International NFT Day: Celebrating Digital Ownership In India, the NFT market size is expected to record a CAGR of 61.6 per cent, going from USD 3.3 billion in 2021 to USD 27 billion by 2028. In fact, the country is home to the third largest number of NFT start-ups worldwide, after the USA and Singapore.

By Paromita Gupta

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Every year, September 20 is celebrated as the 'International NFT Day'. The term was first coined this date back in 2017 by the Chief Technical Officer of Dapper Labs when they published ERC-721 — the standard from which non-fungible tokens are built and first formally used the term 'NFT'. 2022 was the first year when this day was officially celebrated.

However, the first creation of NFT was in the form of Quantum by Kevin McCoy in 2014. Quantum was a generative piece of art which was subsequently turned into an NFT by the artist for one purpose- ownership. Additionally, 2017 was also the year when OpenSea went live in the web3 space, becoming an ecosystem to nurture creators, collectors, and NFT enthusiasts.

2021 was the year of NFTs, where the digital assets worth $25B were transacted. However, the market has grown over the past few years. Grand View Research, a market intelligence firm, reported that the global NFT market size is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.2% from 2023 to 2030.

Meanwhile in India, the NFT market size is expected to record a CAGR of 61.6 per cent, going from USD 3.3 billion in 2021 to USD 27 billion by 2028. In fact, the country is home to the third largest number of NFT start-ups worldwide, after the USA and Singapore.

While there are several use cases of NFT, its core principle of ownership and provenance of assets is what makes NFT a booming market. Simply put, its blockchain technology records each and every transaction pertaining to the asset with little to no scope for tampering. This makes it an authentic and verified storage solution provider.

Let's take a look at how India has been embracing this technology-

1. Putting artwork for bids- Tokenization of art is one of the biggest use cases of NFT and is equally dominating the Indian market. Artists have welcomed this technology which not only enables them to auction their work without a middleman but also lets them earn royalty on them (at least for now). Some of the prominent indie artists who have hopped on the NFT train include Prasad Bhat, Sneha Chakraborty, Khyati Trehan, and Siraj Hassan. In fact, DAZE was India's first dedicated NFT Art Exhibition that showcased works of 50+ artists.

2. A cricket enthusiast's sanctuary- Market Decipher, a Pune-based market research and consultancy firm, reported that out of US$26 billion, NFT sports collectibles are estimated for US$1.4 billion, and it is expected to hit US$227.2 billion by 2032. Rario, GuardianLink, and Fancraze are some of the notable cricket-focused NFT start-ups. Dinesh Karthik's famous last-ball six became India's first sports NFT in 2021. "The digital player cards have been a huge hit with Indian and global fans, who collect and trade them. The level of detail and quality that goes into each card has really resonated with fans, and they love being able to access exclusive content and experiences through our platform," shared Sunny Bhanot, co-founder and CTO, Rario previously.

3. Safe storage of integral data- Using NFTs as a data storage technology is the prime use case for the government. Telangana government became the first in the world to utilize Soulbound, a variation of NFT, the concept of a 'Digital Medal' for its outstanding police members. The Maharashtra government partnered with MAPay, a healthcare financial technology, to launch an NFT-based health data storage solution. Airchains, a Web3 startup focused on a middleware software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, collaborated with the New Town Kolkata Development Authority for 50,000 NFTs [nonfungible tokens] representing one million ownerships of 27,000 acres of land.

4. NFT-based philanthropy- This use case is prevalent in the West but is finding its way near home. Non-fungible token donations enable donors to track through blockchain and make direct donations to social projects and initiatives. Cadbury Gems launched an NFT collection to raise funds. The collection converted artwork made by kids around the country into NFTs.

5. Empowerment of women and marginalised groups- NFT is emerging as a new technique to raise voices for issues and concerns. While web3 is currently dominated by men, it is open and inclusive for new members, especially women. "The year 2022 witnessed a remarkable 440% surge in women-owned NFT wallets worldwide. These NFTs provide opportunities for governance, recognition, shared ownership, and financial independence. coto exemplifies this empowerment for the first time at scale by utilizing utility NFTs for community governance and rewards, aligning with our core mission to establish a safer, more inclusive environment for women. This simultaneously fosters industry growth and diversity," shares Tarun Katial, Founder and CEO, coto.

Paromita Gupta

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at 

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