Metaverse, NFT Sectors Can Boom Exponentially in India, Industry Insiders Predict

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Housing one of the youngest populations in the world, India, in recent years has established itself among some of the more technologically sound nations globally. Now that the sectors of cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and metaverse are making inroads in the investor and big tech circles, industry insiders have predicted India to give an exponential boom to these up-and-coming Web3 technologies. Tech-friendly Indians are already embracing the technologies with excitement and intrigue, especially after artists like Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan regestered their presences in these new arenas.

Speaking to Gadgets 360, Anshul Ailawadi, the head of Viacom18’s Youth, Music and English Entertainment (YME) team said that the fondness of collecting things has always been a trend among Indians which will get a crypto twist in times to come, pinpointing at the NFT culture catching up in the nation. NFTs are digital collectibles built on blockchain.

“India is a combination of an emerging economy, a high population density, and has a strong appetite towards the adoption of technology. We always had people collecting stuff, be it cars, stamps, books, coins. Now, companies are realising that a lot of their core audiences are extremely fascinated and intrigued by the NFT space,” he said.

Currently, a bunch of indigenous NFT marketplaces have cropped up in India that include, Bollycoin, and WazirX among others.

Earlier this month, Viacom 18’s YME itself launched its own dedicated NFT marketplace named “Fully Faltoo”.

Indians also contributed whole heartedly to NFT purchases. Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s NFT collection for instance, fetched $966,000 (approximately Rs. 7.18 crore) last year.

In fact earlier this week, the Deepak Thaplial, the Indian-origin CEO of Boston-based blockchain firm Chain poured a whopping $23 million (roughly Rs. 172.5 crore) to buy a rare CryptoPunk NFT.

“High-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are continuing to invest in cryptocurrencies to diversify their portfolio, while NFTs are slowly gaining asset-class credibility,” Keyur Patel, Co-Founder & Chairman, told Gadgets 360. The platform enables blockchain commerce.

This estimation on the NFT growth that India is likely to witness in the near future comes despite the lack of clarity that surrounds the classifications of these digital collectibles.

It remains unclear for now, if NFTs are even classified as digital assets in the country.

“Over half a million Indian users have already shown interest in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and metaverse projects. Indians are warming up to this new digital asset that has given creators and collaborators a fresh platform to earn better moolah while generating more value for their work,” Patel noted.

In recent days, the metaverse space also saw interesting engagements in India.

Music label T-Series announced its entry into the metaverse in partnership with Hungama TV last month. As part of the deal, Hungama will be creating NFTs from the vast catalogue of new and existing Bollywood content parented by T-Series.

This month, a couple from India’s Tamil Nadu state hosted a Harry Potter-themed wedding reception in the metaverse where guests marked their attendance as digital avatars.

Punjabi singer Daler Mehndi took it a notch higher for contemporaries by becoming the first Indian artist to do a metaverse concert in January.

Research reports expect the market opportunity for the metaverse to reach $800 billion (roughly Rs. 59,58,719 crore) by 2024, and as per Indian industry insiders, Indians will have a substantial amount to contribute to this industry.

Cryptocurrencies make for an integral part of the metaverse as they allow us to calculate the value of digital assets in fiat currency and their returns over time.

Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.

Adidas Announces Coinbase Deal, Just Days After Announcing Its Entry Into the Metaverse

Adidas Announces Coinbase Deal, Just Days After Announcing Its Entry Into the Metaverse

Adidas, the global sportswear manufacturer, is going all-in on crypto, announcing a partnership with Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, in the same week that it decided to splurge big on a plot of land in the blockchain-based virtual gaming world of The Sandbox. While neither announcements offer any details whatsoever and do little to indicate if there’s any intended connection between the two events, it is plausible that the company plans to spend cryptocurrency in The Sandbox; if so, Coinbase could help it make the required investment.

Adidas took to Twitter to state that it is partnering with the crypto exchange Coinbase but revealed little about the nature of the partnership, ending the tweet with a phrase you hear quite often in the crypto world — “Probably nothing.” Coinbase confirmed the partnership, as it replied “[Good morning]… Welcome to the party, partner!”

Adidas also took note of the Ethereum-based VR game The Sandbox and suggested that it would build something in the game’s virtual parcels of lands, calling the concept “AdiVerse.” Adidas already owns property on The Sandbox, as its name can be seen on a parcel of land at these coordinates. It is unclear whether the company purchased this land, or whether the land was allocated to the company by The Sandbox.

In a recent statement from an Adidas spokesperson speaking to City A.M., the company stated that the “metaverse is currently one of the most exciting developments in digital, making it an interesting platform for Adidas.”

While that statement in itself is a hint to the company’s future plans, it is worth noting that Adidas launch an NFT on POAP very recently suggesting that Coinbase could be related to that effort, especially if the sportswear giant plans to release a larger line of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Meanwhile, Coinbase has been in the midst of trying to launch an NFT marketplace of its own and we could see Adidas use that marketplace to distribute NFTs going forward.

The company could also use Coinbase to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment, similar to what many other companies have done in the past through Coinbase Commerce, but all of this is mere speculation for now.

Adidas’ movement in the space also appears to be a swift reaction to rival-brand Nike, which revealed a virtual world modelled after its headquarters on video game platform Roblox, becoming one of the first big brands to mark an official entry to the metaverse. The digital space, called “Nikeland”, allows players to outfit their avatar with special Nike products and is free for anyone to visit on Roblox.

Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.