Led by celebrities ranging from Bollywood actors, designers and cricketers, non-fungible tokens or NFTs are slowly gaining traction in India. Experts say the NFT market is still small and very niche in nature, but investor interest is definitely picking up.
“NFTs are here to stay. The user adoption is really good although it can be complicated for a layman and difficult to buy,” said Sandesh Suvarna, VP, WazirX NFT Marketplace, adding that it is trying to simplify the process of purchasing NFTs by means such as a credit card.
Cryptocurrency exchange WazirX had launched WazirX NFT Marketplace and it has onboarded 517 creators and 357 collectors. However, NFTs have largely been the domain of cryptocurrency investors as it typically requires a MetaMask wallet for purchases.
But with actors including Amitabh Bachchan joining the NFT wagon, it is expected to come into the mainstay. Recently, BollyCoin has partnered with Salman Khan Films, Arbaaz Khan Production, Sohail Khan Production, and Reel Life Productions to offer Bollywood-themed NFTs to enthusiasts.
Cricketer Rishabh Pant has signed up with cricket NFT platform Rario while FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week has partnered with WazirX NFT Marketplace for fashion NFTs. “Influencers and celebrities play a major role in the NFT market and increase the possibility of getting a higher value. They will also catch up in the Indian market as celebrities are driving it,” said Hitesh Malviya, founder, itsblockchain.com. At present, the NFT market is still very nascent and there are not enough collectors, he said, comparing it to cryptocurrencies in 2013.
Tarusha Mittal, COO and Co-founder, OroPocket and UniFarm said that up until last year, a small fraction of investors saw the actual potential in NFTs but 2021 lead to a complete u-turn as the market opened up to massive NFT pitches with a record $2.5 billion sales globally.
‘Opportunity to monetise’
“In the past quarter, there has been a significant increase in NFT pitches with its adoption at an all-time high in India. We too plan on launching our asset-backed NFT around the upcoming festive season with the formal announcement in line. We are quite positive about the response,” she said.
According to Suvarna, NFTs have various advantages for artists and celebrities. They provide an opportunity to monetise their online or digital content, which otherwise on social media, would have just generated likes or led to more followers. It provides royalty to the artist when the NFT is sold in the secondary market and also provides the authenticity of digital content.