On September 7th, NFT Fest Lugano took place, a five-day event all about Blockchain, NFTs, Web3, Crypto, and the Metaverse. The event featured many international experts, thought-provoking discussions, gaming rooms, and interesting new projects. I had the privilege of being present, which enabled me to convey the event's insights in this article.
When I arrived, the outside of Lugano's Palazzo dei Congressi immediately caught my eye. This had been transformed into a giant artwork, sending a powerful message: "Art Will Save the World." I later discovered that Yuri Catania is the artist behind the impressive mural piece. His work explores the connection between nature and technology in an increasingly connected world.
Within the venue, there was an abundance of sights and activities to explore. There were gaming booths, interactive activities, and products from Web3 companies such as MetaBrewSociety, all set in a vibrant atmosphere with DJ consoles and networking opportunities. I really enjoyed the presence of physical collectibles such as Pokémon cards and action figures. It's a nice reminder that the NFT industry isn't just about making financial gains but also a genuine passion for many.
However, while the turnout on this first day was decent, it was less crowded than expected.
The event featured an impressive lineup of speakers. Among the many, this included Max Butti from SIX Digital Exchange and the founding team behind Elysium Lab. They discussed Financial Institutions in Web3 and the delicate topic of user experiences related to crypto wallets. Sergi Mata, VP of Polygon, discussed Polygon 2.0 as the next stage of evolution for the protocol and enterprises adopting blockchain. Pedro Herrera from DappRadar gave a step-by-step guide on " making a Dapp sexy." Giacomo Zucco, a Bitcoin expert, expressed his thoughts on the very debated case of Bitcoin Ordinals. Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether & Bitfinex, decided to focus his keynote on Holepunch and the concept of peer-to-peer networks. Dominic Williams from the DFINITY Foundation provided many insights about the ICP and its benefits for the whole industry. Finally, Antoni Martin, co-founder of Polygon, explained in more detail what Polygon is and its main goals for the future.
What stood out to me was the message from Lugano, conveyed through a video speech by Mayor Michele Foletti. The city is committed to embracing crypto and digital technology and providing its citizens with a real way of buying products and services with crypto. As Roberto Gorini of Noku, one of the event organizers, put it, "With this event, we aim to make digital technology accessible to everyone and show how it can be used in various fields like gaming, music, and art, thanks to blockchain and NFTs."
Something enjoyable about the event was that it didn't just focus on the good side of these technologies but also brought up their challenges and drawbacks. This is a sign of an industry that's growing and maturing.
During the conference, many big and small companies were eager to showcase their tech innovations. This demonstrates the commitment to delivering genuine benefits rather than solely focusing on extracting money from individuals. These are organizations that are not just in it for the money. They believe Web3 and Blockchain will play a big role in our future society and businesses.
The event was also full of startup founders, many dedicated to finding practical solutions. Most of these focused on making these technologies more user-friendly for businesses and users. This kind of dedication gives hope for the future of blockchain and NFTs.
It was evident that the NFT industry has matured beyond hype, focusing on real-world applications and value creation. Art and real estate are examples of industries using NFTs for tangible value creation. This shift highlights the industry's enthusiasm to realize NFTs' potential beyond speculative trading.
Moreover, the NFT-based gaming industry is advancing, and interoperability across platforms is a crucial aspect of this new landscape. Despite challenges with creating high-quality games on Web3, more developers are entering the market, increasing competition. The NFT gaming industry is maturing and is expected to influence how people engage with digital goods and the metaverse.
Loyalty programs and token gating are popular tools for customer relationship management that connect offline, online, and on-chain experiences. Community engagement is crucial for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) success. Establishing a strong and engaged community around NFT projects is essential for adoption and value generation. NFT projects with supportive communities have a higher chance of success.
The Web3 ecosystem offers brands many opportunities to engage with their customers through NFTs and other tokens. As brands become more integrated into their customers' lives, support will become a crucial component of Web3. Global brands such as Macy's and MasterCard are already exploring ways to connect more profoundly with their customers. Collaboration and community-building will become more important as brands aim to establish meaningful relationships with their customers in the Web3 environment. Innovation and creativity will fuel the next wave of growth for NFTs, transforming the way brands and customers interact in the digital realm.
In a world rapidly evolving with blockchain, NFTs, and Web3, NFT Fest Lugano provided a captivating glimpse into the future of technology. At the intersection of art and technology, the event emphasized the genuine passion many still have for NFTs and showcased the dedication of established companies and startups to overcome continuous challenges. As we embrace a new digital age, the commitment to innovation and the drive to make these technologies accessible will pave the way for a future where blockchain and NFTs continue to shape our society and businesses.