Just recently, NFT collector CryptoNovo was posing for hundreds of photos, taking meetings with top tech companies and attending scores of invitation-only parties across New York City.
Today, the former-schoolteacher-turned-Metaverse-mascot is raking leaves in his suburban Illinois front yard.
“Dude,” Novo remarks excitedly as he works, “That just happened.”
That would be NFT.NYC, the early November conference/gathering/bacchanal that represented a coming-out party of sorts for the nonfungible token community.
While NFT.NYC 2021 was the third event in what will almost certainly become a series of (at least) annual affairs, it represented an explosion in popularity over the 2020 offering. Ticket sales jumped. Additional days were added. NFT.NYC ballooned to a four-day extravaganza at which Quentin Tarantino, Chris Rock and The Strokes, among others, made appearances.
Among the big names, NFT enthusiasts and curious passersby crisscrossing Times Square that week, CryptoNovo stood out. Many NFT initiates knew who he was, and while NFT novices had no idea who he was, they seemed to instinctively understand that even at this event, this guy stood out.
Novo holding a rake outside his home in the Chicago suburbs. Source: John Lacombe (Full disclosure: Novo does not, in fact, typically rake leaves while wearing his mask.)
CryptoNovo holds a collection of NFTs that is currently valued at $4 million. Meebits. Bored Ape Yacht Club. Adam Bomb Squad. World of Women. Many others. And, of course, CryptoPunks.
Novo owns nearly $2.5 million worth of CryptoPunks alone. One of them, however — CryptoPunk #3706 — stands out from the others.
Not because of its monetary value, but because Novo actually uses it as his face, strapping an LED digital mask to his head that completely covers his actual features.
For Novo, NFT.NYC was yet another leg in what has become the ride of his life.
“I had friends come out to New York with me who didn’t even have any NFTs,” Novo recounts. “They figured they’d sleep on…