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Why is India still largely untapped for NFTs?

The bulk of the Indian market has not yet embraced the non-fungible token NFT and its trend, despite being one of the rising markets with the greatest adoption rates of cryptocurrencies.

Photo by Milad Fakurian / Unsplash

Staging a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT (1) or a Punk NFT (2) is not impressive in India, a country where "social status" is strongly emphasized. NFTs aren't widely adopted yet, especially in the nation's smaller cities where social and cultural hurdles, anti-crypto policies, and other factors are at play.

With 1.38 billion people, India is the second-most populous nation in the world, and the UN (3) predicts that sometime in 2023, it will pass China to grab the top spot. However, most Indians consider cryptocurrency trading and NFT collections gambling and view them as speculative ventures that should be avoided.

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Photo by Atharva Tulsi / Unsplash
"India has a very passionate relationship with speculation, resembling the Asian culture of affectionate speculation, including India, but morally Indians like to say bad things about it,"

Says Anshul Rustaggi (4), CEO of Totally Corp. His mother perceived even my period as a hedge funder in London as a time of gambling with other people's money.

While it was speculative that NFTs would be the only source of income, India's society has not yet embraced digital commodities. According to some research, most NFTs are purchased due to their speculative character since certain collections display money and status, as is the case with BAYC or Punk, which have a long list of famous people and influential crypto figures among their holders.

Despite the significant emphasis on social status in Indian society, where social status matters greatly, this idea has not yet gained much traction in India. The biggest expenditure for Indians is their marriage, which accounts for 34% or more of their total life spending. For such a social event, many will dress to impress, mirroring how important social status is in India.

Anshul Rustagi suggests that NFTs' speculative nature has kept them from developing the same level of approach for a signal indicator as luxury vehicles or Rolex watches, which also suggests that the moment for NFTs to become a great signal may come to India but not now. However, it will come.

The largest NFT drop in India, the "Lakshmi NFT" (5) campaign by Totally Corp, brought in $561,000 from a collection of 5,555 NFTs. The goddess of prosperity and fortune inspired it. The drop was successful because it offered USD Coin staking rewards as a perk for holding the NFT, making it a safe bet rather than a gamble.

The Indian government has maintained a staunch anti-crypto stance since 2013. The new government proposal to implement two crypto tax laws has since seen trading volumes plummet, and many crypto unicorns leave the country. As long as there is regulatory uncertainty, however, crypto adoption may remain unchanged and difficult in India.

While the new e-RUPI and other digital offerings alongside its objective to demonstrate no need for cryptocurrency and blockchain are confusing to stand on a single stone, it is still unclear what the intentions of the Indian government are as of the time of writing. However, given the unpredictability of events in the Indian economy, there is much more to learn about this nation.

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