India now has a marketplace for digital collectibles.
On Monday, the Mumbai-based WazirX exchange, the largest in India, launched a non-fungible tokens (NFT) platform through which creators can auction their digital assets and earn royalties.
"The development has paved the way for seamless exchange of digital assets and intellectual properties including art pieces, audio files, videos, programs and even tweets apart from other digital goods and services," the Binance-owned exchange said in a press release shared with CoinDesk in a Telegram chat.
In plain English, an NFT is not replaceable by any another item and acts as proof of ownership over a piece of a digital asset.
"We are delighted to launch one of India's first NFT marketplace," Nischal Shetty, CEO of WazirX, said. "Both digital creators and collectors stand to benefit from the WazirX NFT marketplace."
WazirX does not charge customers for creating and listing NFTs on its platform and is working toward making its marketplace more lucrative by eliminating costs associated with verifying NFT transactions on the blockchain, according to the press release.
Because NFTs run on blockchain, most trading platforms charge users for the computing power required to process and validate transactions on the blockchain.
Film actor/producer and adviser to NFT market place Vishakha Singh said she's confident the launch will be a success and help "erase the myth of the starving artist."
"From the creative industry perspective, we believe this is a great opportunity for artists and [intellectual property rights] owners to monetize their existing assets via a new revenue stream," Singh said. "We are confident that this would be a beautiful marriage of arts, technology and commerce."
WazirX's foray into the NFT space comes at a time when India's crypto industry is facing regulatory uncertainty. The government is planning to introduce a bill in the parliament seeking to ban private cryptocurrencies and facilitate development of the digital rupee to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India. However, the government's anti-crypto stance has failed to deter India's millennial from embracing bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general.
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