Nonfungible tokens (otherwise known as NFTs) burst onto the tech scene in early 2021. In recent months, however, the high valuations of these assets have begun to diminish. Is this a temporary dip — or did we place too much hope on this shiny new object? Austin tech experts Tiana Laurence (author of "Blockchain for Dummies" and "NFTs for Dummies") and Whurley (founder of Strangeworks and numerous other startups) engage with SXSW Chief Programming Officer Hugh Forrest in a lively discussion about what is real and what is hype.
Tiana is the CEO of GoodMatch, an app that enables users to discover nonprofits that support causes they care about in a fun, meaningful, and measurable way. She is also the Director of the Austin Founder Institute. She is passionate about ensuring underrepresented founders have a voice in the future of technology. Tiana is an author of three books, Blockchain for Dummies, Introduction to Blockchain Technology, and NFT for Dummies. She also teaches Fintech at Santa Clara University and she was a 2016 A-LIST honoree as one of the founders behind Factom.
whurley is founder and CEO of Strangeworks, a quantum computing startup that makes the power of quantum computing easily accessible and available to all. He is an Eisenhower Fellow, Innovator in Residence for the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, A Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Chairman of the Quantum Computing Standards Workgroup at the IEEE, the first Ambassador to CERN and Society, a regular contributor to TechCrunch on the topic of Quantum Computing, and the co-author of "Quantum Computing For Babies”. Prior to starting Strangeworks he was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs [NYSE: GS]. He came to Goldman Sachs via the acquisition of his second startup, Honest Dollar. Prior to Honest Dollar whurley founded Chaotic Moon Studios which was acquired by Accenture [NYSE: ACN].
Hugh Forrest, Moderator
Hugh Forrest is Chief Programming Officer for SXSW. He oversees content for the SXSW Conference, as well as the Music Festival, Film Festival, and EDU aspects of the program. Hugh was named “Austinite of the Year” in 2012 by the Austin Chamber of Commerce and in 2014, he and other SXSW Directors were named Austin Entrepreneurs of the Year by Ernst & Young. He recently received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Kenyon College, his alma mater.
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