YPA Crypto 101 and NFTs: Unlocking Value and Powering Social Impact

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Join the Young Professionals of the Americas and the Wharton School of Business’ Sarah Hammer for an expert-led, 101-style rundown on Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), their applications across business sectors, and their potential for a powerful social impact in Latin America and the world. Following a comprehensive presentation, we will open the floor for an interactive Q&A session among participants.


  • Sarah HammerManaging Director of the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance and Senior Director of the Harris Alternative Investments Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Francisco MartinezSenior Associate, Council of the Americas & Head of YPA Miami (chair)
  • Monica Ramirez de ArellanoM&A Lead, & YPA Miami Board Member (co-chair)

NFTs are records on blockchain that represent digital data or other information. NFTs were first invented in 2014, but they became well-known in 2017 with the advent of crypto kitties (images of digital cats) that sold for thousands of dollars. In 2021, NFTs made the news when Christie’s Auction House sold an NFT of a work by an artist known as Beeple for $69.3 million.

Today, the total value of NFTs issued on the Ethereum blockchain is estimated at more than $14 billion, up from just $340 million in 2020. According to a March 2021 poll done by Harris market research, 11% of American adults say that they have purchased an NFT (just one percentage point less than those investing in commodities). Analysts at investment banks expect the value of NFTs to double next year and to approach $80 billion by 2025.

The use cases for NFTs are expanding well beyond digital cartoons and collectibles. Today, NFTs are associated with art, games, photos, music, videos, film, and more. They span industries including entertainment, sports, education, medicine, and financial services. In addition, NFTs are increasingly used by non-profit organizations to memorialize their work and potentially unlock value for research or charitable work.

At this event, Professor Sarah Hammer will discuss:

  • Blockchain, cryptocurrency, and the development of NFTs
  • Technical and design issues related to NFTs
  • Applications for NFTs including art, games, photos, etc.
  • Industries using NFTs including entertainment, sports, education, and medicine
  • The growing opportunity for NFTs related to social impact, charitable giving, and philanthropic fundraising

Please register in advance by sending an email to:

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