From Hollywood Investors to Crypto Fraud — Happy International NFT Day

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

From Hollywood Investors to Crypto Fraud — Happy International NFT Day

The first International NFT Day is celebrating the digital assets sweeping the Internet.

The day is meant to highlight the nonfungible tokens that have quickly gained popularity by bringing together companies like a16z, Dapper Labs and Metaverse HQ, among many others. The celebration comes amid the latest crypto crash, perhaps putting a slight damper on things. Still, celebrities like Snoop Dogg are observing the occasion.

From celebrity collection drops to local startups, here’s a roundup of all things NFT.


Entering the NFT space can be daunting. Scams abound—Titanium Blockchain CEO Michael Alan Stollery recently pled guilty in a crypto fraud case—and even celebrities like Seth Green aren’t immune to phishing. Here’s dot.LA’s guide to safely investing in NFTs. The key takeaways: do your research and be a bit paranoid.

Earlier this month, the California Assembly passed a bill that would require crypto companies to have licenses. If Gov. Gavin Newsom signs the bill, it could help regulate the space.

LA Is The Epicenter of The Latest Crypto Investing Craze: Crypto IRAs Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

Creatives Go Crypto

Hollywood has gone big on crypto. Talent agency UTA has signed a number of NFT collections and creators to its talent roster. A number of NFTfilms offer viewers exclusive access to behind the scenes content and control over the characters.

Meanwhile, Bored Apes—of Bored Ape Yacht Club fame—are popping up in movies, TV shows and books. Bored Apes recently appeared in “The R3al Metaverse,” an animated series that brings together a number of NFT characters. The popular animated figure has also made its way to Cameo, where people can buy videos of the 3D ape in action.

Paris HiltonParis Hilton at the 2022 Upfront Summit in Downtown Los Angeles. Image courtesy of the Upfront Summit

Celebrities are also betting on crypto. But Paris Hilton dubbing herself the “crypto queen” doesn’t mean she always follows the rules. The socialite was one of many celebrities to receive a letter from consumer watchdog group Truth in Advertising (TINA). Figures ranging from Justin Bieber to Gwyneth Paltrow were called out for not disclosing financial connections to the NFT collections they were promoting.

Intellectual property laws are also a point of contention with NFTs. Miramax recently settled its lawsuit against filmmaker Quentin Tarantino over his “Pulp Fiction” NFTs—however, plenty of IP-based NFT lawsuits are still up in the air.

NFTs in LA

Across Los Angeles, a number of startups are riding the NFT wave.

NFL legend Tom Brady launched his NFT agency, Autograph, in 2021. The Santa Monica-based company raised $170 million earlier this year. Celebrities like Tiger Woods and Naomi Osaka have used the platform for their own NFT drops. Brady is capitalizing on fans' apparent affinity for collectibles; most “avid sports fans” are interested in NFTs, according to a survey from National Research Group.

A number of LA startups are trying to make NFTs social. TerraZero sells digital land as NFTs for a virtual bar, while Jadu recently launched NFT avatars for its gaming platform. For those looking to make the digital physical, Long Beach’s NFT-themed restaurant accepts crypto payments.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec
Photo by James Opas | Modified by Joshua Letona

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis ( Please send job changes and personnel moves to

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