Pas de Funge: What we learned from NFT Paris 2023

Deep dive into NFT Paris 2023 with members of the Tezos ecosystem.

Originally published at Tezos Commons News

By Stu Elmes


1,250 words, 7 minute read

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NFT Paris is Europe’s biggest NFT conference. Featuring speakers, ambassadors, brands, and artists from across the digital art and NFT world, the 2023 edition of this impressive event built upon the modest success of NFT Paris 2022, which brought together an estimated crowd of over 800 people.

NFT Paris 2023, by contrast, attracted an estimated 18,000 visitors, which is, to put it mildly, astonishing growth for any annual event in the space of a single year. The NFT hype-cycle of 2021 may be over, but the amount of interest that NFT Paris 2023 managed to generate — not only in Europe, but from all across the globe — stands as testament to a simple truth that those in the know still understand. Namely, that the NFT and the technology behind it will play a crucial (and potentially lucrative) role in the Web 3.0-driven digital future to come.

NFTs have already empowered an entire generation of digital artists to take the reins of their own work and careers to an unprecedented degree, and many believe that this community has yet to truly even scratch the surface of the potential this technology holds for it. As the twin Web 3.0 and metaverse revolutions begin to take shape in earnest, the writing is — as they say — on the wall… at least for those who know how to read it.

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With NFT Paris 2023 now clearly in the rearview mirror (the event wrapped up on February 25th), and plans already being laid for NFT Paris 2024, I thought it might be worthwhile to take a look back at the enormous success of this event, what it means for the growing community of artists and brands staking their claim in the early-stage NFT landscape, and where the Tezos ecosystem and the community behind it fit into this complex and evolving picture.

Luckily for me (and you!), the fabulous Marissa Trew — host of TezTalks Radio and an important voice in spreading the Tezos message to the world — was not only in attendance at NFT Paris 2023, but was a speaker at the event.

So, I took my chance to sit down with Marissa for a chat about how it all went down…

A Chat with NFT Paris 2023 Speaker Marissa Trew #

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What was your role at NFT Paris 2023?

I was originally approached to host an interview with the global vice president of Adidas’ Three Stripes Studio ( /// Studio), Erika Wykes-Sneyd on their live stage, which was amazing. Erika was not only a great interviewee, but she’s also incredibly sharp and has a very clear vision about what our future when it comes to blockchain technology should look like.

While I was there, I was also asked to host/MC the show on the second day, which was an amazing opportunity. It meant that I was able to connect and speak with some of the brightest minds across the industry, even if only briefly, and learn a little bit about their perspectives.

What was your impression of how NFT Paris 2023 was received?

It was quite surreal to know that there were over 18,000 people wandering around the Grand Palais Éphémère, with a snaking queue that extended all the way to the Eiffel Tower. There was so much buzz and hype within the event itself and throughout the city of Paris. Even if you weren’t at all knowledgeable about NFTs or blockchain in general, you couldn’t deny that there was a strong atmosphere and collective enthusiasm.

Who else was in attendance from the Tezos ecosystem?

There were so many familiar and friendly faces from the Tezos ecosystem at NFT Paris. I believe it was Nomadic Labs that had a physical booth at the event. Entities like Tezos India and TZ Connect, platforms like Teia, Objkt and fxhash, and passionate members of Tezos’ artist community were also in attendance. Not only that, when speaking to both attendees and some of the higher profile speakers at the event, everyone was very bullish about collecting on Tezos.

Why do you think NFT Paris 2023 was able to generate so much interest?

I think in the midst of a bear market, it’s easy to forget why you entered the space to begin with. (Assuming it wasn’t just an attempt at a cash-grab) oftentimes, a big part of that is the community you find yourself surrounded by. NFT Paris was like being able to meet the people behind the technology you’ve been interacting with for so long — whether it’s an artist, a brand or PFP collection. It can be a little surreal meeting the human behind the Twitter handle, platform or art piece… but at the same time, it’s reassuring to be reminded that at the end of the day, we’re all just people excited about new technology.

This event was visited by an estimated 18,000 people from across the world. What does this impressive number represent for the state of the NFT industry and landscape as they exist today?

I think it proves that despite the skepticism and scrutiny this industry often finds itself under, the passion within the space has never truly wavered. These are the people who are all in it for the long game. There is a genuine excitement underlying everything that is being explored and built in this space. Major brands are experimenting with how to incorporate NFTs to develop closer relationships with their consumers. Artists are continuing to experiment with how they can incorporate new technologies in their work. Core developers are consistently looking at how the technology itself can be improved. It’s reassuring that despite market conditions, people’s passion for what this technology can do for society at large, hasn’t really faded.

What was your favorite part of NFT Paris 2023?

Honestly, it had to be the talk series that was hosted against the gorgeous backdrop of the Eiffel Tower. While I am biased, because I had the privilege of being a speaker in their programme, I loved it for just the sheer diversity of speakers and perspectives they had on stage. The cast came from all over the world, across a variety of different industries, and held very different reasons for their involvement in the blockchain space. Of course, there can always afford to be more diversity, but it felt as though the needle was at least starting to move in the right direction.

NFT Paris was, by almost any metric, a well-received and resounding success. It bought together some of the brightest minds in the NFT/Web 3.0 space and served as a fertile ground for discussing the next generation of NFTs currently taking shape in the space.

The Tezos ecosystem was well represented at NFT Paris 2023. And, with amazing folks like Marissa Trew and others from the Tezos ecosystem in attendance at such events now and in the future, this community and ecosystem remains well positioned to claim an important seat at the NFT and Web 3.0 table of the future.

If you missed out on NFT Paris 2023, don’t worry. The Tezos NFT Summit is just around the corner — April 12th-13th at Spring Studios in fabulous New York City! Come see what all the Tezos NFT buzz is really all about!