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Miami Art Week Live Blog Day 2: The Gateway and Beyond

Art Basel Miami 2022 is officially in full swing, which means The Gateway 2022 has also gone live. In collaboration with Mana Common and MoonPay, nft now officially kicked off The Gateway: A Web3 Metropolis in the heart of downtown Miami, and it’s already become one of Web3’s most important events of 2022. Top names from our planned programming include panels from Instagram, MoonPay, Christie’s, and many more.

Day one was a doozy. Attendees flooded the Dupont building to catch one of the many insightful panels taking place that day. Predictably, a panel led by Gary Vaynerchuk — arguably the original internet-age influencer — in conversation with nft now co-founder Matt Medved saw a packed house, full of people eager to hear the web guru’s thoughts and perspective on all things Web3.

Other highlights at the Dupont building included a panel hosted by Porsche regarding their plans to embark on an extensive Web3-focused campaign into the near future and beyond, a panel hosted by members of FaZe Clan on the role of interoperability in the future of gaming, and a bombshell announcement from Rug Radio’s Farokh at a panel to close the day.

As part of Rug Radio’s ever-expanding foothold into Web3 media, Farokh announced the upcoming release of a PFP collection aiming to capture the “many faces of Web3.” The collection’s art was prepared by noted NFT artist Cory Van Lew, who will also have pieces on display at The Gateway’s Christie’s showcase throughout the week.

Web3’s evolving legal landscape

The fall of FTX has reignited conversations about regulation in Web3 and caused regulatory bodies and enforcement agencies globally to pay closer attention to the world of blockchain. Amidst this backdrop, legal experts gathered to discuss Web3’s evolving legal landscape. In a panel discussion at nft now and Mana Common’s The Gateway: A Web3 Metropolis, Amy Madison Luo, Partner at Digital, and Shekinah Apedo, General Counsel at Deadfellaz were joined by moderator Mark Jansen, Partner at Fenwick, to discuss what the future holds.

Madison began by noting that, contrary to popular belief, the crypto space isn’t actually any more plagued by bad actors. “There are bad actors in every industry, and with new technologies people try and take advantage of that. That’s nothing new […] but as we move through the technology, we are seeing these bad actors get found out. So I’m actually really bullish.”

Madison also spoke about the difficulty in classifying NFTs under the current securities definitions and guidelines, since blockchain technology just doesn’t fit into the conventional, 20th-century categories of securitization. “When it comes to classifying things as a security or not, you can’t just slap a name on something and assume laws won’t affect it,” Madison said. “You need to look at the facts and circumstances underlying that thing you’re creating.”

In the wake of the FTX crash, many “regulators who work on Capitol Hill are using [FTX] to justify why the [Web3] space should be heavily regulated […] but we do have a lot of legislators who are pro-crypto,” said Shekinah Apedo, General Counsel at Deadfellaz, during the panel. “One of the most important things is to make sure you have your due diligence in order […] trademarks, IPs, etc.”

Apedo also stressed that while creator royalties are an increasingly popular subject in Web3, and could become a more successful component of strategizing growth, they can’t carry you all the way. “There have been a lot of conversations about creator royalties, but that can not be your primary business strategy.” The growing consensus is that users of NFTs should self-educate, and familiarize themselves with the legal framework of NFTs to protect themselves, because regulations, done rashly or carefully, are on their way. “The regulation is going to happen, no matter what,” said Mark Jansen, Partner at Fenwick. “It’s just a question of when.”

Instagram digital collectibles: taking NFTs mainstream

Since Meta began to roll out features that allowed users to sell NFTs on Instagram in November, interest surrounding gas fees on the platform as a potential NFT marketplace have peaked — especially in light of Meta Spokesperson Christine Pai’s announcement that neither creators nor collectors would be charged gas fees. This, compounded by Meta’s obvious influence over social media (via Facebook and Instagram), has signaled the beginning of wider accessibility for NFTs.

For many, Instagram “opened up” access to cultural means of changing one’s life, as Web2 introduced a participatory element to the commons. “Instagram was life-changing for me […] I was working at an ad agency and learned how to tell stories for other brands,” said Artist and Poet Amber Vittoria during a Thursday panel at nft now’s Gateway in Miami. “Instagram removed gatekeepers,” and redefined artists’ ability to exercise agency over how they are represented in the world.

But by selling or collecting NFTs on Instagram, the advances (and failings) of the twenty-teens will be amended for the new decade to come. Using digital collectibles on Instagram “provides a different way of building an audience, as you don’t have to market [yourself or your work] as an NFT, specifically,” said Micah Johnson, Creator of Aku Dream, during the panel. When Instagram’s blockchain tech first launched on Instagram, the talent pool was small, but the aims were high. “We launched with a few select creators, but a really big focus for us is how we can enable any creator to drop on Instagram,” said Ed Dowling, Product Lead and Creator of Blockchain Products at Instagram.

Indeed, the tone of NFTs on Instagram circled back to bringing the technology to a broader population. “You know when a technology has gone mainstream when you stop talking about the technology and start talking about how it changes people’s lives,” said nft now Co-Founder and CEO Matt Medved. “And [the NFT space] is still moving through that.”

Beyond Basel throws a nightly music and art festival into its art festival

Starting at 7:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, Beyond Basel will kick off a three-day festival touting the most cutting-edge visual and musical artists working together in tandem. Hosted by Trippy Labs in partnership with FaZe Clan, MoonPay, and Samsung U.S., each festival date will offer attendees the chance to participate in a one-of-a-kind festival experience, providing nine hours of live music and art each day.

Among the star-studded list of artists and musicians set to take the stage is Japanese artist Mari Asada, better known as marimosphere, whose live VR art show looks to give audiences a night to remember as her set rolls around at 12:30 a.m. late into the night.

Collectibles featuring Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Queen, and more launching at Art Basel

Newly curated NFT marketplace Nifter is taking to Art Basel Miami to unveil a massive staggered launch of NFT collectibles, available for purchase on its website at an undisclosed date. Headlining this crop of digital collectibles are pieces featuring the likes of Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Queen, Muhammad AliStan Lee, and many more

Each collectible scheduled for release has been certified for authenticity by Topps, Iconic Authenticated, and Upperdeck Signatures. Pricing is set to range from $500 all the way to $50,000 for the rarest NFTs. Nifter will host a slew of art and music NFTs on the platform, with pieces by renowned street artist Uncuttart and Grammy nominee Melky Jean among the most notable NFT drops during the week.

This is developing coverage of The Gateway on Thursday, December 1, so be sure to check in for more updates.

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