The startup is also working on developing NFTs backed by tangible assets
Belfrics Group intends to launch its NFT platform across 10 countries within the next six months
It would also focus on creating a seamless verification process for the NFTs listed on the platform
With the entry of renowned artists, sports and Bollywood celebrities in the non-fungible token (NFT) space, the Indian market has witnessed the inception of several NFT startups in the last one year. To tap into the booming Indian NFT market, Belfrics Group has launched its NFT exchange platform, BelNFT.
“NFTs have been on our radar for quite some time because this particular space has been growing decently. As compared to the previous years where there was an absolute lack of how to adjust this particular asset class, now even regulators are coming up with respective policies to effectively manage this. Hence, we thought it would be the right time for us to enter into the space because, as a company, we always thrive on compliance,” Praveen Kumar, founder and CEO, Belfrics Group told Inc42.
BelNFT would have several types of NFTs such as collectibles, artworks, music, gaming, virtual assets, memes, domain names, merchandise, among others. Without revealing details, Kumar said BeINFT will sign memoranda of understanding with a few cultural agencies shortly. In addition, the startup is also working on developing NFTs backed by tangible assets. As Kumar puts it, it’s more about merging physical and digital opportunities together.
“As of now, the NFT marketplace is predominantly revolving around paintings, pictures and collectibles. There’s a lot more innovation waiting to happen. The asset-backed NFTs can have variable attributes. We are building up an ecosystem where the institutions can have control and yet the assets owned by the institutions can be freely interoperated. So interoperability is one of our key strong points,” Kumar added.
Belfrics Global is a Malaysia-based blockchain provider and cryptocurrency exchange and platform that is licensed and regulated by Labuan Financial Services Authority (LFSA), Malaysia. With 10 operational offices in eight countries, Belfrics’ trading platform offers digital assets, cryptocurrencies, and crypto derivative contracts to its clients.
Global NFT Market
“The global market is expected to reach a market size of $80 Bn by 2025. Having said that, our initial focus would be to ensure a seamless verification process of the NFTs listed on our platform. Hence, we have created a unique process to validate every NFT trade on BelNFT so our customers could buy authentic assets at the right price,” Kumar stated.
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On the back of its global reach, Belfrics Group intends to launch its NFT platform across 10 countries within the next six months. However, it didn’t disclose the name of the other countries it is targeting for the launch.
In 2021, NFT sales reached nearly $25 Bn globally, as compared to just $94.9 Mn in the year before, according to data from market tracker DappRadar.
Along with the sales, the global interest for NFTs also peaked in the year, surpassing crypto. However, the hype may have died down, as the worldwide search for NFT saw a steep decline in the first quarter of 2022, as per Google Trends data.
While Belfrics Group is targeting a niche segment through its asset-backed NFT proposition, Kumar believes the market will pick up at the end of 2022 or at the beginning of 2023.
“There is a bubble that you will see in the NFT market because many of the assets that are revolving in the ecosystem are not sustainable in nature. Eventually, you will see the value of those assets come down drastically and then it will reach a certain maturity. We are looking at down the line one year to mature the market,” he commented.
NFT Craze In India
Considerably, there are over 86 NFT-based startups in India currently, a report in The Hindu said citing Traxcn data. Out of these, almost 71 startups were launched in 2021 alone. For example, WazirX launched its NFT marketplace for Indian artists last year. Another NFT marketplace GuardianLink launched cricket-based digital assets last week.
In the last one year, several actors and sports celebrities have jumped onto the NFT trend. Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth, Yuvraj Singh, and Sunil Gavaskar are among the big names to have joined the trend. For marketing purposes, several popular brands such as Viacom18 and MG Motor India have also embraced the trend.
It is to be noted that the Indian NFT market is also seeing certain challenges at the moment, especially with regard to the new tax rule for virtual digital assets (VDAs) that came into effect from April 1. The 30% tax on income from transfer of VDAs has not only been a reason of concern for crypto investors but for the NFT ecosystem as well.