India sees growing interest in NFTs despite concerns over crypto regulations

The future of NFTs sparks controversy, as talks of a crypto ban cast shadows over a blossoming market.

India sees growing interest in NFTs despite concerns over crypto regulations

NFTs are thriving all over the world. And India is no exception. From investors to digital artists and Bollywood superstars, they’re all taking a fancy to these digital assets powered by blockchain technology. But the future of NFTs also sparks controversy, as talks of a crypto ban cast shadows over a blossoming market.

In November, DappRadar issued a report on user behaviour across blockchain-based projects. The report states that over 500,000 Indians have shown interest in NFTs since the beginning of November. And Mumbai and New Delhi are leading the conversation.

Indeed, NFTs have become a hot topic among tech-savvy collectors and creators in recent months. In short, these non-fungible tokens stem from blockchain technology. Each digital asset is, therefore, decentralised. And all NFTs are unique, so that rarity drives their value. Besides, these crypto-assets come attached with a digital certificate of authenticity, which means they cannot be replicated.

NFTs can be GIFs, VR artworks, or simply still images. But whichever form they take, these virtual tokens have sparked a digital revolution across the board. Artists and content creators paved the way. In March this year, crypto artist Beeple sent shock waves across the art market with his $69 million sales at Christie’s. Blockchain-based metaverse platforms also shook things up for artists and collectors.

Decentraland, for instance, hosted the world’s first digital art exhibition. And this all-virtual three-dimensional world quickly became a game-changer in the realm of NFT art. Auction houses took notice, as Christie’s partnered with Decentraland to launch exclusive NFT sales. Later, Sotheby’s jumped on the bandwagon and opened its NFT gallery in the metaverse.

According to the DappRadar report, India ranks fifth in terms of global enthusiasm for the metaverse. Over 100,000 Indians have been involved in metaverse projects such as Sandbox or Decentraland.

But Bollywood big names have also helped bring non-fungible tokens into the mainstream. Recently, Amitabh Bachchan joined the NFT hype. The actor’s exclusive NFT collection featured autographed vintage posters, but also a recital of his late father’s poetry, Madhushala. The sales hit $756,000.

Similarly, Salman Khan is planning an NFT collection in collaboration with BollyCoin. Singer Sonu Nigam also rode the NFT wave, as he tokenised his first English song. And these trendsetters are creating new avenues for fans to connect with their favourite celebrities.

Indeed, anything can become an NFT, from music to artwork and even film memorabilia. Fantico, a digital collectables platform, recently auctioned Amitabh Bachchan’s iconic Shahensah costume. But NFTs can also take the form of in-game items.

And the crypto-gaming phenomenon is hitting India as well. Much like online casinos, play-to-earn games such as Axie Infinity reward their users for every game they play. The reward can be cryptocurrency or NFTs to trade. However, like gambling, crypto-gaming might come under restriction.

Indeed, the iGaming industry is strictly regulated in India. For instance, gambling is only legal in three Indian states. Still, you can find a range of options to enjoy the best casino games from home on websites such as VegasSlotsOnline. Thousands of fun-filled slots and classic card games are available online. Plus, they offer unique bonuses such as weekly promotions or cashback. Some platforms even allow their users to bet with cryptocurrencies. And despite setbacks, the online gambling industry is expected to grow by 41% by 2024. So, the NFT market could go a similar route in the face of a stricter policy on a crypto exchange.

Even if a crypto ban might be off the table, the Indian government is set on restricting private crypto wallets and foreign exchanges. A regulation on non-fungible tokens appears in the works, too. If implemented, this policy could halt the fast-growing NFT industry in India.

Still, NFT leading platforms remain hopeful that the government won’t cripple innovation. Some players even call for NFTs to be classified as an art form. The future of crypto-assets in India also depends on the definition of this nascent technology. Indeed, many NFTs are backed by physical assets, as opposed to cryptocurrencies.

One thing is for sure, though. The NFT revolution is already bringing change to the digital landscape, creating new monetisation opportunities for artists and private individuals. So, it remains to be seen whether regulations will impede the market in India. But in the meantime, NFTs will certainly remain the talk of the town.

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