India ranks fifth in terms of interest in metaverse projects

India ranks fifth in terms of interest in metaverse projects
Photo Credit: Bloktopia

Undeterred by the uncertainty that shrouds the crypto space in the country, thousands of Indians appear to be taking a fancy to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and metaverse projects, spurred by the involvement of Bollywood superstars and cricketers who have been funding various projects built around NFTs.

Over half-a-million Indian users have shown their interest in non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, and metaverse projects from the beginning of November till date, a new report reveals. Moreover, India has been ranked fifth, only behind the US, Indonesia, Japan and Phillipines, in terms of interest in metaverse projects, according to the report by DappRadar, a company that tracks user behaviour across blockchain projects, that was published on 24 November. 

“The metaverse trend is dominated by the US. However, the Asia presence is becoming more visible with India, Singapore, and Indonesia increasing their audience by 500% (November till date),” the report noted.

Metaverse projects refer to blockchain-based games and applications, which are set in virtual worlds. Such games follow a play-to-earn model, where gamers are rewarded for being invested in the game. In-game items are converted to NFTs, which can be traded on the game’s marketplaces, while their native cryptocurrencies can be traded on exchanges.

The report added that almost 100,000 Indian users have been involved in metaverse projects like Decentraland and Axie Infinity. These are play-to-earn games, which reward users with cryptocurrencies for performing various actions in the game. The report said India ranked third behind the US and Indonesia in terms of interest in metaverse projects. 

“NFTs and metaverse games are like an extension of what we already do online,” said Dheeraj Shah, a crypto podcaster and educator who plays such games. “You don’t have to really learn the intricacies of Bitcoin and blockchains in order to enter these games and play,” he added.

Shah also said that the fact that playing the games actually leads to real world returns is a “powerful concept”. “If I play a web2 game like Farmville for six months and stop playing, I’ve just wasted six months of my life. On blockchain games, I can sell all my assets and make something out of the time I spent,” he said.

“Overall, the Asian market is well-involved within the industry. The combination of emerging economies, high population density, and a strong appetite for games and technologies, made the region one of the industry’s most enticing for adoption. It’s a region that braces the play-to-earn movement more than anywhere else,” the DappRadar report said.

According to the report, NFTs amassed over $675 million globally in November, surpassing the October tally by 6%. The number of trades, which shows the demand for these digital items, are also set to increase by 25% by the end of November.