In 2022, the NFT space witnessed the rise of “phygital” goods. Characterized as a melding of physical and digital, phygital has given the concept of ownership a new context by way of artists and developers turning their physical creations into NFTs, and vice versa.
While phygital goods exist in a variety of forms, from sculptures to toys to paintings, potentially one of the most popular use cases to emerge from this new market sector has been wearables. Though the term “phygital” itself has become somewhat of a meme in Web3 due to its quite basic existence as a portmanteau, all the same, it’s hard to discount companies like RTFKT and 9dcc as anything less than innovating at this intersection of physical and digital.
Speaking at a panel at nft now x Mana Common’s The Gateway, influential collector and 9dcc Creative Director Gmoney (who revealed his identity earlier on in the week) offered insight into why the concept of Web3 luxury is in its infancy and is dependent on creators like him to conquer uncharted territory for it to fully form.
“What I’ve learned as a founder is that you don’t need to do a drop the way everyone else is. You know, PFPs definitely worked for a time last year, I don’t know if they work going forward,” said Gmoney. “For that reason, I’ve been building slowly and taking my time, because I do think that technology will change.”
With 9dcc’s second release, titled ITERATION-02, the brand offered an exclusive chip-infused t-shirt that embodies a creative partnership with Art Blocks founder Snowfro. Yet, as innovative as it was, the release was but a single entrant into the phygital market, and perhaps has only just reached the cusp of the potential that exists at the physical x digital intersection. But for the sector to expand further, Gmoney noted that mainstream consumers would first need to understand this potential.
“One of the main reasons I have really wanted to connect digital and physical is because we do live in a non-fungible world,” said Gmoney. “Even if we have the same black shirt on, mine could be ripped or have a coffee stain or whatever. That means that it’s probably worth less.”
In speaking on this concept of non-fungibility to current everyday life, Gmoney added that, while 9dcc will continue to release products, the brand is creating with the future, and future consumers, in mind. “When you talk to anyone that’s a teenager or younger, they just get it. They understand digital ownership,” said Gmoney.