India’s growing NFT industry says cryptocurrency laws shouldn’t cripple innovation

The fast-growing non-fungible tokens (NFTS) industry of India, which has seen an active participation from Bollywood megastars including Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan, is hopeful that the impending cryptocurrency regulations in India do not hamper the digital art innovation. NFTs have seen increased interest from the artists and investors community alike with exclusive NFT collections by platforms showcasing snippets from the lives and work of Bollywood stars. However, the proposed bill by the government aimed at banning the private cryptocurrencies has put a big question mark on the segment’s expansion.

NFTs are a form of crypto asset in which each token is entirely unique. They can be used as a digital certificate of authenticity for any asset, digital or physical. NFTs are currently ruling the e-commerce space with brands, artists, filmmakers, and athletes actively becoming a part of the digital asset revolution.

A spokesperson of the leading NFT platform, — which recently launched Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan’s NFT collection — told that the company is hopeful that the government regulates industry in a way which doesn’t cripple innovation.

“The Indian economy is at the early stage of adopting the cryptocurrency trend and just like any other revolution in technology space, there will be several stages of evolution involved in the process. As we go along the way, the sector will evolve in the context of government policies and regulations along with private investors and other stakeholders involved in the ecosystem. It is, therefore, imperative for the industry to stay objective and evaluate once we have concrete details on the proposed bill. We have full faith in the government to regulate the industry in a way that innovation continues to be the key theme for the sector,” the platform’s spokesperson said.

In November, had raised Series A of $12 million led by Kalaari Capital. It recently sold Bachchan’s NFT collection worth $9,66,000 (Rs 7.18 crore) .

Edul Patel, CEO and Co-founder of Mudrex, a crypto trade exchange, is of the opinion that NFTs could be shielded from any proposed ban as they need to be classified as an art form.

 “Simply put, these are digital forms of art on the blockchain. The holder of an NFT gets the boasting rights of holding the only original edition. NFTs such as Jack Dorsey’s first tweet when he launched Twitter was sold as an NFT recently. Since these are directly classified as forms of art, it could come under this classification and be shielded, in case the government plans on imposing a ban. Moreover, NFTs are held in a wallet such as MetaMask which doesn’t have any impact on an exchange ban,” Patel said.

Bollywood actor, Vishal Malhotra, who released his first NFT in June this year and has had a fair amount of success with launching and selling his collection, says that these tokens could bring in a sense of community online in addition to helping artists create wealth on their own.

Malhotra added that he has been trying to create some utility out of them for collectors including additions like meet-and-greets, a ticket to his next movie premier, visit him on the sets of a movie, a chance to chat with him one-on-one on social media, etc. The Bollywood actor’s first NFT sold on Foundation for 5X value. He has followed his debut up with four consecutive NFTs now which he’s made with various artists, he’s also gone solo on one of them which makes him the first Indian actor to have made an NFT on his own.

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