India’s largest crypto exchange launches country’s first NFT marketplace

    India’s largest crypto exchange, WazirX, announced the country’s first NFT marketplace today. The platform, which will be used to trade Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), is run on the Binance Smart Chain, a blockchain platform created by Binance, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, which acquired WazirX back in 2019.

    According to the company, the marketplace currently has 15 creators, and WazirX has received over 15000 applications from creators and collectors already. It will have no listing price and “minimal gas fees” of $1 for transactions. The marketplace will initially host works from visual artist Vimal Chandran, anonymous street artist Tyler, wall mural artist Sneha Chakraborty, Montreal-based mixed media artist Ishita Banerjee, and automotive photographer Arjun Menon amongst others. WazirX said it has whitelisted over 300 creators who will be releasing their works on the marketplace.

    It will be open to everyone who wants to buy or sell the NFT and will use WazirX’s own WRX token for trading. At the moment, the platform allows only “fixed price” sales, meaning it won’t take bids for the pieces on sale right now. WazirX also said that the NFTs will be interoperable and can be transferred to a different blockchain later — like Ethereum.

    The platform will be divided between ‘Spotlight’ and ‘Discover’ sections. While Spotlight will be a curated section for artists, the company will be releasing 50 selected artists for Discover every day, from the 15000 plus applications it has received. “Our list of curated collectors and the 5 Million strong WazirX Crypto Community shall give us the impetus needed to grow the NFT community within the region,” said Vishakha Singh, Advisor, NFT Marketplace at WazirX.

    The top crypto exchange has been facing troubles for the past two weeks, like all other crypto exchanges in the country. The issues started after an informal letter from the Reserve Bank of India led banks to withdraw services from crypto exchanges in the country, forcing them to stop all rupee deposits on their platforms. HDFC Bank and the State Bank of India (SBI) had also reached out to customers yesterday, citing a 2018 notice from the RBI, which barred regulated financial institutions from dealing with crypto firms.

    The RBI issued a statement earlier today, clarifying that the 2018 order had been quashed by the Supreme Court in March 2018, and “cannot be cited or quoted from”.

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