EXCLUSIVE: Meet The Company Offering Mardi Gras NFTs For Bathroom, Bar Access And Helping Grow Web3 In New Orleans

Zinger Key Points
  • The group experimented with a unit of ChatGPT parent OpenAI to turn text into images and showcase what Mardi Gras means to them.
  • Holding an NFT from the collection acts as a passport to the Nieux Homebase at 2040 St. Charles Avenue and events.

A new collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will offer holders access to bathrooms and bars during the Mardi Gras activities in New Orleans.

The NFTs will also provide additional benefits and could help launch New Orleans as a Web3 hub.

What Happened: Web3 venture studio NieuxCo helped transform the historic landmark “The Eiffel." Now known as “The Nieux,” the building serves as a campus connecting people with Web3 efforts. It also provides access to bars, restaurants and bathrooms for those celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans, taking place this weekend and from Feb. 15 to Feb. 21.

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“[NieuxCo] was founded by people who care about the city first,” NieuxCo CEO and co-founder Tim Williamson told Benzinga.

While some Web3 projects launch NFTs to make money, Williamson says NieuxCo aims to bring the community together and grow Web3 tech across the city.

Williamson spent years in the media and connected with other entrepreneurs who saw Web3 as an opportunity for New Orleans.

“I’ve fortunately and unfortunately been at the front end of a couple of disruptions within the market and a few front ends of innovation,” Williamson said. “We’ve been managing and engaging with this community the last 15 years.”

Related Link: What Is A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) 

The NFT Collection:

The NFT Collection: NieuxCo launched a Mardi Gras collection that has 5,000 pieces and comes with a price point of 0.1 Etheream.

The NFTs were generated using artificial intelligence (AI) to showcase what Mardi Gras means to them.

The group wanted to experiment with DALL-E, a unit of ChatGPT parent OpenAI, which can turn text into images.

“I don’t know how we would have done this without AI tools," Williamson said. The goal was to allow the community to have a collective vision and use AI to help along the way.

“We’re intrigued by AI and connecting communities. It’s not the technology as much as how people are going to use it.”

Holding an NFT from the collection acts as a passport to the Nieux Homebase at 2040 St. Charles Avenue and events.

Mardi Gras Access: Williamson stressed the importance of having a home base and being so close to the Mardi Gras action.

“We literally have a front-row seat to Mardi Gras," he said.

The hub offered to NFT holders is right on the Mardi Gras parade route. And anyone who has ever been to the Mardi Gras parade knows that a home base with bars and bathrooms is extremely valuable.

When asked about those businesses and people criticizing Williamson and the organization for charging for bathrooms, Williamson said the concept is nothing new.

“Access to bars and bathrooms is not a new idea," he says. "Doing it with NFTs is new. You get to walk by, walk in and have a place to hang out.”

Web3 Growth in New Orleans: Mardi Gras NFTs are a way to help people see the utility offered with the hub and as a way to test out what an NFT is, Williamson explains.

The entrepreneur also believes New Orleans needs to be at the forefront of the Web3 conversation.

“New Orleans is one of the most creative cities in the world," Williamson says, believing the emerging technology will help artists become more creative and New Orleans

Increased utility cases are being made for NFTs for items like restaurants and music festivals, too.

"The idea of having an NFT to be a ticket to get in, hopefully, allows people to test out what an NFT is," he says. “I would argue New Orleans is one of the greatest communities, most connected communities in the world — who else has a Mardi Gras that’s lasted for a hundred years?”

What's Next: The NFT will also have benefits once Mardi Gras ends, including more events and an ongoing subscription service that grants a right of refusal in the next year.

“Could be annual as long as you hold the NFT. Not a one-time access to home base.”

New Orleans will host the Super Bowl in 2025 — another event Williamson thinks Web3 tech could play a role in.

“We believe that by 2025 Web3 may be a bit more mainstream," he says. "We envision that by 2025, people will be seeing New Orleans going through this wave of creativity.”

Next: The NFT Betting On The Metaverse Ahead Of The Super Bowl Again, Here's The Company Helping 

Image by Liam Ortiz from Pixabay

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