01/07/2021 Renditions of Vishnu, Kali most expensive artworks sold on WazirX NFT

India’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trading volume, WazirX, has sold 166 pieces of digital art in the first month of the launch of its platform for NFTs or non-fungible tokens, as more and more Indians try to ride the latest craze in the crypto world. The highest amount for an NFT on WazirX was paid for an art depicting an abstract rendition of the fourth avatar of Vishnu by Ishita Banerjee. The art was sold for 3,112 WRX or  2,66,616, as per today’s exchange rate for rupee. Banerjee is an Indian origin artist based out of Montréal, Canada. Intestinally, the next two highest paid NFTs — Kali and Phoenix — also were by Banerjee that went for  2,49,743.36 and  2,42,019.34, respectively.

The total sale value of NFTs on the platform till 29 June was 44,888 WRX (WazirX token) or  61.57 lakh. WazirX said that the number NFTs sold will see a big jump as it was running a flash sale on Wednesday. The amount and the worth of digital art sold so far is significant as NFTs are entirely a new concept for Indians and also WazirX’s NFT platform is still in the beta phase, meaning the company has limited the bandwidth in terms of the inflow of people and those white-listed to drop the NFTs.

"In India, we have seen a collector-to-creator ratio of 1:5 on our platform. As the NFT community is evolving, we are seeing a lot of creators transitioning to become collectors. We are very happy that despite being in beta phase and enabling very few artists to drop NFTs, 80% of our spotlight artists have made a sale. As much as 14 of our handpicked artists account for more than $65,000 in sale," said Vishakha Singh, vice-president-NFT marketplace, WazirX. The creators have dropped a total of 855 NFTs on the WazirX’s marketplace till now.

In the next phase, WazirX will launch the music category with artists such as multi-instrumentalist Lydian Nadhaswaram and poet Priya Malik featuring on the marketplace. Ahead of the launch, multidisciplinary contemporary visual artist Santanu Hazarika had dropped an NFT on World Music Day (21 June) on WazirX. The digital art bought by one of WazirX's creators, Karan Kalra, was sold in 37 seconds after its minting. The marketplace, which was launched on 31 May, is run on Binance Smart Chain, a blockchain platform created by Binance, which had acquired WazirX back in 2019. WazirX charges gas fees of $1 for transactions.

WazirX had received over 15,000 applications from creators and collectors but launched the NFT marketplace with 15 creators last month. The marketplace now has about 23 spotlight artists on the landing or the drop page and about 205 artists the ‘Discover’ section. The number of active collectors on the platform is 38 as of now. In terms of creative trends, most of the NFT artworks sold on WazirX marketplace are mixed media and 3-D works layered with music.

In the global context, NFTs have become much more mainstream with digital artist Michael Winkelmann, who is professionally known as Beeple, earlier this year selling one of his crypto arts for nearly $70 million. Moreover, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey had raised $2.9 million for charity by auctioning his first-ever tweet as an NFT. A non-fungible token (NFT) is a cryptographic token that represents something unique and has an individual characteristic that set them apart. Owning an NFT is like owning a one-of-a-kind work of art or a collectible antique. NFTs are unique tokens or digital assets that generate value because of their uniqueness.

Arts

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