While countries across the globe have accepted cryptocurrency, India has been hesitant in opening itself to the currency of the future. This has changed recently, with a committee being set up to regulate cryptocurrency in the country and overturn the ban imposed upon it. India’s largest crypto exchange WazirX took the idea one step forward as it announced the first-ever NFT (Non-Fungible Token) marketplace in the country, which will let users own unique digital works of art made by popular photographers, artists, and mixed media professionals from India and other South Asian nations.
The platform will run on the Binance Smart Chain (and not Ethereum, surprisingly), a blockchain platform created by Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges. It had acquired WazirX back in 2019. NFTs refer to unique digital representations of art forms living on a blockchain.
The marketplace, which will feature works from visual artist Vimal Chandran, anonymous street artist Tyler, wall mural artist Sneha Chakraborty, Montreal-based mixed media artist Ishita Banerjee, automotive photographer Arjun Menon and others in its initial stages (a total of 15 creators so far), is the first in South Asia and has already received over 15,000 applications from creators and collectors. There will be no listing price, and the per-transaction cost for minting and purchasing the NFT is under $1.
WazirX said that they would be charging a service fee of 5% on the sale price, and the creators will get 95% of the sale proceeds. The added use case for WRX, a utility token, will lead to its “international expansion,” WazirX founder Nischal Shetty said. Initially, it will have a “fixed price” model and will enable artists to add a royalty fee of up to 15% on the resale of their work.
“Depending on how well the platform does and how the adoption is, I am sure it will reflect on the prices. But I think what is more important is to bring in use cases because, in the long term, a token is more useful when you can use it in multiple ways,” he said. Collectors can also purchase NFTs using the platform’s native token WRX (one WRX token is worth ₹104) which has a supply cap of a billion. WazirX has already committed WRX worth $50,000 as giveaways and cashback for the collectors who engage on the platform to buy their NFTs.
While the platform will be open to all who want to buy or sell the NFT, the creators have been divided into various categories, with the launch focusing on artists of Indian origin across the globe. The platform is divided into ‘Spotlight’ and ‘Discovery’ sections – Spotlight will have a curated section for artists while 50 selected artists would be released for Discovery every day from the whitelist of 300. In the future, the “auction” model will be added.