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Collectibles Market Might Not Work Out Very Well In India: WinZO Founder On NFT Ecosystem

Collectibles Market Might Not Work Out Very Well In India: WinZO Founder On NFT Ecosystem

There are exceptions, of course, Paavan Nanda added, that is, if the ecosystem comes up with some greater utilities for NFTs - a case in point is earning passive incomes on NFTs

A second-time entrepreneur, Nanda is the CEO and cofounder of WinZO, one of India’s largest vernacular social gaming and entertainment platforms

With gaming as the bleeding edge i.e. segment that pushes tech into the mainstream segments, Nanda has pointed out the need for better usage of NFTs

The year 2021 saw the sale of the first NFT when Mike Winkelmann (beeple) made headlines in April that year for selling an NFT of his artwork for $69 Mn at an auction. Since then, while everyone seems to be jumping on the NFT bandwagon, WinZO founder Paavan Nanda is bearish on the NFT ecosystem in India.

During the panel discussion between Nanda and Nazara’s Nitish Mittersain, moderated by BEENEXT’s Chinmaya Saxena during The Makers’ Summit 2022, Nanda said, “Outside India, people are keener on collectibles, and just buy for the sake of collection.”

“Web3 has definitely offered a brilliant technology offering new things such as decentralisation, trustlessness and blockchain-based applications. But in India, I personally feel that the NFT collectibles market may not work out that well, because as Indians we don’t attribute so much value to collections,” Nanda said.

There are exceptions, of course, he added — the 1% of people investing in NFTs, but as long as the ecosystem comes up with some NFTs with greater utilities such as renting and earning passive incomes on NFTs, Nanda is particularly not bullish on the NFT ecosystem in India.

Nanda is the CEO and cofounder of WinZO, a vernacular social gaming and entertainment platforms. A second-time entrepreneur, Nanda had previously founded the hostel chain Zostel.

Founded by Nanda and Saumya Singh in early 2018, WinZO partners with third-party developers to host games on their android app, where users can enjoy personalised multiplayer gameplay experiences. The platform is available in 12 languages such as English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, and Bhojpuri, with more than 50 Mn registered users.

It is backed by marquee investors such as Griffin Gaming Partners, Makers Fund, Courtside Ventures and Bain Capital’s Steve Pagliuca. The startup last raised $65 Mn in its Series C round in July 2021, taking the company’s total funds raised to $90 Mn.

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Gaming Industry Is The Bleeding Edge, But NFTs Need Better Utilities

Why Nanda’s comment comes as a minor setback to the ecosystem, is because as Chinmaya Saxena stated during the panel discussion, gaming in India is the bleeding edge to other sectors. Major technologies are borne out of necessity within the gaming sector and then find better use cases around other segments such as edtech, fintech, others.

Thus, by pointing out that the Indian consumer is not likely to be keen on buying NFTs just for the sake of it, even the gaming segment that pushes newer tech into the mainstream sectors, cannot encourage NFTs if they do not have better use cases.

NFTs or non-fungible tokens are digital assets that represent real-world objects or parts of objects such as art, music, in-game items and videos. These can be bought and sold online, just like any other item, and most NFT marketplaces are built around cryptocurrency and tokens, and a blockchain network (usually Ethereum).

In 2021 alone, users have sent at least $26.9 Bn worth of cryptocurrency to ERC-721 and ERC-1155 contracts, the two types of Ethereum smart contracts associated with NFT marketplaces and collections.

The Web 3.0 product is fast-changing the art and entertainment landscape, making it easier than ever for fans to support their favourite creators and for artists to mint and trade unique, collectible pieces with platforms and marketplaces such as OpenSea, Rarible, WazirX, GuardianLink.io, DevTeam.Space, ShareTribe, among others.

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