Why is the city of Cannes auctioning its NFT heritage?

A few weeks ago, the city of Cannes announced the sale in the form of NFT of its heritage. A priori, we could have said that the city was trying to surf this new wave of web3. Taking a closer look, we find a well thought-out and mature project in a city that depends not only on summer tourism, the film festival and the abundance of professional congresses. Meeting with Régine Resbeut, key project advisor to the mayor of Cannes (David Lisnard) and Charles-Henri Puaux, president of Pertimm, the NFT publishing house.

— I am Régine Resbeut, senior project adviser to the mayor of Cannes.
— I’m Charles-Henri Puaux, CEO of Pertimm.

RR: Charles-Henri Puaux spontaneously made a proposal to digitize the emblematic sites of Cannes. This idea immediately seduced us and we started working together to determine which sites we wanted to select.

CHP: So from my point of view, I’ve been an adopted Cannes resident for a year and a half now. And it seemed very natural and logical to include the city I lived in around this turning point. And that is what I have explained in previous speeches. For me, the metaverse and all the elements, be it crypto or NFTs, are to me what e-commerce and internet 1.0 and 2.0 have brought in the context of communication, in the context of purchase and in the context of art, the interaction between people.

What is the importance for the city of Cannes to convert certain monuments into digital objects?

RR: Its importance is to promote the cultural, natural and spiritual heritage of Cannes and thus simply increase the attractiveness of the destination. Cannes is a city that lives from tourism. Tourism is 25% of GDP, it’s 40 to 50% of jobs, it’s 3 million visitors a year. For us, faced with competing destinations, it is important to always make the destination more attractive.

And through this digitization of the sites, we found an additional way to strengthen our heritage, and it was also a way to strengthen something that is very dear to us, the Cannes community. The community of Cannes is not only made up of its inhabitants, it is also all visitors who come to Cannes and all the people who love Cannes. And they are many.

CHP: From my point of view, one of the elements that was also very important in the context of the collaboration and the choice of Cannes. Cannes is the first destination that is internationally known. I wouldn’t say after Paris or before Paris, but who? challenge† So there was a real leverage point.

The second point is that the history of Cannes is really connected with a current event, namely tomorrow, Le film festival and consequently all conversions of monuments in the context of the organization of events such as festivals. A festival that could be linked to the cinema or thus one or a festival that could be linked to a whole host of other elements, as the city of Cannes knows how to run on hydrogen soon, as it did recently at the IA, and sets these events in, in a very hybrid form that, thanks to or because of the pandemic, is developing strongly and the metaverses and the fact that Cannes could fit into them was something important to me.

This week, in addition to the launch of the Cannes Film Festival, there is also the Cannes NFT Festival. Will you get there somehow?

RR: It is an initiative of the Cannes Film Festival and its partners that takes place in parallel. It is completely relevant and complementary to that of the Cannes Town Hall.

CHP: One of the points that is also important is, for example, the initiative that was there Fortnite and where it is a first exploitation of the NFT collection of Cannes, that is, the real point where we can show the way the buildings are embedded in the context of Fortnite in video games. Tomorrow, the holder of the Festival Palaceor the Croisette or others might be inspired by this first experience and this first attempt we have made in this context. As part of the Cannes NFT Collection use.

As for the technical plan, because we always need to know if there is under the hood, which blockchain are you using to develop this project?

CHP: Ethereum.

CHP: Why ? Because there was Polygon, which is actually less expensive, and which we’ve done a lot of studies on today. We looked at what was possible. That is, we have both the property title, that is the NFT and most importantly, we have the 3D model that allows its implementation in the context of the metaverses. From that point on, the only blockchain that allowed us to and link it was Ethereum. We have tried it with other blockchains. We actually had problems with that.

3D view of the Palais des Festivals in Cannes

One of the attack points of Ethereum is Proof-of-Work (before the merger) and its ecological aspect. Aren’t you afraid it’s bad publicity?

RR: On a global level, perhaps to situate, Pertimm is the creator of these NFTs. The position of Cannes Town Hall is that we own the brand walking sticksin full transparency we have a license agreement, which allows Pertimm to use the brand, logo, image of Cannes.

Indeed, in the case of this license agreement, the issue of: ecology we’ve talked about it quite a bit. We have two measures that make it possible to compensate for this carbon footprint† The first is that Pertimm has committed to offset the project’s carbon footprint twice by planting trees, certified of course.

And in addition, 10% of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to the endowment fund of the city of Cannes, an endowment fund that supports and finances environmental projects. This is indeed an important point that we discussed upstream as we were concerned about the carbon footprint, which may be right or wrong, but is nevertheless real.

Are we going to ask companies like Air France to compile their CO2?

Charles-Henri Puaux

CHP: That would mean she is from an energetic point of view, she is positive energy, which is normally impossible. In the context of the 10%, there is indeed the ecological principle. We’re working on something very local.

Choosing a different blockchain could potentially raise this question. And we can see it today, the more a blockchain grows, the more energy it can consume. Indeed, this point means that from the moment we get into a turn on Ethereum, I think we will at least make an ecological turn. (be careful when merging), on mining, so from this point of view, I think our initiative is not an accidental initiative or even an occasional one. The real question is: “Are we going to ask companies like Air France to curate their carbon?”

Personally I think we are not there yet and yet we have given them 4 billion. There’s really that side that’s important and it’s something that ecology is important to. And it’s all the more important when it’s local. And the choice we made was to do ultra local, in other words to do Cannes.

I am very transparent about that. I think maybe during the second or third meeting we had with the town hall, that was one of the points that came up. Why ? Because we are lucky, and I mean lucky enough to evolve in an area where the setting is exceptional.

I am no more making myself an ambassador than I am for the territory of Cannes! We are really at something that you will walk across in the Lerins Islands, there is a real point where the ecology is felt. Which you unfortunately do not have as a former Parisian or Londoner.

Don’t you think there is a gap between what you develop and what 99% of people can understand today?

RR: There is a lot of enthusiasm for it metaverses, it’s the future of the internet. We think doing this project leads people to start asking questions, we also do pedagogy, education, because we just talk about it. Many people wonder, interrogate us. Ultimately, it sparks curiosity among our voters. In addition, precisely to get education back on track, we hosted the first edition of the World AI Cannes Festival from April 14 to 16, a show dedicated to professionals and the general public about artificial intelligence of an international scale.

Which means ? We had a day dedicated to the general public with a presentation of the NFT project, which generated a lot of enthusiasm. It is really something very important for us to educate citizens about digital inclusion in the broad sense and to educate people about new technologies. It’s fundamental and it’s one of our mayor’s many battle horses.

What are the next steps in your roadmap?

CHP: The next step is to give an NFT to a public figure during the Cannes Film Festival.

RR: From the movie world!

CHP: So this will be the number one NFT as it is the first to be given. From then on we have about a month until the time of the sale and therefore we are entering a phase that is quite well known to auction houses and quite unknown from my point of view. This is the mediatization phase of the project and therefore we will try to disseminate the project as much as possible outside the borders, especially at the level of the American and Asian borders, so that we continue to see the Cannes brand as a brand of innovation and a set of new technologies. As we can see in France, I have never heard so many topics about the metaverse since its announcement.

It proves that it had its first effect. Second, if necessary, it will really allow people to identify Cannes as a point in digital creation, as a part of global rallying, which was my choice.

And on what date is the auction scheduled?

RR: There is an auction on June 21 at 6 p.m at the Port Canto Harbor Master’s Office, and the ten NFTs will be sold during this auction.

CHP: It will be, but also online. It will be possible to bid online. So I invite you to go to the Artcurial website. The collection of the sale is called I Met My NFT in Cannes since the origin we took this name because it was the principle of the origin and the meeting, what exactly is Cannes and what exactly is today the metaverse and thus the sale I met my NFT in Cannes will of course be for sale online as all auctions are done today.

Interview conducted on May 16, 2022 at the Town Hall of the city of Cannes.

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