Why 2021 is the year of the rise of cryptocurrency and NFT in India

The global NFT market generated over $23 billion in trading volume in 2021, according to crypto-data analysis platform DappRadar

With NFTs becoming more mainstream across the world, several brands have forayed into the space

From Amitabh Bachhan, Salman Khan to Yuvraj Singh, Salim-Suleman, Rohit Sharma, Smriti Mandhana, many other celebrities have joined the NFT metaverse. In fact the global NFT market generated over $23 billion in trading volume in 2021, according to crypto-data analysis platform DappRadar. “NFTs are fast bridging the gap between our physical reality and the widely anticipated metaverse. The NFT trend is picking up in India almost as fast as the cryptocurrency industry. Indian creators have been attracted to the NFT platforms for a couple of reasons. They want to retain the authenticity and the pricing intact,” Sandesh Suvarna, VP, WazirX NFT Marketplace, told BrandWagon Online.

Moreover, factors such as the pandemic-led mobility restrictions, social distancing, work-from-home forced art lovers to find a new way to feed their passion, and the introduction of NFTs provided them with that opportunity. “A total number of 5769 NFTs have been sold on the NFT marketplace since its launch in June this year,” Survarna claimed.

GuardianLink.io, another NFT marketplace that is present in India, claims to have launched more than 50 artists and brands in the NFT ecosystem. “This new wave of digital advancement is just another medium for celebrities and artists alike to connect and engage more closely with their fans in the virtual world,” Ramkumar Subramaniam, co-founder and CEO, GuardianLink.io.,said.

With NFT gaining momentum in India, especially in the entertainment industry, short video platform Chingari also joined the bandwagon. “The main objective of the launch was to set up Chingari’s social commerce venture, create NFTs and allow fans to fund their artists,” Sumit Ghosh, co-founder and CEO, Chingari App, said. GARI plays the role of both in-app currency and a governance token. The company claims to be relying on blockchain tokenomics, bringing more alternative monetisation opportunities. According to Ghosh, owning the GARI tokens will not only help our creators earn for the content generated by them, but also give them the power/ authority in the decision making process of the app.

With NFTs becoming more mainstream across the world, several brands have forayed into the space. Adidas, Nike, Taco Bell, Coca-Cola, Campbell, are some of the international brands which have entered the space. Meanwhile at home, MG Motor India and Vahdam have introduced their own NFT. “Thanks to the global interest they’ve generated, NFTs have opened up new ways of brand storytelling and consumer interaction, which are the two main pillars of an effective marketing strategy. With NFTs one can create unique brand experiences, increase brand awareness, encourage interaction and also create additional interest in the brand and product,” Bala Sarda, CEO and founder, Vahdam India, said.

MG Motor India in association with KoineArth, launched NFT. According to Praphul Chandra, founder, KoineArth, many other consumer-centric brands in multiple categories including consumer goods, lifestyle, fashion are also expressing their interest to use NFTs as engagement tools.

Even as NFTs have created a huge buzz in 2021, the uncertainties around the yet-to-be released Cryptocurrency Bill have become an area of concern. Nonetheless, companies are trying to find ways to boost purchase. For example, KoineArth now allows NFT purchases to be made in Indian currency through usual payment methods such as debit cards, credit cards, UPIs. The users of NFT marketplace GuardianLink also can now buy NFTs using their UPI accounts. As several initiatives are being taken to make NFTs more mainstream in India, experts predict a ten times growth of sales in the coming year.

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