NFTs From WazirX Are A Smart Investing Decision
*This is in partnership with BloombergQuint BrandStudio
NFTs are the hottest trend today in the world of art. With Non-Fungible Tokens [NFTs] investors get a unique opportunity to invest in a distinct category and create a set of digital assets that build value over time.
In 2020 alone, NFTs grew by 299% and witnessed over $250 million worth of transactions, according to L'Atelier BNP Paribas and NonFungible.com. In the emerging Indian market, WazirX, the biggest crypto exchange platform in India, has enabled a unique facet of the NFT world: enabling artists of Indian origin to showcase and sell their original artwork to collectors via Non-Fungible Tokens.
Why WazirX NFT Is Unique
When OpenSea, a P2P marketplace for NFTs became the first of its kind for crypto goods, it paved the way for new platforms. Some Indian creators went on to feature their NFTs on OpenSea but did not see much traction. In a marketplace where creators and collectors co-exist, the latter look to purchase digital assets from verified creators. Collectors also find it challenging to spot the right artist when there is clutter.
To deal with this challenge, ensure a well-curated set of great artists and build trust, the WazirX NFT team carefully vets applications when selecting spotlight artists. Vetting is based on well-defined consideration criteria. Art creators with strong social currency, who have consistently delivered value over the years and are willing to drop original artwork only on the WazirX platform are chosen. WazirX NFT has also built a robust community based on strong relationships with both creators and collectors, offering them more than just a digital marketplace. Users are provided with opportunities to share, trade and interact within the community, guided through insightful resources and offered a platform to learn more about the industry.
How It Works
WazirX's NFT marketplace is a predominantly India-centric creator platform and is currently in a beta phase. The marketplace is open to everyone who wants to buy or sell NFTs, using WRX, the native token on WazirX. All items listed on the platform are based on a ‘fixed price' model. While the marketplace does not charge any listing price, a minimal gas fee--about $1, compared to $60-$100 on other platforms, is charged to mint the NFT on the WazirX NFT marketplace. Here, the Binance Smart Chain is what makes the low gas fee possible.
15,000 artists and creators applied to join the platform just before it launched. But not everyone made the cut. WazirX handpicked spotlight artists to ensure robust quality control and a credible platform with exclusive NFT art. Visual artists such as Vimal Chandran, Montreal-based mixed-media artist Karan Kalra, Santanu Hazarika, Abhinav Chandel, Madhav Shorey, Shreya Daffney, Varundoo, Prasad Bhat and Santanu Hazarika are some of the many talented creators minting on the platform to generate value from their art.
The company currently boasts of a collector-to-creator ratio of 1:5. "Personal attention to our spotlight artists--that's our USP; no other platform offers that, and we do so to ensure a quality product, a credible marketplace and a trustworthy community," explains Vishakha Singh, Vice President at WazirX NFT Marketplace.
Easy discoverability is another calling card for WazirX NFT. The company plans to launch community-led invite options and introduce the auction feature in the next three months. Secondary markets will eventually follow. Down the road, WazirX also envisions having linked blockchains. The launch of an interoperability feature will allow users to move their assets from one blockchain to another.
Trust And Security At The Heart Of WazirX NFT
The nature of NFTs being incomparable, valuable, permanent, and non-fungible makes them a win-win asset for investors and creators alike. At the same time, users may be worried that since NFTs are wholly digital and a potentially valuable asset, cybercriminals could get their hands on them.
But at WazirX, top-notch open-source Smart Contracts are used to mint NFTs, audited by a well-established, reputed audit firm, placing WazirX in the top 35 secure Smart Contracts worldwide.
Not just that. At WazirX NFT marketplace, all NFT files are stored on an InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). "NFTs derive value from being decentralised and must be stored on the IPFS instead of centralised cloud servers such as Google or Amazon. If the companies that use centralised servers get dissolved, NFT files stored on their servers will lose their value," explains Sandesh Suvarna, Vice President at WazirX NFT Marketplace.
Upending The Investment Portfolio Norm
At the moment, retail investors desiring exposure to the art world have few opportunities other than those in the traditional spaces for arts and they aren’t doing too well thanks to pandemic-driven disruption. In what can only be described as a ground-floor opportunity about to take off, WazirX is transforming the perspective--not to mention making it more appealing--by enabling retail investors to participate in the growth potential that NFTs offer. "We are on a mission to on-board the Indian population in the crypto space, making NFTs a natural progression into that domain," explains Vishakha.
When it comes to NFTs, because they are digital assets, sales heavily depend on virality. But as with any investment, investors must do their due diligence and fully grasp the nuances of the market and item they are investing in.
For instance, at WazirX, three aspects matter when making an NFT purchase--the artist, the art and the story. WazirX provides an authenticity stamp to the artist through the 'blue tick mark,’ building trust and giving collectors the assurance of a dependable, reliable and authentic NFT, unavailable anywhere else.
Owning an NFT is like possessing a one-of-a-kind work of art or a collectible antique. They need to be viewed as unique tokens or digital assets that will generate value because of their uniqueness. “Since most collectors are tech-savvy, invest in crypto regularly and understand the market, a greater majority among them also belong to the start-up ecosystem who view NFTs as a new asset class that's likely to appreciate,” believes Vishakha. These investors could see many opportunities arise either through managed funds or individual NFTs themselves.
But for those who view NFTs as a passing fad, a word of caution: Historical precedence shows how the influence of technological discoveries often becomes more evident once the dust settles on the initial burst of publicity. Several analysts rejected tech companies during the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s and the first wave of cryptocurrency in 2017, only to be proved wrong.
At their essence, NFTs are digital assets depicting real-world objects. They resolve age-old issues that creators encounter when defending their intellectual property from being duplicated or shared across the internet. Although the contemporary versions of NFTs are predominantly confined to a small set of digital assets, WazirX has laid the groundwork for more widespread applicability moving forward and creating opportunities for new business models that did not exist before.
As digital art, music, virtual gaming assets, brands, influencers and a sea of such collectibles become first-use cases, they will certainly not be the last. WazirX NFT opens up a plethora of prospects, and that is why it can be an exciting invitation to get the first shot at such an incredible opportunity.