Ethan Pierse is a highly experienced TV and radio interviewee, keynote speaker, moderator, host, and panelist in both English and French. He is the co-founder of the NFT Factory, a physical art gallery and trading center in Paris, democratizing and scaling European Web3. He is also the founding partner of Borderless Ventures and the director of the CryptoAssets Institute. He hosts a few podcasts as well.
Ethan’s interest in marketing and community made him move to France 17 years ago. He was living in the south of France at first helping companies with digital marketing and then in 2013, he moved to Paris. Although he was helping startups with digital marketing and business development at that time, he was interested in the investing side so he ended up joining a fund in Hong Kong and Singapore as the managing partner for Europe in 2015. While working with that company and spending half of his time in Singapore, Ethan became involved with Crypto and Blockchain. His interest grew more which led him to start Borderless Ventures and Crypto Assets Institute, which are advisories helping startups, large corporates, and funds deal with questions around the blockchain economy and Web3. He loves Web3 for bringing blockchain and tokenization to this utility of helping brands connect with their community.
Talking about NFT Factory, Ethan stated it is a physical art gallery for digital art in the heart of Paris. It's 400 square meters just across the square from Centre Pompidou, which is a large contemporary art museum. Ethan is not at the origin of the project but is one of the co-founders of it. The project started about a year and a half ago with two people, John Carp, and Jean Michelle. John is very well known in the NFT space in France as he has the NFT Morning podcast, which is one of the largest French-language podcasts in this space. He also has the NFC Conference, which is the non-fungible conference in Lisbon. And Jean Michelle is the chief of staff at Ledger. Both Jean and John initiated the idea of NFT Factory and brought 128 people from different professions and backgrounds like journalists, developers, entrepreneurs, and investors to build it. NFT Factory aimed to democratize NFTs and Web3 by bringing people into a physical space that allows them to discover digital artwork and all of its utility cases in Web3. This is a way for people to start asking questions and learn about NFTs in Web3, help them get their wallets, and learn deeply about all the aspects of it to have a future in Web3. Apart from this, NFT Factory is also aiming to become an important factor in the acceleration of both artistic projects on the NFTs and startups in the Web3 space.
As there are a lot of Web3 events happening in France, Ethan believes France can become the HQ of Web3 of Western Europe in the coming years. He also said that people who are planning on starting a business cannot find a better place than France to start because French tech is a fantastic resource for helping companies start and scale up. There's a tremendous, dense, and deep ecosystem of experience, resources, and an incredible amount of venture capital to help founders start and build things. From Web3’s perspective, France is already the home of so much fashion, art, and video game industry that are prominent industries being addressed with utility in Web3. It is not necessarily about NFT of these things but the fact that NFTs can be used to address problems that exist in those spaces by leveraging what the blockchain has to offer in the Web3 space.
According to Ethan, the bridge from Web2 to Web3 is really difficult but people like Mark Schaefer and Brian Fanzo are making it easy for people with their Web3 communities. Ethan does not believe everything will ever be fully Web3 but the democratization idea of helping people to understand NFTs, tokenization, and Web3 without actually getting into the technical details of it is important to make progress in Web3.
Web Summit 2022 impressed Ethan with two days dedicated to the Crypto stage where he saw a lot of businesses doing things in the Web3 space including industries like fashion, branding, SaaS, and Music. He believes either this year or the next, there is going to be a serious amount of people onboarding into the Web3 space having their wallets, NFTs, and social tokens. Ethan thinks the learning cure for Web3 is going to be complex but with time people will start to understand its different aspects and utilize its benefits in their respective industries. In order for people to learn about Web3, the best thing is to engage in communities where experienced people can help them learn. Joining the discussions and finding people whom you are willing to trust is an important aspect of learning Web3.
Ethan also discussed the example of Ed Sheeran's concert in London where people bought tickets using the Ed Sheeran app with the phone numbers that give them a QR code to enter the venue. This app involved the concept of NFT and the mixture of Web2 and Web3 to reduce scams and get rid of paper tickets.
Ethan emphasized a lot of people learning about Crypto, Blockchain, NFTs, and Web3 on the whole without investing money in it. According to him, once you get comfortable with all of the aspects of Web3 including the risks, only then you should invest in it. For people who want to start a community in the Web3 space, Ethan believes they should focus on multiple platforms so in case one platform fails, they always have people to back them up on the other.
Concluding the discussion, Ethan shared he is easily available to connect and talk with on LinkedIn and Twitter. He is also experimenting with short-form video content which can be found on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS (see clickable version on www.cmo-stories.com)
[00:31] Let us know more about Ethan Pierse.
[01:08] How did you become interested in the blockchain industry despite your busy schedule?
[04:56] What is the NFT Factory and what inspired its creation?
[10:05] Is France a hub for significant web3 events and activity?
[22:27] What is the best way to get involved, attending conferences or events, or do you have other suggestions?
[32:21] What are the methods you use for learning and engaging with communities?
[38:25] What is the preferred platform for individuals to follow and connect with you?
"This idea of tokenizing a community is super interesting."
"Helping them understand the utility of it and how the basic tools work without actually having to get going down a blockchain or crypto rabbit hole."
"It's fascinating to see the incredible communities that people like Mark and Brian and Joe and others have have built connecting the offline"
"And that kind of democratization is the stuff that will onboard people very quickly over the next couple of years."
- NFT Factory: a physical art gallery and trading center in Paris
- Borderless Ventures: an advisory helping start-ups scale internationally between Europe, Southeast Asia, and the US
- The CryptoAssets Institute: an advisory helping large corporations, funds, family offices, etc. deal with questions around the blockchain economy and Web3.