The Atari sneaker: You can wear the glass-wrapped footwear in Decentraland, but not in real life.

The digital fashion startup pioneers NFTs for virtual worlds

Things are moving fast in the metaverse. On the webinar titled “Mastering NFTs” that I attended recently, we got some intriguing insights into how a crypto brand is pioneering virtual footwear in the metaverse and bridging the digital and physical worlds — courtesy of sneaker fashion.

The startup RTFKT, which launched in January 2020, just closed an $8 million investment round on the strength of its early traction as one of the first brands wading into the crypto realm. On the Inside webinar, RTFKT co-founder Benoit Pagotto explained the genesis of their new venture.

“We really started from the…

Crypto and NFTs (nonfungible tokens) have a bit of an image problem: The frothiness of the cryptocurrency markets, where fortunes are being made (and sometimes lost) on currencies created as a joke. The planet-melting energy used to create Bitcoin. The notion that art NFTs are only for the rich.

So those of us who are trying to bring blockchain into the mass marketplace should be particularly sensitive to the sector’s messaging. To our branding.

As someone who’s run a social media consultancy that’s worked with both Fortune 500 clients and small starups over the years, I can tell you that…

Classic limited-edition trading-card collectibles from Panini.

One industry observer offers some provocative predictions

I’m as much a cheerleader for the NFT space as anyone. At the same time, as a startup founder, former journalist and down-to-earth kinda guy, I like to keep things real. So from time to time Digital Culture Works will be spotlighting podcast episodes we come across that minimize the hype and help us bring the NFT space down to earth by grounding it in the real experiences of ordinary people.

While the creator community and crypto enthusiasts continue to wax enthusiastic about NFTs (nonfungible tokens), what about the general public? Clearly, we’re very early. …

Great listens, from NFT basics to deep dives into DeFi

As society tries to make sense of the swirl of buzz, excitement — and, yes, skepticism — around NFTs (nonfungible tokens), we thought this would be a good time to share some of our favorite podcasts on the subject. Podcasts are increasingly becoming the way many of us are staying informed about recent developments in the space.

But it’s a fast-changing landscape, so if you have other suggestions, please share in the comments below. I’m sure I missed a few good ones!

Here are the podcasts my friends, co-workers and I have begun to gravitate toward, along with some notable…

NFT art on the marketplace SuperRare.

We’ll be honest: Part of our motivation for providing resources and directories to the NFT community is so that we can stay on top of what’s happening in this fast-moving space. As a former journalist, it’s easy for me to synthesize information from sources that often seem to speak an alien tongue and translate it into everyday English.

So while we’re lining up funding for Digital Culture Works, we’re also learning. There is no one-stop shop for everything NFT, though there are several places where you can find high-quality, reliable information as traditional media outlets try to catch up.


Gary Vaynerchuk is a force of nature. For those who don’t know him, the entrepreneur created a $300 million a year social media empire over the course of several years through grit, hard work and by dint of his larger-than-life personality.

And now he’s all in on NFTs.

A couple of hours ago, Gary Vee, as he’s popularly known, launched a pioneering NFT collection called VeeFriends. It’s a series of 10,255 character tokens available for purchase via the cryptocurrency Ethereum. …

And how much money are creators & NFT marketplaces making, anyway?

Boston Blockchain Week last week offered a stellar session titled, “Everything you didn’t know about NFTs” — and the panel lived up to its name by providing a wealth of information about the NFT landscape. (For a beginner’s guide to NFTs and crypto, see our NFT glossary.)

What’s striking about the nonfungible token/cryptocurrency space is how transparent the players and stakeholders are. Perhaps that’s not a surprise, given the public nature of blockchain data and the open protocols that power the space. Still, it’s an enormous contrast to the Big Tech landscape that emerged from the Web 2.0 era.

Boston Blockchain Week panelists clockwise from top left: moderator Katie Mulligan, Angela Minster and Christian Dittmeier.


One of the top events in the crypto space each year is Boston Blockchain Week, and this year’s virtual conference is no exception, with a stellar lineup that last week featured the CEOs of SuperRare and Rarible, two of the top-performing crypto marketplaces, discussing the future of the NFT landscape.

For those new to the space, both SuperRare and Rarible are marketplaces where artists turn their original single-edition digital works into tokenized assets and collectors buy them. It’s still a young space with only a few hundred artists on each site, but they’re starting to earn some real coin.


On the April 30 Real Time With Bill Maher, the comedian closed out the HBO show with an 8-minute New Rules segment that excoriated the cryptocurrency “mania” sweeping the land. The rant immediately went viral on social media — with the video above now at 1.2 million views on YouTube — and it immediately spawned a wealth of “OK, boomer” tweets, earning him a new moniker on Twitter: Grandpa Bill.

Maher likes to mix things up on his show, and let’s remember, he hosts an entertainment show, not a financial news program on CNBC.

So what are we to…

Get ready for Web 3.0, where power shifts to digital creators

Back in the go-go days of the Internet, 2004 to 2011, I attended every Web 2.0 conference put on by Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle. I wore three hats, as a tech entrepreneur (our groundbreaking venture …

JD Lasica

CEO & Startup founder| Entrepreneur | Author | International speaker | Journalist | Photographer

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