So the crypto market’s in a slump. That’s painfully well established, and yeah, thanks a bunch, SBF. But you wouldn’t know it from the sell-out turn-up on day one of NFT Fest in Melbourne.

The throng noisily packed into the Alex Theatre in St Kilda like non-fungible sardines on Wednesday, as the Fest put on an exhaustingly excellent day of content from top local and global industry speakers, educational workshops and rambling, networky chatter. Not to mention lamingtons, coffee, bananas and beer.

Stockhead was there, trying to cover three rooms of simultaneous, all-day, non-fungible-token and general crypto-related content. That proved near impossible but we did what we could. We’re doing it again today and will aim to bring you the best of the fest over the next few days.

But what was the general, you know, like, vibe? Positive… with more than a tinge of sweary frustration about recent market-roiling events. If you were going to choose a particular crypto narrative or theme to base a conference around right now, though, NFTs would be it. The “bear market be damned, we’re building” philosophy is evident and strong at this event.

So far, the conference has covered a broad range of topics including Web3 brand building, gaming and esports, mainstream sporting codes dipping their toes in, payments rails and NFTs/crypto’s part in the future of finance, incoming regulations, NFTs as art and music and a whole lot more.

Here are a few choice quotes from Wednesday’s proceedings:

• “I’m doing this because I believe the future of collectibles and what we’re doing with NFTs is going to change the art world and the art market forever.”
Kevin Rose Co-Founder @ PROOF & Moonbirds.

• “Anyone who says NFTs are a scam definitely doesn’t understand the technology and the utility they potentially provide. They can be effectively used as digital membership, and a verifiable record of digital ownership, and it’s a real opportunity for brands. It all comes back to ownership and the ability to trace and track it.”
Lisa Teh, Co-Founder of Web3 marketing agency Mooning, who chatted with Stockhead at the event.

• “Gaming is the Trojan horse into Web3… Sony PlayStation and Facebook’s Meta have sent heavy-hitting, crack teams down to Australia – why? In their words, ‘Australia is the hottest place for new development’ and we’ve got it.”
Stan Roche, Assistant Director @ Global Australia.

• “Regarding what happened with FTX, the issue isn’t about cryptocurrency, it’s about the behaviour of humans… But this is a watershed point in time for cryptocurrency and the NFT industry. What happens to us [regulations regarding exchanges] is coming for you. And I think it’s something everyone who is interested in the space needs to pay very close attention to.”
Caroline Bowler, BTC Markets CEO.

• “Supporting the startup community and supporting the investment that’s needed is important… and Austalia has a real opportunity to lead in this space. We just need to invest in ourselves and keep doing the work.”
Lisa Wade, DigitalX CEO.

• “As a tradfi institution exploring this space, we do come at it from a place of humility – we do have a lot to learn. But we also do have the belief that the future of finance will be enabled through the likes of NFTs and through blockchain more broadly. And we’re so excited to be a part of that big build.”
Annabelle Simpson, Director Digital Assets @ NAB.

• “I’ve never met one person in crypto who says they want to work in government.”
Anthony Sassano, Founder @ The Daily Gwei.

• Collective Shift founder Ben Simpson, speaking with Stockhead regarding the FTX implosion and ongoing fallout:

“I somehow feel a bit embarrassed about what’s happened with FTX. What do you say to people who’ve only just entered the space and had money on FTX, on BlockFi… it makes crypto very hard to defend. But we’ve been going really heavy on trying to make people aware about why so many of us invested in the first place. And for me, that’s Bitcoin. Being your own bank, owning your own capital and being in control. Decentralisation versus all the crazy yield and leverage on centralised platforms.”

Simpson again, regarding NFTs:

“The NFT market has copped a hiding this year, to be frank, but I’m super bullish about the technology. And Collective Shift is doing some work with the Australian Open – we’re providing education to holders of the AO Artball tokens. So the idea of NFTs providing utility and benefits such as tickets and merch and so on, is definitely exciting.”

Collective Shift’s Ben Simpson with Coinhead bloke Rob Badman giving it the lads’ mag-style thumb up, circa 2007.


Top 10 overview

With the overall crypto market cap at US$864 billion, up 3% since this time yesterday, here’s the current state of play among top 10 tokens – according to CoinGecko.

Nice of Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB, DOGE and others to give the market a little bounce. Next stop US$17k for BTC?


Uppers and downers: 11–100

Sweeping a market-cap range of about US$6.35 billion to about US$324 million in the rest of the top 100, let’s find some of the biggest 24-hour gainers and losers at press time. (Stats accurate at time of publishing, based on data.)


Solana (SOL), (market cap: US$5.15 billion) +20%

• Dash (DASH), (mc: US$471 million) +18%

• Litecoin (LTC), (mc: US$5.6 million) +14%

• Curve DAO (CRV), (mc: US$450 million) +14%

Klaytn (KLAY), (mc: US$558 million) +12%



Kava (KAVA), (market cap: US$318 million) -6%

Evmos (EVMOS), (market cap: US$324 million) -3%

Trust Wallet (TWT), (mc: US$883 million) -4%



Around the blocks: NFT Fest Aus style