Web Summit 2021, the biggest tech conference in the world, kicked off on Monday in Lisbon, Portugal, and will last until Nov. 4, 2021. In an opening statement, Carlos Moedas, the Mayor of Lisbon, said that “My dream is that Lisbon will be the capital of innovation in the world.” Meanwhile, João Leão, the Minister of Finance of Portugal, stated:
“Portugal is the country people come to invest, to do business and to look live, and to do so in a manner that is open to different cultures.”
Notable guest speakers included Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, Black Lives Matter co-founder Ayo Tometi, and Nicholas Julia, co-founder and CEO of French non-fungible token, or NFT, fantasy gaming company Sorare.
NFTs are digital certificates of ownership representing artwork, images, videos, music, and more. They are stored in one’s digital wallets, while the actual assets can be stored on-chain or off-chain, depending on size. Sorare enables players to manage their own football (soccer in the U.S.) teams with digital player cards minted as NFTs. These cards can be bought, sold, and transferred.
When asked about the future of the NFT industry within five to ten years, Julia said the following:
“NFTs will be the underlying technology for everything of value on the web. It could be monetary value, or it could be personal value. I mentioned personal identity earlier on, so that’s something an NFT could carry for you on the web. It’s going to be invisible.”
Founded in Paris three years ago, Sorare’s valuation has grown from $270 million to $4.3 billion. Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank led its latest round of funding in September. According to Julia, half a million users joined the platform organically, without any marketing. More than 200 football clubs worldwide are currently partnering with Sorare. Based on the company’s profile on NFT marketplace OpenSea.io, Sorares cards’ cumulative trading volume has surpassed 50,200 Ether (ETH).
But Sorare also seeks to expand outside the realm of NFTs for gaming. Julia issued the following statement in that regard:
“We want people to feel the benefits of it, that you truly own your digital good, that you can move it, and so it. We don’t want the friction of the crypto, and that, most of the crypto products of today as complicated I see it as a technology that’s going to underpin everything of value on the web.”