At the “Consensus by CoinDesk 2023” held at the end of April, Yat Siu did not appear backstage as the panel discussion on the main stage loomed.
Another panelist, Maya Zehavi, and I, who acted as moderator, were backstage with the microphones on and watched as the staff grew more and more anxious.
Co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands, which is known for its active investment in Web3-related projects such as NFT and Metaverse, many people are trying to talk to Mr. Siu, a heavyweight in the Metaverse world. The rush, Mr. Siu was unable to move.
When one of the staff who finally found Mr. Siu contacted me about the situation, I was deeply moved. Just three years ago neither Web3 nor NFTs mattered.
Blockchain games weren’t popular, and Siu wasn’t surrounded by fans. Early believers in Web3’s potential, like Siu, gathered in the corners of large conferences to themselves.
I know that situation because I was involved in it before Web3 got a lot of attention. I first wrote an article on Axie Infinity on CoinDesk in August 2020. Many people think it’s too early. In fact, it was early, considering it had less than 500 daily users. A year later, the number of users peaked at around 3 million.
But if you ask me, it was too late. In retrospect, Web3 was starting to take shape in 2018. In the same year, Axie Infinity started, Animoka Brands made seed investments in projects that would later become Web3 giants, such as DapperLabs and OpenSea, and Blockchain Game Alliance : BGA) was formed.
These are notable. At the time, the blockchain industry saw blockchain games as a paradoxical use case for blockchain rather than a solid use case. In March 2021, Beeple’s NFT “Everydays” was traded for 69.3 million dollars (approximately 9.4 billion yen, converted to 135 yen per dollar). became.
conference too late
And now, in 2023, I believe more than ever that the Web3 era is upon us. CoinDesk’s decision to have a metaverse and games-focused session at Consensus 2023 is another big reason I’m bullish. Consesus is the prestigious annual review of the state of the cryptocurrency industry, offering a glimpse into the industry’s legends and sometimes chaos.
As for the Metaverse and games, it can be said that legitimacy has been given to what has been made over a long period of time. But it’s also a reminder that events and conferences are lagging indicators. As someone trying to figure out the next trend before it hits the mainstream, I tend to think of projects that hit the stage as being in the late stage already.
It’s easy to be critical. However, that was until I was actually entrusted with the programming of the conference. This year, I was in charge of programming the Consensus 2023 metaverse and game stages. Massive events like this require large crowds, and how risky it is to devote valuable time to nascent use cases that may not yet work without significant appeal and substantial users. I can understand why.
In preparing the three-day program, I worked with Jeffrey Zirlin of Sky Mavis, Sebastien Borget of The Sandbox, and Yuga Labs. )’s Spencer Tucker, and of course Siu, is as influential as any of the lesser-known big names I’ve met in the last few years. We aimed to introduce exciting people and projects.
listen for small swells
For example, Cloudwhite. It holds the second largest number of virtual properties in Axie Infinity’s metaverse Lunacia. The company recognized the value of digital ownership and verifiable scarcity long before big names like Atari, Warner Music and Gucci jumped on the trend. It wasn’t because he was highly educated or because he had a lot of money. As a kid, he was an avid collector collecting Pokemon cards and selling Beanie Babies.
Anand Venkateswaran, formerly known as ‘Twobabour’, also took the stage. Twobadour, known as one of the buyers of Beeple’s NFT, which traded for $69.3 million in March 2021, had previously purchased an NFT for $100,000 in 2019. Little known.
Given the current NFT price, $100,000 may not seem like a big deal, but considering the market was still immature at the time, it was a strong conviction that almost no one was paying attention to. I think it was a crazy move that needed to be done.
The early audacity of these figures makes for good chat fodder, but looking back isn’t enough if you’re trying to catch trends before they make the news.
This year is the first Consensus for everyone introduced in this article. In other words, it was many years ago that I took the first step to the big game. That’s why I hope many people listened to the participants of Consensus 2023 who didn’t appear on stage.
The person who was the hard seller in the coffee queue and the big fan at the party could very well be the next Mr. Siu, Cloudwhite and Twobadour. While it’s certainly difficult to ignore the people who make headlines on stage, it’s also worth listening to what’s going on behind the scenes. The small whispers heard during the “crypto winter” may be roaring in the next bull market.
Leah Callon-Butler: Director of Emfarsis, an investment consulting firm specializing in Web3 and the Open Metaverse.
｜Translation and editing: Akiko Yamaguchi, Takayuki Masuda
｜Image: Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoka Brands (Shutterstock/CoinDesk)
｜Original: The Next Big Web3 Trend Wasn’t on Stage at Consensus