology, and it all being legally sound. Though blockchain real estate is something out of my current wheelhouse, seeing how many partner firms were involved and building in the current bear market, it’s clear that this is something on the up and up.
Overall the event was organized, and each of the talks always left you with a leading take away though. Hopefully, inclusivity and accessibility eventually evolve within the space, like involving more female-identifying speakers, and more thoughtfulness in choosing ADA-compliant big-screen backgrounds (with maybe a seizure warning present at the entrance.) The staff was all friendly, and each of the booths made sense to be at the convention, even the ones that weren’t in necessarily in-line with cryptocurrency, they provided some fun and lightheartedness to the space and were a fun talking point to break up the ever-constant networking.
We’ll see you at the next one!