In Paris, just across from the Pompidou Center, NFT Factory officially opened its doors on October 22. A self-described “Soho House for Web3,” the space was conceived by John Karp, the entrepreneur behind hackathon.com and the Non Fungible Conference. Opening event attendees included crypto-poet Sasha Stiles and filmmakers Benjamin Bardou and Patrice Masini, with more than 1,000 members of the public joining the festivities.
Open to all, the space boasts a public NFT art exhibit with 50 works from its founding members, with public workshops, seminars, and other events in the works. The space aims to launch its own Web3 minting platform and marketplace in 2023.
NFT Factory aims to train, educate, and enhance a wider understanding of Web3 and NFTs. In short, the project is envisioned to serve as a training and educational space for the general public as a means to bolster appreciation and fuel the growth of the French Web3 ecosystem.
While generally seeking to gather entrepreneurs, artists, corporates, and investors, those new to the Web3 scene are also a target demographic. The space plans to host seminars, debates, artist residencies, and studios for crypto creative work along with open workshops to teach attendees how to set up wallets and mint NFTs.
Individuals can gain physical and digital access to the space by purchasing a Member Node, the NFT Factory’s proprietary community token. “Nodes” were chosen to symbolize linkage, representing the role that each member of the community “plays in bringing the movement towards its goal,” as each member node is “essential for the system as a whole to function.” As a collection of nodes creates a chain, so too do individuals link to this “private” knowledge.
The project aims to first develop the Factory in Paris before launching an international expansion, with Portugal, Belgium and Switzerland among the potential sites.
Why it Matters
Paris is clearly trying to become a global hub for crypto. Between offering shelter from the crypto winter to the news that Binance chose Paris to be its regional hub, NFT Factory’s vision of functioning as a bridge between public interest and private ability in the Web3 world looks to reconcile the knowledge gap.
Greater public knowledge — as the thinking goes — leads to greater public acceptance, which leads to more funding. The neat paradox here is asking the public to pay to learn about something they’re not sure they’re interested in.
There’s been a profound interest in the project so far from experts, but less so from the public; NFT Factory’s founding members include 128 leaders in the tech and crypto industry — including from the Museum of Crypto Art, Blackpool, Ledger, and The Sandbox — and crypto-artists alike. Public interest so far appears limited to those with an existing interest in the topic. Most Twitter users sharing their experience on the opening already had a clear connection to Web3 or the crypto space.
Additionally, the Factory’s workshop prices aren’t cheap, ranging from €60 to €200 a pop — and they were discounted for the opening. So, despite the opening splash, NFT Factory may have to work a little harder to make itself accessible and attractive to the general public.
What They Said
“Web3 is the next industrial revolution and it’s a game changer. Tomorrow we will have new worldwide leaders. NFT Factory will become a launchpad for these new projects.” (John Karp)
“Paris has always been an artistic capital, and this must continue even if art evolves and becomes digital. Today there are many crypto-artists who are in Paris or who come here regularly. With the NFT Factory, we want to offer them a dedicated place and make the sector shine.” (Lucie-Eléonore Riveron)