Interest around non-fungible tokens (NFTs) continues to tumble around the world, as various factors such as uncertainty in global equity markets and a worldwide crash of the cryptocurrency market continue. India, while being home to a significant number of NFT startups, is a seeming reflection of the same, with a report published earlier this week stating that despite a large number of global NFT companies coming from India, interest on the topic remains at the rock bottom.
According to data from global NFT community site, NFTClub, 5% of the world’s NFT companies are based in India. Despite that, India ranks last in the list of nations by interest in NFTs. According to NFTClub, while nations such as Taiwan, Australia, Canada and Iceland register more than 8,000 searches on NFTs and NFT-related topics per 100,000 people, India only registered 254 searches per 100,000 individuals.
NFTs are typically digital properties – such as a music track, image or even a tweet – that have a unique underlying digital signature that cannot be duplicated. The latter is stored in a token, which gives the digital media its intrinsic value and mimics how such items would have value in cash, in the physical world.
It’s important to note that if only the overall search numbers are taken into account, India ranked fifth globally in terms of the volume of NFT searches – suggesting that despite a push from various companies across India, the topic remains of limited interest to the country’s overall internet user base.
Numerous companies have announced NFT launches in India over the past one year, including companies such as T-Series. In January this year, the popular film and music production company announced that it would be launching NFTs linked to various films and music albums produced and distributed under its banner.
In March this year, online travel booking portal Makemytrip announced that it would also be launching its own NFT collection in order to cash in on the craze behind the new technology. Automotive brand, MG Motors, also followed suit – with both Makemytrip and MG Motors using Indian web3 startup Koinearth’s NgageN platform to allow users to buy NFTs using fiat money (and not compulsorily need crypto tokens).
However, such moves have not stopped NFTs from seeing a continuous decline in interest. Data from market tracker The Block states that the past week, from May 22 to 27, saw 185,000 NFTs being sold overall around the world – down from over 1.08 million in April 25, 2021. Sale volumes have declined too – while $25.1 million-worth NFTs were sold last week, the same figure was over $1.07 billion in the week starting August 22, last year.