Very few today understand what NFTs or how they work, but this free market for digital art and collectibles has gobsmacked big celebrities and organizations in the world, including the famed auction houses. The humble, struggling artist on the streets of Kolkata or Mumbai, on the other hand, can now dream of making hundreds or thousands of dollars, if not millions.
NFTs have ushered in a new era for trading of art, digital graphics, music, movies, sports, and all kinds of memorabilia, collectibles, cards, and tchotchkes that otherwise lay in forgotten drawers. Digital artists are coming up with mind boggling designs, minting them into a non-fungible token on crypto exchanges and putting them up for sale.
The timeline of the minted trophy shows why NFTs has astounded the world: after minting, the first sale goes for a few cents or dollars, followed by a stream of new bids. Climbing up the bid ladder, the auction completes for a few hundred dollars. More buyers line up, and someone buys the digital art coin from the new owner for a thousand bucks.
The race to be the first
Along with the celebs, digital artists have been quick to appear on the many NFT marketplaces. The blockchain guarantees proof of sale and ownership, and it’s easy to find another buyer. Liquidity makes a market flourish, and that’s what is happening in the NFT market places.
A recent sale was that of Raghava KK’s for $94,500 at Sotheby’s, which created a new record for Indian artists. NFT has thus become a prime attraction for 3D visual artists, digital artists, muralists, photographers, canvas artists, street artists and more.
Recently, Artwally.com appeared as India’s first Non-Fungible Token marketplace for artifacts, physical art, limited editions and signed artworks of art collection and photography. There are other firsts too. An indigenous crypto-token, GARI launched in India as its first social-token, introduced by Bollywood celeb Salman Khan at a public event at Taj Lands’ End in Mumbai. The app allows users to create and share short-form videos with the world and earn tokens. The video could even have other artefacts for sale.
However, the legality of NFTs in India is uncertain, though there is no ban.
Other new NFT launches in India:
- Polygon-backed NFTically
- DeFi Hub
Binance-owned cryptocurrency exchange WazirX has launched a marketplace for Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT), which also claims to be the first marketplace for NFTs in the country. Then there is Sunny Leone’s NFT venture, also in the race to be the first.
On WazirX, one can see around 605 creators in all (Verified creators are just 43). Among them is the popular artist RG. His “Inspire” animated graphics of a guitar player with flashing lights on the canvas has sold for 280 WRX = 377.72 USD.
What is Inspire about? The description says – “The music and sound design process started with the idea of depicting the concept through broken rhythms and polyrhythms, which through repetition performed the psychoacoustic phenomena of turning anomalies into a stable rhythm…”
Another top creator here is Ishita Banerjee – artist & creator of Soul Curry Art, working from her studio in Montreal, Canada. She had listed “In My Head” a few months ago – an animated head in a modern style with complex visual effects, for around $4,469. It was bought for approx. $31,449 in September, within a little more than three months. Just a little less than 10x the listing price.
The stakes are high in the NFT marketplace.
Have you bought an NFT in India recently? Tell us about your experience and views in the comment section below.
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