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12 Web3 Creators Discuss Royalties, Community, and the Future of Web3

BY Eric James Beyer

December 08, 2022

This year’s Art Basel was a blast. Miami showed up in style to nft now and Mana Common’s The Gateway: A Web3 Metropolis, a five-day activation of art, performances, and panel talks by some of Web3’s biggest names. On Wednesday, we brought you a rundown of some of the highlights from dozens of event talks, showcasing what the ecosystem’s most prominent developers and thought leaders had to say about the future of crypto and NFTs. But to really do justice to the sheer number of fantastic panels from the week, we’re playing the rest of the hits — a part two, for you.

FaZe Banks, co-founder of Faze Clan

FaZe Banks/nft now

The Co-founder of the Los Angeles-based esports and entertainment organization spoke about the future of Web3 gaming on Wednesday:

“I see a world where, if you spend 8 hours a day playing a game, there’s a place for you in the Web3 economy to build a place for yourself and a career for yourself.”

Lee Trink, CEO and co-founder of Faze Clan

During the same panel, Faze Clan CEO Lee Trink likewise offered his thoughts on how blockchain-based gaming can impact the wider NFT ecosystem:

“My hope through Web3 games is that we have a new renaissance period, one where you have more artists that are able to support themselves [by] making their own art.”

Ana María Caballero, co-founder of theVERSEverse

Ana María Caballero/nft now

Speaking to the often over-looked category of literary NFTs in the Web3 space, poet Ana María Caballero took to the stage with fellow literary artist Sasha Stiles to address how Web3 tech can help change the way the world views writers and poets, allowing them to financially sustain themselves through their work in ways previously thought to be impossible:

“Even Nobel Prize-winning poets cannot hope to sustain [themselves] as poets. There is always a secondary career….what we’re doing here [with NFTs] is saying that poetry has value.”

Frank DeGods, founder of DeGods

Frank DeGods/nft now

During a panel talk entitled “Why Community Is More Than a Buzzword in Web3”, Frank DeGods, Alex Zhang, BLOND:ISH, and Lin Dai discussed how NFT project teams create (or fail to create) meaningful values and missions for their communities to rally around.

“On any random day, is a project doing something that’s worth relevancy? Worth talking about? If not, then naturally people are into 10, 15, 20, 30 different projects. What quickly happens is the ones who are not doing something worth talking about, people get less interested. It’s just the nature of the game. There’s so much oversupply of NFTs.”

Alex Zhang, mayor of Friends With Benefits

“I think great communities, in the beginning, have to start with leaders. Any great community leads by example. It has leaders that step up to the plate whether explicitly chosen or organically risen.”

Lin Dai, CEO of OneOf

“A lot of projects quietly went away because they couldn’t deliver on their [community] promises.”

BLOND:ISH, DJ and Web3 advocate

“The way I’ve found a way to bring people into this space is to give them something that they want. They want concert tickets. They want to be backstage. So, that’s how I get people in the community. Keeping it really simple. You just have to define what is value in your ecosystem and then you can align incentives around that.”

Micah Johnson, creator of Aku Dream

Micah Johnson/nft now

The well-known former professional athlete turned NFT enthusiast and founder of Aku Dreams dropped by The Dupont Building on Friday last week to discuss how brands build their image in the digital age. Here’s what he had to say:

“I fell in love with blockchain technology and how it can innovate across creative mediums. A photograph now has an entirely different meaning than just a photo on a wall. It’s programmable.”


“The copy/pasting stuff, we saw a lot of that in 2021. If you did it, you could make money, so innovation became stagnant. For the NFT industry to grow, we need to get back to innovation.”

Julie Pacino, filmmaker

Julie Pacino/nft now

Filmmaker Julie Pacino joined J.N. Silva, Nelson G. Navarrete, and Isabella Montoya for a discussion on the state of film NFTs. A significant portion of the conversation was also devoted to the importance of royalties and how they offer valuable opportunities to artists:

“That’s the thing about this space that I think some people have confusion about — that it’s just this easy thing and we show up and we’re just millionaires all of a sudden. And it’s not. You still have to show up every day. You have to grind. You have to represent your own artwork and talk about it. These are all things we as [artists and filmmakers] we’ve been doing this our whole lives. But the difference is in [the NFT] space people are listening.”


“I think [the NFT space] clicked for me when I understood the power of being able to trace who was owning your digital asset and it meant being able to connect directly with your collectors, and of course royalties which are extremely important — and should never go away.”


“[Royalties] are important because they give us the means to keep this thing afloat and to give back to each other and support each other and uplift each other.”


“[Royalties are] exciting from a collector’s point of view because if me (the artist) is selling you some work and then I go hustle my ass off and elevate my value then you’re [also] going to benefit from it.”

Ivan Soto-Wright, CEO and Co-founder of MoonPay

Two men wearing black shirts sit on stage speaking to the crowd against a bright pink background.
Ivan Soto-Wright/nft now

Ivan Soto-Wright and MoonPay are on a mission to become a dominating force in the world of Web3 payments. Having recently announced that they are bringing on Time‘s current President, Keith Grossman, to aid the company in the role of President of Enterprise, Soto-Wright took to the stage on Thursday to discuss the company’s growth strategy and its role in supporting Web3 artists:

“We see ourselves as building the next American Express.” 


“We have to tell the story of the creator. NFTs wouldn’t be where they are today without them. […] We’re looking to elevate those names”


“I think it’s important that creators are able to enforce their royalties. That’s full stop.”


“Right now, we’re trying to build a private company that is iconic. […] Obviously, there’s a lot of maturity we need to do inside MoonPay […] We’re going to do what’s right for the company. We’re going to focus on growth […] maybe when the time is right [we’ll IPO].”

RTFKT Co-Founder Steven Vasilev

Steven Vasilev, Chris Le and Farokh/nft now

RTFKT Co-Founders Chris Le and Steven Vasilev gave audience members a sneak peek into their forthcoming Cryptokicks smart footwear line with Farokh on Thursday. Here’s what the two had to say about the release:

“It’s basically RTFKT’s smart watch in a sneaker,” Vasilev explained to the room. “In terms of functionality, they have accelerometers, auto-lacing, and lighting. They have anything you can imagine a shoe can have in terms of haptics and vibration.”


“These are the first Web3 sneakers that merge digital and physical worlds.”

RTFKT Co-Founder Chris Le

“This is the storytelling phase of RTFKT. This is probably a stretch, but I really believe we’re going to crush the Marvel Cinematic Universe down the road. We’re going deep and we have really great story writers. We’re making sure all plot holes are filled because we’re trying to set the tone and environment for our community to come in and add to the story.”

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