The NFT.NYC 2022 conference brought thousands of NFT enthusiasts together from artists and musicians to investors, entrepreneurs, and of course – our NFT Newsroom team. The event included speakers from all over the world, panel discussions, live performances, exclusive pop-ups and private events over the course of the week. Below, a few of our newsroom team members share some of the highlights and take-aways they took from the conference.
Chih-Hsun (Tim) Lin Tim practices corporate and business law, helping clients with matters such as financing, private equity and mergers and acquisitions, as well as compliance with U.S. financial regulations including issuing NFTs, sanctions laws, and money transmissions regulations.
While the growth in NFT (and the market) and innovative ideas were the primary focus of the NFT.NYC, one takeaway that I had from a series of panels and events is the compliance issues that are subtle yet fundamental for the activities relating to the mint, purchase and sale of NFTs.
In addition to the potential securities law concerns, the mint, purchase and sale of NFTs are likely to be subject to anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CFT) requirements due to the fact that (i) a NFT is in nature a token and may have the same function as a “virtual asset” does (as described by FATF’s June targeted update on VA and VASP), and (ii) the mint and trading of a NFT are more often than not involving the flow of cryptocurrencies. Further, given that NFTs may now be pledged as collateral for loans disbursed in cryptocurrencies (and thereby facilitate the flow of funds conventionally regulated by AML/CFT laws), the use of NFT in DeFi setting has been identified as a risk factor under current AML/CFT frameworks and is deemed as a potential loophole under such framework. It thus becomes increasingly important (especially for institutional participants such as NFT platforms) to accurately assess the risks associated with the use and trading of NFTs and understand how such risks could result in implications. And for someone who intends to enter the NFT space, they must now pay attention to aspects other than conventional legal and tax considerations.’
Mioko C. Tajika Mioko practices commercial litigation with a particular focus on intellectual property cases involving disputes over copyrights, trademarks, and right of publicity. Mioko also provides counseling on the proper use and enforcement of intellectual property rights.
I attended the NFT.NYC conference in New York held during the week of June 20. To speak freely, the conference was a mixture of hit or miss, which is to be expected based on the sheer number of offerings (provided in 5-to-25-minute increments for 4 days taking place on many floors at multiple different venues), but overall, an exhilarating (if not overwhelming) experience. Here are some takeaways from the legal presentations offered at the conference: (1) the law of NFTs is still under development and heavily intertwined with the underlying technology, and there are a myriad of legal issues including intellectual property, licensing, and securities law issues that should be on the radar of creators as well as purchasers; (2) for example, one issue discussed concerns the transferability/enforceability of the NFT terms and conditions in the secondary market; and (3) one possible way to close that loop may be to draft the terms and conditions in a manner that restricts the purchaser’s freedom to sell so that the original terms and conditions are observed by the subsequent purchaser.
Rachel J. Hong Rachel has experience in representing clients contract disputes, professional liability actions, condominium board issues, derivative lawsuits, class actions, and cases involving construction defects. In addition to her legal background, Rachel holds dual degrees in Mathematics and Urban Design & Architecture studies.
Much like Times Square, NFT.NYC was lively, fast-paced, and full of people from all walks of life! It was, dare I say, vivace.
I set the tone for the three-day convention by attending the “How NFTs Will Save The Music Industry” panel at which (from left to right) Emily Lazar (founder and singer of September Mourning), Kristin Doerrer (Vice President of Marketing at LGND), Michael Blu (co-founder of LGND), and Yoshi Kondo (A&R engineer at Atlantic Records) shared their insights.
“We’ve come full circle.” The panel unanimously agreed that NFTs will allow consumers to own their music as they had previously done through vinyl records, CDs, and mp3s. With the endless number of streaming services available to us today, the day that streaming becomes muted and ownership crescendos seems distant, but artists are pushing to regain their rights over their music. The panelists also foresee that NFTs will provide ways for artists to engage with and give back value to their fans in a more intimate way than is available today.
This sense of greater community involvement certainly resonated throughout the week. Leaving us wanting more, NFT.NYC deserves an encore!
Olivia Lee Jones Olivia practices general commercial litigation, assisting clients with a variety of business-related matters and disputes.
I kicked off NFT.NYC 2022 by visiting Wu-Tang legend, Method Man’s first comic book NFT pop-up shop! (TICAL UNIVERSE NFT POP-UP SHOP)
TICAL UNIVERSE is Method Man’s first comic book NFT project. Method Man’s team hosted this event in commemoration of the official launch of TICAL UNIVERSE into the Ethereum network and to debut the release of the "Iron Lung" NFT series. The initial NFT drop debuted in November 2021 in collaboration with TuneGO and Dapper Labs and featured the first five TICAL UNIVERSE comic characters. “This Genesis NFT drop signifies the dawn of the Tical Universe and the birth of the original Tical Universe characters. Collectors who purchase these original NFTs will own a piece of history,” remarked John Kohl, CEO of TuneGO. The NFTs feature artwork from esteemed New York artists Alex Smetsky and Aleks Sinyuts and are sound-tracked by the instrumental version of Method Man’s single, “New Old School.” During the event I had the opportunity to meet Alex and learn more about the TICAL brand. The event took place at Gallery 23 NY, a non-profit gallery group located in the heart of New York City’s art district. This was an amazing event showcasing an incredible NFT project. Check out to learn more!
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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.
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