Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are poised to fundamentally transform our dining, shopping, traveling, and ticketing experiences at brick-and-mortar venues in the future. NFTs provide a huge opportunity for brick-and-mortar businesses to retool their marketing strategy, maximize market share, and attract a younger demographic. NFT are a type of crypto asset. While NFTs are similar to cryptocurrencies in that they both run on a blockchain, they differ in significant ways. Specifically, unlike traditional crypto assets, NFTs are unique. The non-fungible in “NFT” means each token is one of a kind and cannot be replaced with another token, much in the same way a work of art or an autographed baseball card is unique. While NFTs are particularly well suited to art and collectibles, NFTs can be used to represent the ownership of any one of a kind of asset, digital or not. Whether the NFT represents, for example, a VIP pass or a prize, this scarcity, uniqueness, and proof of ownership are valuable features that enable NFTs to transform a physical or digital asset into a collector’s item that has the potential for lucrative resale.
In our post-Covid world, brick-and-mortar businesses are looking for new and innovative ways to connect with their patrons and augment their marketing tactics. Traditionally, brick-and-mortar businesses have been fundamental touchstones of our daily lives, and now NFTs are transforming and augmenting that experience. NFTs can change how we define and experience brick-and-mortar in the future.
Keeping ahead of the game is essential for increasing market share. The Berkshire Innovation Center has arranged a panel of technical, business, financial, and legal NFT experts to help us learn how we can stay ahead of the game and leverage the impending NFT revolution.
Justin is an electrical engineer and scientist. He has spent the majority of his working career on electromagnetics problems related to aerospace platforms and space radiation effects on space-borne vehicles and materials. Justin attended the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth for his graduate and undergraduate studies in electrical engineering. Justin has been keenly interested in the applications of blockchain technology, with a particular emphasis on the cryptocurrency ecosystem since 2015. His website, CoinBusters.io, serves as a hub for research and best practices within the cryptocurrency space, aiming to reduce the barriers to entry and increase cryptocurrency adoption across the masses.
Counsel, Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds
Giovanna is a computer scientist, intellectual property attorney, and blockchain specialist with 18 years of experience advising high tech companies and startups in all areas of intellectual property law with an emphasis on the blockchain, NFTs, eSports, wearables, open source software license compliance, software-related agreements, patents, and trademark branding.
Chief Investment Officer & Director of Research at ETF Database
Dave Nadig is the Chief Investment Officer and Director of Research of ETF Trends (ETFTrends.com) and ETF Database (ETFdb.com). Dave has over 25 years in the investment management and ETF business, having served as the CEO of ETF.com, Director of Exchange Traded Funds at FactSet Research Systems, and Managing Director & Chief Strategy Officer of Barclays Global Investors. You can follow Dave in his column at ETFTrends.com, his frequent CNBC appearances, or you can read his book, "A Comprehensive Guide to Exchange Traded Funds" which was published by the CFA Institute.
Khalid focuses his efforts on exploring new solutions to old problems and enjoys deep diving into a diverse array of industries. Prior to Kolier, Khalid was a partner in SourceRock Partners, a boutique investment firm and family office focusing on investments in the real estate, media, sports and technology sectors. Prior to that, Khalid spent a decade as an attorney practicing Securities Litigation in law firms in NY and Washington DC. In the past several years, Khalid has spoken at venues such as MIT’s Enterprise Forum, and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries on the subjects of interactive streaming platforms, eSports, blockchain and sports analytics. Khalid is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Stanford Law School.
Ryan Salame is the Co-Chief Executive Officer of FTX Digital Markets, a Bahamian subsidiary of FTX Trading Ltd., a leading cryptocurrency exchange. Prior to joining the digital asset industry, Ryan built an extensive background in finance, having obtained a CPA in Massachusetts USA and a Masters in Finance from Georgetown University. He worked for Ernst & Young, one of the largest and most respected global accounting firms. Ryan has an extensive history in the digital asset space, having worked for Circle Internet Financial, formerly one of the largest global OTC trading firms in the digital asset industry, and Alameda Research, one of the largest global digital asset market-making firms. Ryan assisted Sam Bankman-Fried with the founding and creation of FTX Trading Ltd, the parent company of FTX Digital Markets Ltd (FDM) before becoming CEO of FTX Digital Markets in September 2021 after FDM received its Digital Asset License under the D.A.R.E Act.
Executive Director, Berkshire Innovation Center
Ben Sosne is the Executive Director of the Berkshire Innovation Center, which opened its new state-of-the-art facility in February 2020. The BIC serves as a catalyst to spark innovation and sustainable growth of technology-enabled companies, start-ups, and advanced manufacturers. Ben is a Berkshire County native and a graduate of Monument Mountain Regional High School. He earned a BA from Columbia College in 2002 and a JD from Pace University School of Law in 2009, where he focused on renewable energy and climate change law. He has been focused on regional economic development since returning to the Berkshires in 2015. Prior to that, he spent seven years as a Principal Court Attorney for the Appellate Division, Second Department, in Brooklyn.