India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, which is owned by Binance, announced Tuesday it is going live with its non-fungible token, or NFT, marketplace for India and Southeast Asia.
What Happened: Announcing the launch of WazirXNFT, founder and CEO Nischal Shetty said in a tweet it’s “time for artists and creative folks across India to connect with their tribe.”
See Also: How to Buy NFTs
NFTs represent digital assets — like drawings and music — that can be bought and sold like any other property; digital artwork is tokenized to create a digital certificate of ownership that can be bought or sold. Shetty said WazirX’s namesake native token WazirX (CRYPTO: WRX) will be the first cryptocurrency to be accepted on the platform.
Announcing the launch of #WazirXNFT Marketplace!
— Nischal (WazirX) � (@NischalShetty) June 1, 2021
WazirX will mint the NFTs using technology provided by Binance. The platform has no listing fees and will offer cashbacks and rewards worth $50,000. It charges a 5% service fee on the sale of the digital assets.
“Creators on the WazirX NFT platform have been divided into various categories and the team is onboarding them in a phased-out manner. The launch is heavily focused on Indian-origin artists scattered around the world for now,” the company said in a statement.
The selected artists are divided into ‘Spotlight’ and ‘Discover’ artists, with the former curated keeping in mind the diversity of their work, genre, popularity, and credibility. Following the screening of over 15,000 applications, the company said it now lists creations of only 15 popular creators.
Why It’s Important: NFTs are gaining popularity as an investment option, with both creators as well collectors making windfall profits out of it.
The exorbitant values accorded to these digital assets stem from their scarcity and the inability to duplicate them. That WazirX has become the first NFT platform in India vests the first-mover advantage. The service is available in other South Asian countries as well.
Stakeholders of the Indian cryptocurrency market faced a scare over the weekend when banks, citing a 2018 circular from the central bank of India — the Reserve Bank of India — refused to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions. Since then, the central bank has clarified that India’s apex court struck down the 2018 order and banks can continue to facilitate such transactions after conducting due diligence.