NFTs are more than JPGs — they’re about building virtual communities, panellists at an Australian NFT webinar say.

Speakers at the virtual NFT Fest, organised by Melbourne creative Richelle Cox with support from Blockchain Australia, have been discussing the importance of non-fungible tokens this morning with over 700 viewers from Australia and around the world.

Speakers included “Lakoz”, the founder of the Koala Intelligence Agency collection of 10,000 NFTs.

“The way we wanted to built it, it was focused on community and creating something that people want to be a part of,” he said.

The project started by creating a “super fun” Discord (chat) server for people to hang out in, and have a “great team” that creates engaging activities for the community such as game nights and Twitter Spaces (audio livestreaming channels), he said.

“For us it’s really what we can do to create something that’s interesting that people want to be a part of,” he said.

The Koala Discord channel has close to 30,000 members, and there’s a full team managing and supporting them. The Koalas were selling this morning for a minimum of 0.49 Ether (US$1,300).

Sebastián Brocher, the Argentian founder of crypto art collection CryptoArte, said that decentralisation makes it possible for collectors to connect directly with their fans.

“That’s what I love about this community, the fact that you can be in constant connection with your collector base and your fans.”

Traditionally creatives might connect with fans by signing books at a bookstore every couple weeks, he said.

“But these Discord (chat channels), these communities, are like 24/7. And they keep growing if you put the effort and the heart into that, which I try to do as much as possible.”

“As a creator, what I find fascinating is that ability to interact with your audience, right there, right then. And we try to give back to them as much as possible, and think about collectors, taking them into account as we create new projects, interact with them daily.”

British NFT artist Abbey Abstract is focused on single pieces of art rather than thousand-item collections, but told the NFT Fest that she too focused on community building.

“I don’t have a Discord, but I do have a Twitter group, and my main aim of building communities is getting artists on board, because it’s quite nerve-wracking” learning how to get started, she said.

YouTuber Matty, an “NFT obsessive” who covers the industry as DCL Blogger, highlighted how brands are using NFTs to engage with communities on metaverse projects like Decentraland, Crypto Voxels and the Sandbox.

They’ve airdropped wearables with their logos and bought land with their branding in the virtual worlds.

The NFT Fest is continuing this afternoon with free registrations still available. Find out the names of the other panellists here.

Archival videos from the conference are also expected to be posted online at a later date.

Collector drops US$4.6m on 3 Art Block Ringers

Elsewhere in the NFT space, an art buyer known as 55FAF0 – for six digits in his Ethereum address – has splashed out again, late last night paying a total of 1,600 Ethereum ($US4.6 million) on three algorithmically created JPGs in the Art Blocks NFT collection.

The work of NYC-based Canadian artist Dmitri Cherniak, “Ringers” are created using Ethereum transaction hashes, with the art depicting string wrapped around pegs.

“On the surface, it may seem like a simple concept but prepare to be surprised and delighted at the variety of combinations the algorithm can produce,” Cherniak says in the description.

Art Blocks #220 was the most expensive of the three, selling for 750 Ether (US$2.2 million).

The seller, art collector “rudya.eth”, had bought Art Blocks #220 in February for 2.5 Ether.

According to an analysis using, buyer 0x55FAF0 has a collection of JPEGs worth roughly US$35.8 million in his account.

According to NFT-Stats, there’s been 70,462 NFTs sold in the past 24 hours, for an overall trading volume of US$97.25 million.

There had been one other seven-figure NFT sale – Cryptopunk #6721, for 449 Ether (US$1.3 million). The seller bought it in April for 150 Ether.