NFT Fest: ‘Degens’ and Sporting Powers Meet to Fight Blockchain Cynicism at Web3 Festival


The first time I heard the word ‘Dzen’ was when I started playing online poker. It’s short for “degenerate,” but some young players, fueled by a lifetime of unrestricted internet use with cynicism and irony, wear “DJen” with a sense of pride. Degens set the time. They are committed to the cause, even if it costs them. Regular players can be happy with their bigger hands. Broadcasting bad beats and big losses? Trade the financial blow for community influence? This is a sign of a true fallen one.

Although I was a regular player, spending late nights and early mornings at micro-steak tables, neither my pockets nor my skills were ever deep enough to allow me to reach truly degenerate status. When I finally logged out I thought I had left them behind.

Then I attended NFT Fest – where major players in Australian trade and commerce stood next to self-described Web3Dgens.

Both parties acknowledged their commitment to the NFT space. However, the mocking irony of anomalies in appearance was a stark contrast to the pragmatism proposed by industry leaders.

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Sports leaders believe in NFT projects

In front of smart company, I attended the Thursday afternoon NFT Fest session at the Alex Theater in Melbourne’s St Kilda. Unlike recent NFT events held abroad, participants filled the room. I watched my steps as I made my way through the crowded foyer, taking care not to step on anyone’s feet; In the midst of a sea of ​​polished Oxfords and box-fresh Jordans, one contestant stood barefoot. At the theater door I found eight cute paws that belonged to some real Samoyed dogs. (SamoyedCoin, a “leading community, dog money and ambassador of the Solana ecosystem,” sponsored the event.)

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As Dogs and Djens mingled in the foyer, representatives from Australia’s top sporting codes discussed the future of their Web3 integration. With the AFL, NRL, Cricket Australia and the Australian Open now deep in space, the latter on Thursday will give holders of its AO Art Ball NFT collection double week entry into next year’s event. The announcement was certainly a boon to those in attendance, who picked up some of the 6776 NFTs when it was released in January this year. However, the discussion focused on how to reach casual fans with no prior technical knowledge, who may also have been affected by the recent decline of crypto players such as FTX.

Ridley Plummer, senior manager of NFTs and Web3 for Tennis Australia, said the organization is now working hard to introduce its digital offering not only to NFT enthusiasts, but also to tennis fans. It remains a challenge to find ways to introduce NFTs to a fanbase that is older and predominantly female than most other codes.

“We want to start involving tennis fans in the project,” he told the audience. “I think we all know that the Web Three space is having trouble getting regular fans on board.” Brands like the Australian Open using their “technology for the better” will help “eliminate some of the skepticism that’s going on with things like the FTX saga,” he said.

Plummer recognized that winning over those cautious consumers is key to keeping the NFT program alive.

“We can’t lose money on a project like this,” he said. So we have to keep doing this, ultimately keep benefiting the consumer or the holder.

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Joan Norton, Commercial Strategy Manager at Cricket Australia, further highlighted how sporting codes are excited about the commercial opportunity of NFTs, but wary of their general perception. Cricket Australia has created NFTs for use in the CricketCrush game, but actively avoids using the term NFTs in its marketing.

“One thing I would say is that we are really aware of a ca [social media] The approach and what we’re putting forward is not to use NFTs, but to talk about them as digital collectibles and try to get people to program NFTs instead,” she said.

The sport of cricket certainly has more right to outrage over FTX’s high-profile collapse than most other codes. Cricket’s global organizing body, the ICC — of which Cricket Australia is a member — was recently forced to end FTX’s sponsorship of the T20 World Cup in Melbourne after the cryptocurrency exchange collapsed into liquidation. The global partnership has now spread.

Before taking the stage to moderate a discussion, Greg Oakford, founder of NFT Fest, outlined the importance of demarcating the NFT space from the chaos encountered in centralized blockchain operations like FTX.

“It’s up to each of us at NFT Fest, as leaders in this space in this new technology, to really communicate in a concise and clear way what’s happened with FTX versus what’s in Happening, the difference between. NFT country,” he shared smart company,

“It’s just brick by brick, block by block, educating people about the difference between cryptocurrency and digital assets, 100%.”

Crypto natives claim the value of culture

Soon it was time for swords. Web3 personalities were clumped and booted, taking to the stage after discussing sports leagues and moving on to the new cultures created by Web3 communities. For Clotted, who works with brands in West Coast NFTs, and Boots, a Pepe poster and “post-irony” advocate, it seems the cultural connections made through NFT-in-groups are as important as the financial ones. value of the projects. the product.

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In a market where NFT valuations have plummeted from their all-time highs, it’s important not to judge the value of a collection solely by monetary value, he says.

Such ideas are unlikely to sit comfortably with industry leaders presented on the day, who hope their big-budget NFT projects generate more than just a sense of camaraderie among token holders. Still, it seems that for now the industry needs its husbands, true keepers of its faith, as big brands find ways to win over the everyday consumer.

I left NFT Fest impressed with both the turnout and the enthusiasm of those in attendance. It must also have awakened a dormant instinct in me. Soon I was in the back room of the Bowls Club for a few hands of pub poker, surrounded by players who clearly knew each other, whose confidence and humor had probably been built up over the years and countless chips were traded back and forth. Goods.

My luck ran out quickly, as usual, but it was a blow I could take. On my way home I found the players still stuck on the table.




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