A Pop-Up Shop At NFT.NYC

December 15, 2021



For the 4th annual conference, NFT.NYC increasingly has become the active hub in the NFT space and we understand the importance of engaging with this community of builders and enthusiasts. With over 15,000 attendees at the June 2022 conference, we were perfectly positioned to test the community’s reaction to our sale of a variety of physical, NFT-enabled products. We believe our solution will enable the mass adoption (and onboarding) of blockchain technology via NFTs.

"Our experience provided a wealth of feedback that both validated and fueled our mission"

The Build Up    

In 2021 we began our relationship with NFT.NYC by fulfilling an order that piqued the interest of the conference producers. Offering an experience with physical products that goes beyond typical branded merchandise was exactly needed to push the adoption of Web3. Prior to last year’s event, our CEO & Co-Founder, Mark Shekleton, sat down with NFT.NYC event producer Ian Utile of Attnlive last year to discuss the future of Web3 and our place in it.  


“We’re trying to extend the power of NFT’s into the physical realm.”

Mark and Ian’s exciting conversation on physical NFT’s sparked when we provided 1,000 NFT.NYC hats with the SmartSeal Smart Tags embedded in each one. In the interview, Mark acknowledges the importance of digital creators finding substantial opportunity in digital assets, while highlighting how we want to expand that opportunity beyond the digital space. He mentions the growing interest of a digital deed (NFT) attached to the physical item will provide higher value. 

When asked what we would look like at NFT.NYC in 2024, Mark confidently expressed that phygital asset will take root and become more expansive than the digital-only aspect of the space. With that said, NFT.NYC 2022 was the time to run the Pop-up Shop experiment of selling NFT-enabled products.

[Read: Same World, Better Products: “Phygital Assets” and the NFT Revolution]

A few thoughts at NFT.NYC 2022

A month prior to the 2022 conference Mark sat down with Ian once again to chat about this year’s event and it started off with an exciting introduction of the 1,000 NFT-enabled NFT.NYC hat’s that were given away.

“What a cool experience that was for everybody–all having the hats and then actually redeeming the NFT’s.”

As Ian describes, we are leading the evolution in bridging the blockchain to the physical world and we couldn’t agree more, especially with the interactions we encountered during the pop-up shop. We were able to gain valuable information from those who came to our booth and attendees in general, and our CEO, Mark Shekleton, spoke on a panel of key builders in the Web3 space.

There are great moments that supported our mission, specifically one where the moderator expressed his aggravating experience with the attempt to redeem a NFT from a physical T-shirt that was gifted to him watch clip here. Mark is attentively nodding, when the moderator expresses that in order for mass adoption to be established, words like “blockchain” and “NFTs” won’t be appealing to the public:

We want to actually abstract that away but use all the benefits of the blockchain. - Mark 

See clip here

Watch the full video filled with great conversation of what the future could like here:

Connecting the Physical and Digital World in Retail with NFTs - Panel at NFT.NYC 2022

We are fully aware that mass adoption of blockchain technology is best done by building an accessible bridge. A SmartSeal Smart Tag is an example of that tangible physical bridge, the same design first principles are what we have applied to the easy-to-use experience of our coming Notature platform. 

The Test Bed   

2 tables, 4 SmartSeal team members and 150 NFT-enabled items.

Between the 2021 and 2022 conference, we have been actively working with a growing number of clients and a few of them were interested in being a part of our Pop-Up Shop experiment. This provided us with a varied selection of NFT-enabled products including our own branded apparel. 

We had Round21 with their commemorative footballs, Budsies with their Unicorn Steve plush toys, Eternal Royals had their 1 of 1 prints from its generative project and our SmartSeal-branded hats & sweaters. All items connected to the blockchain (minted on Polygon) and redeemable via pur custodial wallet card solution. All items (besides the footballs) were embedded with Smart Tag for easy access to the linked NFT. 

**Mind-blown reactions**

The conference naturally attracts brands who are leveraging the attention in this sector to jumpstart their Intellectual Property. NFTs being a mostly digital space, vendors present during the 2022 event were mostly digital-only brands and with that, the merchandise they had on display were simple giveaways to boost brand awareness. So, the foot traffic that came across our Pop-up Shop, looked at the array of physical products that did not seem to correlate; this piqued a lot of curiosity that sparked so many conversations. 

Attendee: “Are these giveaways?” 

Team Member At Table: “Actually these are NFT’s… for sale.”

Attendee: *mental gears turn*

Results & more

The key takeaway from this experience was the validation of our mass adoption theory. It turns out that giving end customers this more familiar and physical means of transaction, readily primes them to want to get onboarded to Web3. Over the course of the conference, we sold over $1200 worth of goods. Join us on here on Discord to be a part of a conversation and a chance to win one of our branded, NFT-enabled products. 

This sandbox experiment held at the most popular event for the NFT community showed signals of strong product-market when it comes to physical NFTs. The ease of purchase with cash or card, the ease of redemption of the corresponding NFT and it is all encapsulated in a physical product that has an immutable connection to the blockchain. These findings positions our solution for a wide range of markets by creating a new evolution to the how we conduct commerce. For the first time, we have a way to embed a proof of authentication and ownership across the entirety of a physical product’s lifecycle.  

Another signal we encountered at NFT.NYC tells us that we are not competing with a lot of IP in this environment, but because we are multi-chain compatible, we see ourselves an ecosystem enabler. By showcasing our clients' brands, we invite other brands/creators/manufacturers to begin the conversation on how they can implement this into their product strategy or roadmap. 

We continue to out our suite of solutions while building strong relationships with other NFT-enabled brand-pioneers in the space and these results are the very beginning.

Notature is a SmartSeal Product. To enable your physical products, contact us here.

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