Out of bed, on a plane, in a cab, and dropped into a line of NFT enthusiasts waiting to collect their badges, and hopefully one of the 1,000 official NFT.NYC hats (tokenized via and NFT.Kred).

This was the start of what would turn out to be an exciting and informative four-day conference with artists, projects, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders in the NFT space.

NFT NYC medici collection
NFT.NYC 2021 – Time Squares

The buzz of energy that started in the line for badges continued to flow to each venue and event throughout the course of the week. In an opening dialogue between Jodee Rich and Gary Vee, Gary presented a realistic and matter-of-fact view on the current state of the market:

There’s a huge uptick in interest in NFTs right now because of greed, there’s a ton of money to be made and that draws people’s attention.

Gary Vaynerchuk

While Jodee countered with more idealistic notions that creatives were finally empowered to own their content and to directly benefit from it rather than being suppliers of content to larger corporations/organizations.

These two points are not mutually exclusive and examples of both can be found in the enormous gains of NFT flippers, and the extraordinary success of artists who enter the NFT market and find a receptive audience of collectors.

New ideas and collaborations.

NFT.NYC 2021 – 3LAU

Ideas were shared by Artzy and 3lau about the future of music and how musicians and bands could participate and engage directly with their audience in a way that will be mutually beneficial. 3LAU’s recently launched NFT platform Royal looks to turn fans into “investors” and share the success of their favorite artists and musicians.

AI was discussed in intriguing, and somewhat ominous talk : “Machines will be learning from machines” stated Arif Khan. The Alethea AI, Noah’s Ark project is creating historical NFT personas loaded with AI metadata and machine learning to produce interactive “beings” embedded in the NFT. Did somebody say SkyNet?

NFT NYC Fanny Conklin ARTZ
NFT.NYC 2021 – Fanny Lakoubay, Conlan & ARTZ

SuperRare’s Zack Yanger discussed the value of NFTs and how SR removed the middleman from the traditional exchanges in the gallery and auction house settings in the “real world.” While Matthew Iles spoke of Sotheby’s entrance in the market and how they support NFT artists with shows such as “Natively Digital” and the Sothebysverse. 

Zack emphasized the importance of ongoing, secondary market royalties, and when asking Sotheby’s for their stance on royalties, Matthew confirmed that they “…will be giving artists royalties!”. Once more, when Zack asked what percentage, Mr. Iles replied that they “…will let the artist decide!”.

Great news for artists!


Afterparties, music events, art shows, billboard takeovers… it was a wild week! But the most encouraging takeaway was that this is a new ecosystem creating new markets and new ways for individuals to collect, support, and interact with creators in the art, music, gaming, and tech verticals.

We are still early. 

There are plenty of opportunities to educate and onboard newcomers. This is a supportive community where the rising tide raises all ships and success is celebrated rather than being a call-to-arms for creative competition and comparison.


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