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“Degens” and sports forces meet at the Web3 festival

"Degens" and sports forces meet at the Web3 festival

I first heard the term “degen” when I got into online poker. It’s short for “degenerate,” but some young players, cynically and ironically, honed by a lifetime of unlimited Internet access, wear “degen” with a sense of pride. Degens set the time. They devote themselves to a cause, even if it costs them dearly. Regular players may gloat over their strong hands. Talk about bad beats and big losses? Trade a financial hit for public influence? This is a sign of true degen.

Although I was a casual player, spending late nights and early mornings at the micro stakes tables, neither my pockets nor my skills were ever deep enough to really achieve degen status. I thought I left them behind when I finally logged out.

I then visited the NFT Fest, where the major players in Australian business and commerce stood alongside the self-proclaimed geeks of web3.

Both sides have declared their commitment to the NFT space. However, the irony of the degens in attendance posting crap contrasted sharply with the pragmatism offered by industry leaders.

Sports leaders keep faith in NFT projects

Per SmartCompanyI attended the afternoon sessions of NFT Fest on Thursday at the Alex Theater in St Kilda, Melbourne. Unlike recent NFT events held overseas, participants filled the hall. I watched my steps as I walked through the crowded foyer, careful not to step on anyone’s feet; Amidst a sea of ​​polished Oxfords and freshly bought Jordans, one of the patrons stood barefoot. Near the theater door I found eight fluffy paws belonging to a pair of real Samoyeds. (Samoyedcoin, “a premier community, dog money, and an ambassador for the Solana ecosystem,” sponsored the event.)

While the lobby was crowded with dogs and degenerates, representatives of Australia’s leading sports organizations discussed the future of their integration with web3. The AFL, NRL, Cricket Australia and the Australian Open are currently deep in space, with the latter confirming on Thursday that owners of its AO Art Ball NFT collection will be given a double week pass to next year’s event. The announcement was certainly a boon for attendees, who snapped up some of the 6,776 NFTs since the release this January. However, the discussion has focused on how best to reach casual fans without the necessary technical knowledge, who may also be spooked by the recent falls of cryptocurrency players like FTX.

Ridley Plummer, Senior NFT & Web3 Manager for Tennis Australia, said the organization is currently hard at work bringing tennis fans, not just NFT fans, to its digital offerings. Finding ways to introduce NFT to a fan base that misrepresents older and more female than most other codes remains a challenge, he says.

“We want to start getting tennis fans involved in the project,” he told the audience. “I think we all know that there are issues with getting die-hard fans on the web.” Brands like the Australian Open, using their “technology for good”, will help “quench some of the skepticism that comes with things like the FTX saga,” he added.

Plummer acknowledged that it is critical to win over these wary consumers in order to keep the NFT program going.

“We can’t just lose money on a project like this,” he said. So we need to keep doing it, keep delivering value to the consumer or owner at the end of the day.”

Joan Norton, Commercial Strategy Manager at Cricket Australia, went on to describe how sports codes are enthusiastic about the commercial opportunities of NFTs but wary of their mainstream reception. Cricket Australia has developed NFTs for use in the Cricrush game, but has actively avoided using the term NFT in their marketing.

“One thing I will say that we were really aware of, from CA [social media] The point of view and what we put forward is not to use NFTs, but to talk about them as digital collectibles and try to get people into the program, not NFTs,” she said.

Cricket certainly has more right to be outraged by FTX’s big crash than most other codes. Cricket’s global organizing body, ICC, of ​​which Cricket Australia is a member, was forced to withdraw FTX’s sponsorship of the recent T20 World Cup held in Melbourne as the cryptocurrency exchange collapsed and was liquidated. The global partnership is now falling apart.

Before taking the stage to moderate the discussion, Greg Oakford, founder of NFT Fest, stressed the importance of separating the NFT space from the chaos unfolding in centralized blockchain operations like FTX.

“Each of us here at NFT Fest, as leaders in this field in this emerging technology, should really be brief and clear about the difference between what happened with FTX and what is happening in the land of NFT,” he said. . SmartCompany.

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

Crypto natives profess the value of culture

Soon it was time for the degens. After the sports league discussion, representatives from Web3 Clouted and Boot took the stage to talk about new cultures created through Web3 communities. For Clouted, who works with brands at the West Coast NFT, and Booth, Pepe’s poster boy and proponent of “post-ironic irony,” it turns out that the cultural connections created through NFT’s internal groups are just as important as the financial value of these projects. produce.

In a market where NFT valuations have fallen from their all-time highs, it’s important not to consider a collection’s value in monetary terms, they said.

Such a sentiment is unlikely to sit well with the industry leaders who unveiled that day, who hope their high-budget NFT projects will generate more than just camaraderie among token holders. However, for now, the sector seems to be in need of its geeks, its true keepers of the faith, while the big brands are finding ways to win over mainstream consumers.

I left NFT Fest impressed with the turnout and enthusiasm of those present. It must have awakened some dormant instinct in me. I soon found myself in the back room of a bowls club playing a few hands of pub poker, surrounded by players who obviously knew each other, whose confidence and sense of humor had probably been honed over the years, and countless chips were swapped back and forth.

My luck ran out early, as usual, but it was a hit that I could afford. As I was heading home, I thought of the players still stuck at the table.

Written by khirou

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