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Movies, music, sports are carving their space in India’s growing NFT market

NFTs are permanent digital certificates of ownership that are secured and encrypted using blockchain-enabled technology.

August 27, 2021 / 07:58 PM IST
NFT (Representative image: Shutterstock)

NFT (Representative image: Shutterstock)

When musical biggies Ritviz and Nucleya put up their non-fungible tokens (NFT) on WazirX, a crypto exchange that recently launched an NFT marketplace, the digital collectibles were sold out.

NFTs are digital certificates of ownership that are permanent, secured and encrypted using blockchain technology. This allows buyers of such digital collectibles to permanently own such assets.

“Both these brands generated revenue of Rs 5.5 lakh through the sale of their 10 NFT drops, which were completely sold out,” Vishakha Singh, VP of WazirX NFT Marketplace, told Moneycontrol.

The NFTs of Ritviz and Nucleya included a mix of photographs and artwork that embodied different phases of their careers and personal artefacts like sneakers and clothing.

Even Sunburn Music Festival’s NFTs were lapped up by collectors, who bought photos and gifs of concerts and fireworks on the mainstage.

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NFTs coming to sports

Like music, sports, is carving out its space in India’s NFT market.

Rario, which claims to be world’s first cricket-based digital collectibles platform, launched its beta version on August 15 and opened a 14-day window for users to place pre-orders.

The platform offered three types of card packs – All Stars valued at $10, Trail Blazers valued at $50 and Remember the Titans at $500. The $50 and $500 packs were sold out in less than three hours and the $10 packs were sold in 36 hours.

The launch packs offered memorable moments from the Hero Caribbean Premier League’s first eight seasons from 2013-2020.

“This response brought out the fact that cricket fans have been on the lookout and there exists a market for cricket NFTs,” said Ankit Wadhwa, founder and CEO of Rario.

Rario, which has tied up with the Hero Caribbean Premier League and the Lanka Premier League, has also got on board cricketers Zaheer Khan, Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Shakib Al Hassan and Faf du Plessis as partners.

Wadhwa said there will be four tiers of Rario cards and drew parallels with the cards in the Harry Potter films.

“These will be limited-edition player cards like a match-winning shot or a beautiful catch. There will be unique cards, which will be only one. Then there will be black-tier cards and then gold and silver cards. So, we are covering collectors who want to build on unique assets to collectors who want to collect. Silver-tier cards will be a lot more affordable,” Wadhwa said.

For NFTs in sports, he said there are global players like Sorare, which has partnered with 140 football clubs, and an NFT marketplace that has partnerships with Formula One, Olympics and Moto G.

Transactions worth over $2.5 billion are expected in the digital sports collectibles space this year, Wadhwa said, citing global estimates.

In addition to music and sports, NFT marketplaces are exploring cinema-focused digital collectibles.

Cinema NFTs

Singapore-based media investment holding company Vistas Media Capital recently expanded into the blockchain entertainment business with the launch of Fantico, which focuses on India and is also looking at other Asian markets.

On Fantico, NFT buyers can buy digital collectibles from Indian cinema including the original theatrical artwork of Mughal-E-Azam and showcards of the 1972 classic Sholay with the signature of C Mohan, who designed the movie logo.

The platform has a large collection of original, preserved Bollywood pictures since 1904 from Kamat Foto Flash’s personal archives, among others. Kamat Foto Flash is the photo studio that shot the publicity stills for about 800 Hindi films.

“We are in beta phase and currently have less than 50 collectibles. By the end of next month we will fully launch the platform and in another three months we should have close to 200-300 collectibles on the platform,” said Dhruv Saxena, chief strategy officer of Vistas Media.

He said digital collectibles on the platform currently are in the range of $50 to $100 and could go as high as $100,000 to $150,000 in the next two months.

The market for Fantico is large because 30 percent of the people who deal in cryptocurrency are expected to buy and sell NFTs by next year.

“So that would be 10-20 million in this country. If you halve the 30 percent, then we are looking at a fairly large market to start with,” Saxena added.

While Fantico plans to make available sports NFTs such as tokenised contracts or digital caricatures of players, WazirX NFT will soon launch movie- focused NFTs.

WazirX NFT’s Singh noted that there are takers for NFTs in music, movies and sports “because collectors look at NFTs not just as digital art but also as a great asset class to invest and trade in.”
Maryam Farooqui
first published: Aug 27, 2021 07:58 pm
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