Those looking for evidence of a recent crypt collapse should not look to Minneapolis – at least for the next few days.

This weekend, thousands of NFT owners are flocking to twin cities at Gary Weinerchuk’s VeeCon, a four-day conference where Web3 business leaders, entrepreneurs and evangelists discuss the digital transformation of everything from art to assets.

In addition to being a serial entrepreneur and influential on social media, Weinerchuk is well known for his early investments in companies including Facebook and Coinbase.

Weinerchuk’s NFT “VeeFriends” collection consists of 10,255 characters of incompatible tokens available for purchase through the ethereum cryptocurrency. Each token includes a “smart contract” with metadata that Weinerchuk can use to interact with his customer. Token holders also receive exclusive access to the annual event for three years after purchasing NFT.

VeeFriends mascots are preparing for Gary Weinerchuk’s VeeCon conference.

Riley de Leon | CNBC

This is not only the first VeeCon, but also the first in the history of the event with NFT tickets. Token holders gain access to the ticket through a digital wallet on their phones, which confirms their ownership of Weinerchuk’s digital assets.

NFT is a type of digital asset created to track the ownership of a virtual item using blockchain technology. Such unique items could be works of art or sports cards – a market that Weinerchuk became acquainted with as a teenager, selling baseball cards for thousands of dollars a week.

The price of etherium has recently dropped by as much as 60% since the 2021 peak.

“VeeCon’s time cannot be better,” Weinerchuk said in his opening remarks at Friday’s conference. “Next year we will have an incredible chapter of Web3. Everyone here is wildly aware that there has been a correction in [crypto] prices … it’s not fun when your assets go on paper. That’s what there is, but the time is great because a lot of good work has been done now. A lot of innovation is being done. ”

The event, which is being held at US Bank Stadium, features keynote speakers who have recently appeared on the Web3 stage, including Snoop Dogg, Spike Lee, Deepak Chopra, Eva Longoria and Mila Kunis, among others.

“Obviously because of who they are, celebrities will get a lot of attention and I think they are responsible [to educate] with the size of their audience, “Weinerchuk told CNBC.” Anyone involved in this space should think about whether short-term money is worth reputational risk. “

VeeCon has also become a boon to the local economy in Minneapolis, which is one of many communities across the country trying to recoup lost tourist dollars from the Covid-19 pandemic. Token holders from around the world are present, including India, Australia, Romania, France and Sweden.

“As a local Minnesota, I am truly proud to have the first VeeCon in my backyard,” said Maha Aboulain, local event organizer and CEO of Digital & Savvy. “I can’t wait to see all the friendships that are forged on VeeCon.”

However, there is some fear around the longevity of space. Earlier this week, bitcoin hit its lowest level since December 2020, at less than $ 26,000, and shares of open crypto-brokerage firm Coinbase have fallen 74% since the beginning of the year this week.

“Now the predominant energy of space is very short-term. I would call it greed. Many do not spend time on education,” said Weinerchuk.

“The reality is that all of this behavior will cause 97-98% of these current projects to lose value over the next 24-36 months because the supply and demand curves will not work.”

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