MIAMI – Friday is the start of the inaugural Miami NFT Week, a three-day event kicking off Miami Tech Month, highlighting the digital industry and its future.
And while city leaders are presenting Miami as the crypto capital of the world, this is seen as a significant step toward achieving that goal.
The start of Miami NFT Week hopes to spotlight what many expect to be a booming industry in the near future, with Miami being the global hub of it all.
“That represents diversity, that represents culture, that represents technology,” said Jalak Jobanputra, founder and CEO of Future\Perfect Ventures.
An NFT – or non-fungible token – is an online asset built and managed on a block chain, which is a digital system that keeps track of transactions and ownership.
Art and music are two of the most popular forms of NFTs, but as Jobanputra puts it, expansion is going to explode in this space, and one of those booms will come in fashion.
“When we’re buying avatars and we’re living in these metaverses and digital worlds, we need something that’s going to express ourselves,” she said.
That expression comes in the form of digital items to purchase and wear in the metaverse, a loose term that basically means the online world, or cyberspace.
Jobanputra’s firm has already invested in a company partnered with Dolce and Gabbana, the Italian luxury brand, to sell NFTs created by the designers themselves.
“A lot of people can’t buy a Dolce and Gabbana dress in original, but they may be able to buy an NFT of one,” she said. “You can sell it if you want to if you can look at it as an investment or you can look at it as a way to support the brands you’re most passionate about.”
The idea of an entirely new economic space provides the opportunity for growth in these businesses, and for consumers to fuel that growth with their money.
But amid the excitement of a new frontier comes a warning about biting off more than you can financially chew, and the idea of splitting your time between the physical world and the digital one.
“We might be headed to a day where many people spend the majority of their waking life in the metaverse, in these worlds doing whatever they want to do, being whoever they want to be,” said Craig Kirsner, President of Stuart Estate Planning Wealth Advisors. “And it’s a scary part, but it’s possibly coming.”
“Don’t invest more than you can lose,” Jobanputra advises. “You know, you hear about people making a lot of money off of an NFT or off of the crypto, but it’s still volatile, it’s still risky.”
Still, the excitement for the future of NFTs and all that comes with it is palpable.
Investors feel like they’re getting in on the ground floor of a limitless possibility, and the Sunshine State is home base.
“I believe the next five to 10 years are going to be, you know, Miami’s moment and will continue beyond that,”Jobanputra said.
Jobanputra and other experts have compared the crypto, NFT and digital space to the early days of the internet in the 1990s, meaning there’s plenty of risk, and the advice for most people is to start small.
But ultimately, it’s reflecting a moment that starts small and undoubtedly is going to stay.