India’s WazirX to launch non-fungible token marketplace

Business Today

3, June 2021

WazirX, India’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, on Tuesday announced India’s first non-fungible tokens (NFTs) marketplace. The development comes a day after the RBI breather to cryptos operators in India and amid the huge popularity of digital currencies in the country. Apart from India, the NFT marketplace is being launched in South Asian countries too.

WazirX MarketPlace is an “NFT marketplace for Indian artists and creators…WazirXi invites artists, creators, and buyers to come to narrate the new Indian story,” the company said. NFT is a digital asset, which can be anything from real-world objects like art, music and videos. You can buy these assets or sell them on the platform with digital currency. Just like digital coins, they are also encoded with blockchain technology.

The company has said NFTs will be minted on its parent company Binance Technology’s blockchain technology. Binance is one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world.  It had acquired WazirX in 2019.

Interestingly, WazirX has decided to sell NFTs on its platform only through its native token WRX (1 WRX is worth Rs 104) with a cap of one billion. The condition of buying digital assets via WRX will eventually lead to its global expansion and boost its price. However, the company is allowing users to later transfer their digital assets to some other blockchain technologies like Ethereum.

The company will also charge 5 per cent service on the sale of digital assets, while the rest of the amount will be deposited in the accounts of the creators. The beta phase of the WazirX Marketplace will launch with a fixed price model, under which artists can add a royalty fee of up to 15 per cent on the resale of their asset. The company has said it will not accept bidding for digital assets for now.

Since the environmental costs of minting NFTs is just like Bitcoin and other cryptos, the company has decided to allow sale and purchase in WRX token only, which will save the extra power cost for Binance. The cost of minting and buying NFT for each transaction is $1, some estimates suggest. So far, there are only 15 popular creators, including Vimal Chandran (visual artist), Sneha Chakraborty (wall mural artist), Ishita Banerjee (media artist), on WazirX’s marketplace. The company claims 15,000 more applications are being processed already.

Digital tokens and NFTs have seen huge popularity in India recently. The RBI also sent a breather to the crypto exchanges on Monday, saying banks or entities can’t cite its 2018 order that barred them from dealing with virtual cryptocurrencies.

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