This content is from: India

Demand to clarify legality of NFTs in India grows

Rachna Bakhru of RNA Technology and IP Attorneys explains the urgent need for clear regulations surrounding cryptocurrencies and NFTs in India

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have recently gained enormous traction in India. While the COVID-19 pandemic adversely impacted the art markets in India, NFTs bring hope to the artists and creators looking at the digital art markets to overcome traditional market barriers.

Digital platforms can provide for artists to access a broader market base, gain better reach, and receive good value for their work. Furthermore, artists have the flexibility to set their royalty fee for every subsequent transaction of their work in the secondary market.

Rise in popularity of NFTs

NFTs have emerged as a talking point across the Indian IP sphere and beyond. On Twitter, conversations around NFTs are growing in India, with their volume increasing by 43% between April and June 2021 on the platform. In sum, India has generated over 600,000 tweets on NFTs over the past year.

NFTs are essentially digital tokens stored on the blockchain. Since blockchain is transparent, it helps establish the ownership of digital tokens and the underlying asset. Several IP assets with unique copyrights, like paintings, photographs, GIFs, memes, videos, songs, virtual avatars, video game skins, and sports highlights, can be sold in the tokenised form.

No two NFTs can have an identical blockchain, nullifying imitation and copies of the original art and minimising possible disputes. Overall, NFTs provide a safe place for artists to store their art and monetise it in a secure environment, marking a welcome change for the industry.

Within a brief period, digital marketplaces dealing in NFTs have cropped up in India. WazirX was the first NFT marketplace in India, and according to a report by The Economic Times, WazirX sold over 160 pieces of digital art within ajust one month after its NFT launch in the marketplace. Subsequently, many players have expanded to offer their services across India. With celebrities investing and minting their NFTs, the popularity of digital coins has increased rapidly.

NFTs in popular culture

Amitabh Bachchan, a popular Bollywood actor, has announced plans to launch his NFT collection of unique artworks themed on his life and career, with the NFTs available for bidding in an auction. Bachchan’s NFTs will include original movie posters signed by him, cryptopunk-style digital artworks featuring him, and his narration of his father’s – a famous poet – book and poems.

Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan's NFT collection of themed artworks

On similar lines, Sunny Leone, a popular Bollywood actress, has launched her collection of NFTs with a membership access pass to exclusive, unblocked content and other perks.