MINNEAPOLIS — All the buzz around NFTs and cryptocurrency forecasted over the weekend can be credited to Gary Vaynerchuk. He is the brains behind VeeCon, a first-ever NFT-ticketed convention that will talk about NFTs, cryptocurrency, pop culture, business and more.
Serial entrepreneur, and creator of VeeFriends, a collection of non-fungible tokens...or digital art, owned by Vaynerchuk himself.
"Even the most introverted of us in this room after two and a half years of being locked up, it's nice to be with each other to the best of our ability," Vaynerchuk said at a press preview event at Fhima's in downtown Minneapolis.
A quick breakdown of NFT's: they're art, but digital. They can be purchased or traded using cryptocurrency called Ethereum.
NFT data is stored on a blockchain, which acts like a digital ledger. It can be traded, sold and bought.
Buying and selling digital art seems like a collector's hobby kind of thing, but Vaynerchuk said he sees a world of applications.
For example, non-profit charity auctions could look way different.
"The fact that we're going to be able to auction off NFT's, and then that art, as it sells in perpetuity has a royalty contract that goes back to the non-profit," he said. "This is going to change the way dollars move around, info moves around, IP moves around, always attached to the original IP holder."
So the question of why Minneapolis? It most definitely is not a tech hub...like Silicon Valley. However, Vaynerchuk said he has a bunch of personal connections that he's made to the state.
"My big dream in life is to own the NY Jets, and my significant foray into team ownership has been in e-sports, in Minnesota," he said, referring to his stake ownership of Minnesota ROKKR, the local Call of Duty team. "And I've been here seven or eight times, over the last decade for conferences, different business meetings. I'm sure everyone can attach to what I'm about to say, there are certain places you go and you don't even know why but you feel comfortable."