"As a kid, I was very much into collectibles, gathering matchboxes passionately. Back in the days, we used to get WWF wrestling cards along with OvenFresh bread packs in my home state of Maharashtra. I used to amass them eagerly, even trading cards with friends, in case they were rare or one of a kind."
This passion eventually manifested itself as a keen-eyed, fervent collector of relatively new and emerging NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) in Kunal Kamble, an entrepreneur and a software developer, who goes by the name of Crypto Sauga, who breaks down the world of NFTs and arts for us.
Simply put, a non-fungible token is a distinct, intangible unit of data in the form of images, videos, or anything else. What sets them apart is that they are unique and exclusive. There might be multiple copies of a particular artwork floating around, but NFTs are certified original assets, asserting ownership and authenticity. Each picture, video, and memorabilia in the form of NFT is truly and literally, one in a million! The marketplace for these digital art tokens surged to almost $2.5 billion worth of sales in 2021 so far, as opposed to just $13.7 million in the last half of 2020, per market data.On NFT, Art, Cryptocurrency and its Applications
Crypto Sauga, who brought almost 130 NFTs from the WazirX NFT platform Drop within a month, sees immense potential in the space, all thanks to the rapidly evolving technology. “Much like 15-20 years ago, when letter writing was in fashion and electronic mailing (e-mail) was not in popular usage, we today stand at a similar cusp, monumental moment in history, where we are witnessing NFTs evolve”.
Hollywood hotshots like Russell Simmons, Snoop Dogg, Mila Kunis, and more are throwing their hats in this space with collections like Masterminds of Hip-Hop and Stoner Cats, NFTs are in trend. Even media houses like Disney, Discovery, and HBO have collaborated with Marvel and DC artists for their superhero collections.
But Crypto Sauga highlights the significance and applications of NFTs that transcend art. “There are multiple ecosystems and metaverses (Shared space, converging reality and virtuality) on blockchain technology that synchronizes gaming, technology, and art. You can hold a piece of land, create unique creatures in such fictional universes in applications like My Friend Alice, Sandbox, and more. What distinguishes them is their uniqueness, single-ownership, and non-fungibility”.
In fact, many YouTubers are also receptive to the idea of collaborating and exchanging business promotion deals in turn of NFTs. Their appeal, primarily, lies in their permanence and transparency, which charm the young.
The avid NFT collector also mentioned his family, especially his kids are venturing into this territory as well. "Why can't NFT be perceived as heirlooms, which are digitally available, secure, and constantly appreciate in value over time?" he asks.
While he views his NFT collection majorly as a long-term investment, having ambitions to build a virtual art gallery on his Sandbox virtual land, Crypto Sauga is also considering short-term gains from his NFT collectibles for the purpose of some monetary gains.
“There is a crucial difference between cryptocurrency and NFTs that needs to be recognized in order to properly understand the two. It is important to educate people about blockchain and the underlying technology. Much like the operating software in a computer does not lose its value in case some applications are malfunctioning, the volatilities of cryptocurrencies do not underscore the potential of blockchain and its subsequent impact on NFTs,” he explained.
On promoting artists in the digital spaceHis collection is indeed, very distinct, from 21 din main paise double art to Indian, Desi gods in a hip avatar, cute pick-up lines, and more. Through his Twitter handle, the NFT enthusiast aims to educate the Indian masses about NFTs, in addition to promoting and aiding the nascent, emerging art community in India and giving them a platform. Acquiring various art pieces from both prominent and upcoming artists, he also aids these designers to position themselves in the market, just because he sees a lot of value as an investor. “Never lose your USP” is his single-phrase advice to the new creators, because that is what sets you apart.