Indian crypto exchange WazirX has wound up its NFT marketplace operations with immediate effect. Currently, the WazirX NFT site displays a message to this effect.
WazirX NFT Sunsetted
“The WazirX NFT marketplace has been sunsetted. You can still trade your NFTs on OpenSea,” the message reads.
In a statement on its site, Wazir said despite creating a “safe and secure” marketplace, the business “did not gain much traction.”
“NFTs are decentralized, and owners have complete control over their assets, which is why they have become so popular. Our users can rest assured that they can continue to hold their NFTs in their wallets, and these can be sold in other marketplaces such as OpenSea,” the statement clarified.
A report by Inc42 said that WazirX NFTs has 52,253 items on sale on OpenSea.
No Notice, Rug Pull…
The news was received with surprise on social media. Several posts on Twitter pointed to “Zero notice,” and some termed it a rug-pull. A Twitter user complained that the NFTs hosted on this platform will now fetch nothing.
WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty replied to a tweet that termed the closing down of the WazirX NFT marketplace a rug-pull.
“Rugpull? NFTs have always been under self-custody of those participating,” he said.
Only a day before WazirX shut down its marketplace, an NFT collection under the brand name Friendsies announced a similar decision to “pause” operations, citing market volatility. The announcement caused fears of a rug-pull in the Friendsies community.
India NFT Market
WazirX NFT marketplace launched in June 2021, followed by several other India-focused NFT platforms by other companies. Some were able to rope in top film stars to mint their NFTs, and the market appeared to be taking off for greater heights, with film stars and cricket personalities, in particular, jumping on the NFT bandwagon. But a prolonged bear market and unfriendly regulatory environment seem to have hit the crypto subsector hard.
Technology consultancy firm Deloitte in its Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions 2022, said the Indian sports and entertainment NFT market will grow to $1 billion in the near future, while the global sports NFT trade will cross $2 billion in 2022.
“With more than 500 million cricket fans in India, and Bollywood…, an NFT marketplace for just cinema and sports in India has the potential to cross $1 billion in value in the near future,” the Deloitte report said.
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