September 27, 2023

NFT Paris Review: 3 Key Takeaways

min read

When I arrived at NFT Paris, I had, quite literally, zero expectations.

There're several reasons for this.

It was my first time at an NFT conference, even though I've been in the space for nearly three years. Being new to the IRL scene was like having a blank slate to what this Web3 world had to offer.

But what really subdued any of my initial excitement was that I read a lot of tweets and reviews on previous events. Usually, they go along the line:

"I'm more bullish than ever to the moon LFGGG WGFMI!"

To the more negative and sometimes outright aggressive reviews like, "This event was f&*%ing terrible."

So I remained neutral on any assumptions about NFT Paris. I would ride the wave and see where it took me.

For the TL/DR people out there, there's one word I would use to sum up the experience...


From the moment of setting up the Bueno x Humankind pop-up gallery to the after-party hosted by the fantastic Party Degens team, there was not a single dull moment at NFT Paris (I was 100% gassed once I arrived home).

Saying that it was unforgettable and genuinely eye-opening is one thing, so I decided to break it down and investigate the three biggest takeaways from the conference.

1. Community is still essential

Let's take at some cold hard numbers, shall we?

Last year, NFT Paris said they registered just 500 attendees. This year, there were over 18,000 people at the conference, and the energy was pure electricity from the moment the doors opened.

While the sheer growth from last year is impressive, the lines that snaked out the booths and exhibits showed collectors, creators, and artists' dedication to their favorite projects and brands.

Another key indicator was the keynote speakers and the huge crowds they drew. In front of a packed audience, speakers mentioned several times the importance of community building when creating projects with solid foundations.

This didn't stop with the speakers, as teams and individuals praised the importance of the connections with fellow enthusiasts and collectors.

The overall vibe was reminiscent of the most bullish days in 2021, and the excitement for the future was undeniable.

2. Art is thriving

For those lucky enough to attend NFT Paris, one quick lap around the conference floor made it clear that art and artists are powering the next phase of Web3. The installations, displays, and upcoming projects creators highlighted were a reminder that the space is evolving way beyond where the space was a year ago.

For example, the Lobstars booth was the latest example of Philip Colbert and his team's creative genius. From the glossy sculptures of the iconic Lobstar in a Campbell's soup can to their art-creating lobster robot, this team is blazing a path with physical and digital representations of artistic ingenuity.

It didn't stop with the Lobstars; every team came prepared to wow spectators with their art and projects. The result was both eye-popping and genuinely inspiring, and it was clear that attendees were walking away inspired and ready to push their own artistic visions.

But all of this incredible innovation begged a specific question: what is driving this artistic wave, and how are artists advancing in the space so rapidly?

One of the reasons is the advancement of tools for creators. Companies are also stepping up the game and delivering intuitive and powerful products that empower artists and collectors.

During his turn on the speaker's panel, Pablo Stanley touched on how creator tools are drastically better than just a few years ago and the effect it's having on artists in the space. When asked how he plans to continue empowering artists, here's how Pablo responded:

Going in 2020 or 2021, the existing tools and the stuff out there was not very intuitive. The UI and the user experience were kind of scary... It was impossible to create something unless you gave away all your project to developers.
These were the people who really had the power, and the artists never had the power in these situations. I was an artist that went through that experience, and I had to give away my power as a creator. In this space, a lot of people don't give a shit about the artist, so as an artist, I decided to build tools that help artists and give them back the power.

Of course, it's not just Pablo and the Bueno team (yes, I am the king of shameless plugs). NFT Paris displayed how teams move the needle with products that help art and creators thrive in Web3.

Creator royalties are a hot topic

The topic of creator royalties was on the tip of everyone's tongue, and more than one founder had strong opinions they wanted to voice. The uproar surrounding the subject was understandable because NFT Paris came in the wake of top marketplaces making considerable changes to their royalties format.

Yat Siu, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman for Animoca Brands, started his keynote speech like this, "I'm going to talk to you about royalty rights. It's the elephant, or should I say mammoth, in the room right now."

Like many others in the space, Yat Siu touched on the importance of creator royalties and how they for growth in Web3. This applies not just for artists, but for anyone who is a creator or wants to launch a project in the space.

It wasn't just keynote speakers and founders sounding off, but regular attendees were also very vocal on the matter. While walking through the packed food court, looking for a place to enjoy some surprisingly delicious dim sum, I found a lone spot at a table where a group of collectors debated the importance of royalties.

While I promised not to doxx my table mates, their opinions ranged from total outrage at some of the latest marketplace policies to others calling creator royalties a "pure fantasy" from the start. I refrained from taking a stance on the issue, but each argument had compelling points, and I left the table fascinated at what I had just heard.

Lastly, while no one can say for what 2023 has in store regarding creator royalties, what NFT Paris did highlight is that artists and builders are drawing the line and picking sides.

An Unparalleled Experience

It's hard to imagine someone not having an absolute blast at NFT Paris, especially artists and creators. While I arrived at NFT Paris with neutral expectations, I left feeling energized and optimistic like the "WGMI" degens of 2021.

Most importantly, attendees had a renewed sense of purpose. The space has a new creative spark, and artists and builders look to be leading the way.

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