Totality Corp CEO explains why India is still largely untapped for NFTs

Please fol­low and like us:
Pin Share

Despite rank­ing as one of the high­est adopters of cryp­tocur­ren­cy among emerg­ing mar­kets, the major­i­ty of the Indi­an mar­ket is yet to embrace non­fun­gi­ble tokens (NFTs).

In an inter­view with Coin­tele­graph, Total­i­ty Corp founder and CEO Anshul Rustag­gi explained that social and cul­tur­al bar­ri­ers, as well as anti-cryp­to reg­u­la­tions, are hold­ing back NFTs from mass adop­tion — par­tic­u­lar­ly in some of the low­er-tier cities in the country. 

India has a pop­u­la­tion of 1.38 bil­lion peo­ple and is the sec­ond-most pop­u­lat­ed coun­try in the world, sit­ting just behind Chi­na. Last month, the Unit­ed Nations fore­cast­ed that the coun­try could over­take its com­peti­tor some­time in 2023.

How­ev­er, Rustag­gi explained that cryp­to trad­ing and NFT col­lect­ing are seen as spec­u­la­tive invest­ments — a con­cept that is frowned upon in Indi­an cul­ture and sits in a sim­i­lar boat as gambling. 

“India has a very love and hate rela­tion­ship with spec­u­la­tion. So all of Asia, includ­ing India loves spec­u­la­tion. But moral­ly, we like to always say bad things about it,” he said. 

Rustag­gi explained that even his time as a hedge fund man­ag­er in Lon­don was seen by his own moth­er at the time as “basi­cal­ly gam­bling with oth­er people’s money:” 

“With NFTs, the only way to earn mon­ey was spec­u­la­tion […] We haven’t yet as a soci­ety accept­ed dig­i­tal goods.”

While sur­veys have found that most NFTs are bought due to their spec­u­la­tive nature, some col­lec­tions can be seen as a “sig­nal” for wealth and sta­tus, such as in the case of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT col­lec­tion, which boasts a long list of celebri­ties and heavy hit­ters in cryp­to as hodlers. 

How­ev­er, Rustag­gi says this con­cept hasn’t tak­en flight in India despite the strong empha­sis on “social sta­tus” in Indi­an society. 

“In India, social sta­tus mat­ters mas­sive­ly, the largest expense we have in India is mar­riage. On aver­age, 34% of your life’s expens­es are for the mar­riage of your chil­dren. And, the thing is that it’s such a social event, you want to show­case your best to the world. So social sta­tus is important.”

Rustag­gi says the spec­u­la­tive nature of NFTs has pre­vent­ed it from reach­ing the same lev­el of social “sig­nal­ing” com­pared to a lux­u­ry car or a Rolex watch but noted:

“So I think that time for NFTs to become a great sig­nal­ing will come in India. I don’t think it has come yet, but it will come.” 

In late 2021, Total­i­ty Corp launched its first Lak­sh­mi NFT, inspired by the god­dess of wealth and for­tune. Rustag­gi said this was “by far” the largest NFT drop in India, bring­ing in a total of $561,000 from a col­lec­tion of 5,555 NFTs. 

Rustag­gi said the drop was suc­cess­ful as it tout­ed stak­ing rewards in USD Coin (USDC) as an incen­tive to hold the NFT, which made it a “guar­an­teed return” rather than “spec­u­la­tion.”

Relat­ed: Indi­an government’s ‘blockchain not cryp­to’ stance high­lights lack of understanding

Over­all, how­ev­er, Rustag­gi believes that cryp­to adop­tion will remain chal­lenged in India as long as there is reg­u­la­to­ry uncertainty.

The Indi­an gov­ern­ment has main­tained a strong anti-cryp­to stance since 2013. Ear­li­er this year, the gov­ern­ment pro­posed and imple­ment­ed two cryp­to tax laws which have since seen trad­ing vol­umes plum­met and many cryp­to uni­corns leav­ing the coun­try.

“The gov­ern­ment in India def­i­nite­ly doesn’t want cryp­to any­more […] The gov­ern­ment is out­right say­ing ‘we like blockchain but we don’t like cryp­tocur­ren­cy,’ but it’s kind of ridiculous.”

Source link

Please fol­low and like us:
Pin Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.