NFT.NYC 2021: A Photo Essay

NFT.NYC 2021: A Photo Essay

As the most widely-attended and anticipated conference dedicated to NFTs, NFT.NYC has good reason to dub itself as the “leading annual non-fungible token event.” The first iteration of the conference was held in 2019, where it attracted 460 attendees. That number grew tenfold in 2021 (no conference was held in 2020), to over 5000 participants who converged upon Midtown Manhattan last week. 

Several major conferences have sprung up over the last two years, following the explosion of NFTs. The Global NFT Summit was held earlier this year and several more physical conferences around the world are planned for later this month, including The Conference.NFT, which is being held in Ukraine, and DCentral Miami. Those are in addition to the dozen or so virtual conferences organized by various organizations around the world, including NFTCON and the Africa Crypto Blockchain NFT Conference. As the newest entrant into the conference space, Gary Vee and his VaynerMedia launched VeeFriends this year, a collection of NFTs that will serve as passes to an annual conference, the first of which will be held in Minneapolis in May 2022. 

This year’s NFT.NYC attracted some of the largest players in the industry as sponsors, including NFT.Kred, OpenSea, Coinbase, Christie’s and Rarible. Most conferences hope to break even or turn a small profit, which would be impossible without donations and volunteers.

Several dozen satellite locations served as galleries and event spaces for the various exhibits and parties organized for this week, including the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s first annual Ape Fest hosted across the increasingly-prominent Bright Moments gallery (which we covered in last week’s issue of the Gazette) and a yacht moored on the Hudson River. 

But there were many stars of NFT.NYC. Times Square was transformed into a showcase for NFTs for much of the week. 

Quentin Tarantino showed up with a surprise announcement that he would be releasing “the uncut first handwritten scripts of Pulp Fiction and exclusive custom commentary from Tarantino, revealing secrets about the film and its creator,” as well as deleted scenes from his film as NFTs.

Exhibits and pop-ups dotted the city, showcasing the diversity in how NFTs are being used to transform galleries and community spaces. 

Arguably, the real stars of the show were the panelists and presenters who shared their experiences and knowledge with attendees in the form of dozens of seminars, panels and presentations (including several speakers focused on the proposed amendment to IRC 6050I, which we cover elsewhere in this week’s Gazette). 

At every event, attendees scrambled to pick up the various postcards, business cards, pamphlets, free NFTs and stickers (including our own!).

Surprisingly, there was no official NFT to commemorate the event as a souvenir of those in attendance or to serve as a ticket—a missed opportunity, in our view. Fortunately, everyone walked away with a free hat 😊

Until next year, get your copy of this week’s Gazette to serve as a stamp in your own personal history of obsessing over NFTs.

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