Whether to trade in cryptocurrency or not is still debatable in India and meanwhile South Indian superstar Kamal Hassan announces to foray into the digital space with the launch of his digital avatar- a non-fungible token in partnership with Fantico – an Indian licensed digital collectibles platform. This makes him the first Indian celebrity to do so.
Soon after Hassan entered into the metaverse, Indian celebrities starting from Amitabh Bacchan, Salman Khan, fashion designer Manish Malhotra, Sunny Leone, Vishal Malhotra, and India’s wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant are following suit to foray into this space by launching their NFTs ( Non-Fungible Tokens).
But, what is it that NFTs have piqued interest amongst Indian celebrities?
For that, we will first understand what an NFT is all about.
What is an NFT ( Non-Fungible Token)?
The non-fungible tokens are blockchain-certified copies of digital art, pictures, videos, music, pixelated punks that are unique and cannot be duplicated. The word ‘fungible’ here means it cannot be split or duplicated. The tokens are digital items that can be bought and sold using blockchain technology which is the same as the technology as cryptocurrencies. The NFTs have gained immense popularity in the past few months. According to the online marketplace OpenSea, monthly sales of NFTs ballooned from USD 8 million (roughly ₹ 60 crores) in January 2021 to USD 95.2 million (around ₹ 714 crores) in February.
According to the online marketplace OpenSea, monthly sales of NFTs ballooned from USD 8 million (roughly ₹ 60 crores) in January 2021 to USD 95.2 million (around ₹ 714 crores) in February.
How does the trading happen in NFT ( Non-Fungible Token)?
Similar to cryptocurrencies, NFTs are traded on specialised platforms and are part of the Ethereum Blockchain. The word fungible draws the major difference between cryptocurrency and NFTs. If we trade one bitcoin for another bitcoin we will have the same thing, but when we trade an NFT for something we will get something entirely different. A sale of NFT does not involve the physical transfer of the object portrayed by the token. For instance, say we NFTs of noted digital art have been sold but the buyer does not receive the art but what changes is the ownership of the art which the buyer receives in the form of a certificate of ownership registered on the blockchain and secured in a digital wallet. The original creator receives a royalty for each token resale, because the metadata contains the creator’s identity.
NFTs – a revenue churner for celebrities, artists, and content creators
Indian celebrities comprising actors, cricketers, and artists are finding NFTs a lucrative medium to directly reach their audience and earn more money. Especially for the artists who earlier had to organise traditional exhibitions and look for sponsorships from brands that involved many intermediaries that consumed time. The NFTs offered a solution that made their talent reach people also offering them a personal experience. Investors also take pride in owning something unique.
NFTs offer inclusive growth to all content creators since through this medium they receive the true worth of their creativity, can interact with the customers and buyers can offer different kinds of assets for liquidity using NFT.
A fillip to the revenues of the creator economy
NFTs will create new avenues of economic opportunities for content creators. The content creators usually depend on social media platforms whose significant revenue sources are the ads displayed for their fan base. A creator does not realise revenues from the benefits of the platform which NFTs are offering.
Lastly, investors find investing in NFTs to be skeptical since for instance if one painter paints the original Hussain’s horses, that person will not become MF Hussain or the copy will not have the same value monetarily as the one drawn by the original artist. Currently,in India there is no separate legal framework for NFTs in India and one can easily buy one from platforms such as BuyUCoin, Binance, WazirX and many others.