David Cash: Hi, everybody. Welcome back to NFTS.WTF. My name’s David Cash, editor-in-chief, and I’m joined here today, live at NFC (Non-Fungible Conference), with John Karp, founder of NFC. This is an amazing event, I mean, we’ve been here now for the past two days and I’ve been to a lot of NFC conferences, but the level of production in this town is insane right now.
This event is in a beautiful historic building that looks like a palace and then you come inside and it’s just completely decked out. I mean, it’s really incredible this space. I think we would love to hear how this started, obviously, you’re very involved in this space, but how did this idea come about?
John Karp: So, I have to talk about my personal history. I come from the events world actually. I created a company like 10 years ago called Hackathon. So I was at this small hacking event. And I always loved meeting people.
DC: Was their blockchain? Was there any solidity or?
JK: Not really. It was tech-related. So we were doing a blockchain event, but it was more corporate-oriented. So, client industry, the tech industry, blockchain, artificial intelligence, worldwide in 50 different countries. But two years ago was the beginning of lockdown and that’s when I discovered NFTs. And at that moment I fell in love. I started collecting every artist I could find. You know, the historical part makes me feel like I’m living and witnessing something important.
DC: It’s a rabbit hole, you buy one, you buy ten, you buy a hundred, and then whoops.
JK: Exactly, so at that time I just wanted to do everything related to that. Then it became a bit more intense last year, and everybody started to ask me questions. So I started hosting a daily club on Clubhouse. Who wants to do a phone call? Let’s do a clubhouse. And you can ask your questions. And so I did that with my partner, Remi, he asked me a question he wanted to discover and every day we did a podcast and we recorded it. It’s now one year later, and we’ve done like 250 episodes all in French.
DC: I listened to it. I remember because I was living in Italy when all this was happening and I was also very heavy on Clubhouse and there was NFTs.Tips, then there was your club in French, and then there was an Italian club. I remember those three because they’re the three languages that I understand, the ones that I actually listened to. It was super important for this space though, because at first, I remember with Clubhouse only people with iPhones and only people who spoke English were on it at first like December to February you know, when the world was like, “What’s an NFT?!” Somebody had to answer it and you were there for the European community and also the global community.
JK: So it ends up being global. So I’ve been going to these different events, but many weren’t that great. Also, it was a lot of what I would call a banking event. Very corporate. And then the crypto world is great. Because I feel that I’m a part of a new generation, right? That is like the NFT generation. That is not exactly the decentralized finance community and not exactly the Bitcoin community, you know? And so I think it’s, you know when I was going to this event, I would say I’m this into Ntfs and these guys from the DeFi would say, “NFTs, Yeah they’re booming, it’s cool.” But, you know, I wanted to create a place where you have only people who are really into the NFTs. Of course, I’ve been doing a lot of evangelization, but I want you to do something for people who already are deep in the space.
DC: I think it’s important. I called myself an NFT evangelist for a while because it’s what we were doing. I think all of last year, we were all evangelizing trying to convince people that this is real.
JK: And so I decided to do this and I wanted to bring these people together and say, “Let’s try to be innovative and fresh.”
DC: Is that why you chose Lisbon or what was the thought process for Lisbon?
JK: Yeah. Portugal is becoming quite the hub for crypto, NFTs, and tech in Europe right now, at least as far as events. Usually, you have good weather, even if right now it’s not that great. There’s a movement happening in Lisbon right now. The young generation is bringing the energy and party.
DC: For Europe, it’s very modern. I found that there’s a lot of history, but also a lot of brand new, fresh tech.
JK: You know, like 10 years ago you had Berlin, It was the cool city to be in; everyone wanted to go to Berlin. Now all the artists are going to Portugal. I’ve always said, “ Follow the artists.”
This is the point of this conference, to have the artists in the middle. Of course, you know, we have brands, of course, we have metaverse and gaming. Overall, art is the key for me and creation is the key, and this is why we love this space. And so this is why we wanted to innovate, and this is why we try to create different areas.
DC: Well, I mean, the curation is a lot of work. Obviously, the panels, the booths, the sponsors, and the artist exhibitions. I love the fact that it’s intertwined. It doesn’t feel segmented, like some conferences. The Web3 space is not like that, right? I always get asked, “What’s the metaverse, what’s an NFT and how do I buy crypto?” But it’s actually, “You can combine NFTs in the metaverse with crypto.” It’s inclusive. So I feel like you really reflected that here.
JK: Exactly, we actually have this small place that we call the playground. I don’t know if you saw that area with the boxing ring in the middle. In the beginning, it was supposed to be a conference room. And I said, okay, one more conference room. That’s fine. But let’s try to do a conference room that is different. You may have a talk there, but you may have other things.
DC: And it makes it more of an immersive experience for people to come into, especially since we’re coming from the metaverse now, so you want to do something more exciting. And also after the pandemic, it’s this feeling that we have this almost obligation to do more than we could before.
JK: Yes it’s almost like in the metaverse where you have real estate agencies sending land in the metaverse, and there’s Ntfs. So this is really what I wanted to do. And what is the key? Of course its people. It’s the people you bring there.
DC: It’s not an audience anymore. It’s a community. You actually have to interact with them.
JK: So if you have good people, you know, even if you have nothing, it will be great. And so this is the key and we are lucky because we have really great people here, great collectors from all around the world that decided to come at this time. I don’t know why to be honest.
DC: Yeah, totally sold out, this place is packed. One of the most exciting things for people watching right now at home is you can watch a whole bunch of this online. So where can people find if they want to look into the conference further?
JK: They can go to TheNemesis.io/@NonFungibleConference. It’s a metaverse that you can go here to see all the different artwork, live streams of panels, and experience the Non-Fungible Conference from home. It’s amazing.
DC: So you have to, even if you couldn’t come physically if you’re in another country and other continents, you can still experience via the metaverse. So I love this. I love that you already thought about this. You’re ready for the next step. Thank you so much, John, for taking the time. It’s a pleasure. Really. Thank you for having me and thank you for having us. It’s been a pleasure WTF being here live at NFC. Signing off for this one. Thank you all so much for watching. My name is David Cash. I’ll see you the next time. Take care.