A Year of NFTs: NFT or Non Fungible Tokens have been around since 2014, hiding patiently behind the covers for people to finally discover them in a new way. This became a reality in India seven years later in 2021, when more and more Indian celebrities — including movie stars, sportspersons, musicians and others turned their heads towards this digital token to launch their own NFT collections. In the recent months, digital token is an area where India has been more focussed than ever, and the idea has engulfed everyone. As digitisation took over the world, as well as India, people became aware of NFTs more than ever and the craze soon took over in a matter of few months.
The year 2021 has largely been a year of NFTs for India. But what are they? To put in simple words, an NFT is a one-of-a-kind digital asset that represents real world objects such as music, art, in-game articles, videos or even social media posts. Being non-fungible, NFTs can not be interchanged with anything else as it is unique and irreplaceable. In recent times, NFTs have become a popular way to sell and buy digital artwork.
According to Abhayanand Singh, CEO of Fantico, the platform that launched the NFT collection of superstar Kamal Haasan, “An NFT is a digital asset that represents real-world objects like art, music, in-game items and videos. The simplest way to think about an NFT is to consider it a digital collectible. NFTs are one of a kind, or at least one of a very limited run. Often these assets can make great investments, as they appreciate in value over time and their valuations tend to not correlate with other investment markets.”
In 2021, the year that is set to bid adieu to us, Indians saw their favourite celebrities launch their own digital collections and were prompt enough to invest in them. This was prompted by the promising nature NFTs in the market, as well as the urge to be the owner of some exclusive tokens of some of the greatest personalities in the country. From Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Kamal Haasan to Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma and Manish Malhotra, celeberities from all walks have launched or announced the launch of their digital tokens in 2021.
“Over the last year, NFTs have gone from being one of the most talked-about and searched subjects online and quickly went on to become one of Btown’s most celebrated technology adoptions in recent times,” said Arun Pandey, co-founder, of Beyondlife.club that launched Amitabh Bachchan’s NFT collection earlier this year.
But why are celebrities so keen to launch their NFTs?
Says Singh, “The rage for NFTs has taken Film fraternity and social media industry by storm. The lure for the film celebrities, apart from the monetary gain, is that it offers them a new way to reach out to their fans. NFTs are helping celebrities to reinvest fandom through digital transformation.”
However, according to Sumit Ghosh, member of Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC) and CEO and co founder of Chingari that launched Salman Khan’s NFT collection, third parties have been approaching the stars to market NFTs, which have the potential to become the next big thing in India. “Frankly, a big celeb pool is still naïve to the concept of NFTs. But some third party has approached them to use their name to market the NFTs, so their fans can buy them,” he said. He said that monetary reasons are also a big reason for celebrities to invest in these coins.
“Majorly, it’s the novelty of doing the never-done before,” added Ghosh, saying that everyone is talking about NFTs these days.
The factors have majorly contributed to making NFT such a rage in 2021. However, investing in NFTs largely remains a personal decision, like that of cryptocurrencies and other such assets. Experts meanwhile predict that this storm will reach the other industries too in the coming year, and NFTs will be here to stay.
“The NFT community in India will gain further momentum widening its spread beyond film fraternity, sports memorabilia, and rare digital artefacts towards music and monetisation of digital assets among others. India is a growing NFT marketplace and we will need to remember while investing in NFTs is that we must do our research and be patient,” said Pandey while predicting the future of NFTs in the coming year.