The company that helped save crypto and NFTs in India

There are only two countries in the world that have a population of over a billion. India is one of them. India is also one of the most technologically penetrated countries in the world. It currently has the second largest smartphone market, valued at just over $130 billion at the time of writing. And according to a study conducted by the World Economic Forum, Indians are among the most optimistic about the technology and the benefits it brings.

It is therefore not surprising that India has been home to a growing Web3 movement. According to Nasson, the country is home to more than 450 Web3 start-ups and more than $1.3 billion has been invested in the space over the past two years. One of the platforms behind the rise of the South Asian nation in the blockchain space is WazirX.

So what is WazirX?

WazirX was originally founded in 2018 as a crypto exchange. As the company evolved, it added an NFT marketplace to its product line. Today, it is the largest crypto exchange in India by trading volume – in 2021 alone, its volume surpassed $43 billion. However, the company’s path to greatness has been rather twisty and winding.

Unfortunately, the same year as WazirX was launched, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a circular urging other Indian banks to disavow cryptocurrencies as a whole. Following this decision, WazirX founder Nischal Schetty launched the India Wants Crypto campaign. The movement reached millions of people and ultimately has become a trending topic in the country.

However, the Indian oligopolies did not put an end to their resistance. What followed were years of litigation that would decide the future of India’s engagement with crypto – and in the Web3 space as a whole. Then, in 2019, Binance announced the acquisition of WazirX in a blog post. In a separate article published at the same time, WazirX also reported that it had been “successfully acquired by Binance”. The company continued its operations in much the same way, with Schetty still at the helm, leading both the company and the fight against the RBI.

Eventually, things came to a head in 2020, when India’s top court overturned the RBI banking ban on cryptocurrency. The RBI would be not have his way. Once this hurdle is cleared, WazirX could continue to grow unhindered by government intervention. However, that doesn’t mean the trip was completely smooth.

WazirX and Binance: A Question of Ownership

In 2022, India’s Law Enforcement Directorate froze WazirX’s assets, saying the company was suspected of violating exchange rules. Shortly after, Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance, said in a series of tweets that the acquisition of WazirX was never finalized.

“On November 21, 2019, Binance published a blog post indicating that it had ‘acquired’ WazirX. This transaction never went through. Binance has never – at any time – held shares of Zanmai Labs, l entity operating WazirX,” he wrote.

Shetty replied a series of tweets denying the claims. “The technology, the product, the domain, the brand and everything was sold by our Singaporean entity Zettai to Binance,” he said. Many ownership issues remain unresolved. Either way, the WazirX community continues to keep working.

NFT WazirX

Established in May 2021 during the historic NFT market bull run, WazirX NFT Market hoped to do with NFTs what it did with crypto – bring them to the masses. When it went public, the market hosted the works of 15 different artists. More than 300 other artists were added in short succession, thanks in large part to a whitelist of creators. The WazirX NFT market is built on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) blockchain. The company justified this choice by noting that the BSC blockchain is faster than ETH.

Minting and Selling NFTs on WazirX

So what sets the WazirX NFT market apart from its competitors overseas? For one thing, it’s an invite-only space. To ensure that every collection featured on the site is up to scratch, WazirX selects artists capable of engaging the services of its blockchain showcase.

How to get an invitation to sell your NFTs on WazirX? If you have made a name for yourself on other ETH-based NFT marketplaces, you will receive an automatic invitation to post your work on the WazirX NFT marketplace.

Variety is also a strong point of this NFT marketplace, so artists from all mediums are welcome on the platform. Whether you are a digital artist, a traditional artist, a photographer, an animator or a musician, you can settle on WazirX. With its 100 megabyte file size limit per individual artwork, you can also be wary of the overall fidelity of each piece you put up for sale on the market.

Buy NFTs on WazirX

And how to buy WazirX NFTs? Fortunately, many contrary to its policy on listing NFTs, you don’t need to be invited to become a collector on WazirX’s NFT Marketplace. All you will need is a crypto wallet – one from MetaMask, to be precise, or a wallet supported by WalletConnect.

When creating a WazirX NFT market account, simply connect your wallet to it and you are ready to browse India’s best Web3 offers. As for the fees you need to worry about, instead of being charged a variable gas fee per trade, you’ll have to pay a 5% commission to help keep the WazirX ship afloat. Of course, you’ll also have access to on-site auctions, where you must beat the last bidder by at least 5% more than their bid to score a claim on a contested coin.

WazirX’s Biggest NFT Hits To Date

Looking to see for yourself what the WazirX NFT Marketplace is all about? Much like how Bollywood cinema can offer anyone a glimpse into India’s culture and artistic sensibilities, WazirX also offers users a unique Indian perspective on all things NFT. Thus, we have prepared a brief overview of the best-selling – and most important – collections on the site at the time of writing.

1k collection

Toonized. One of the first NFTs hit on WazirX’s NFT Market. Source: minidoodler

Although not technically a collection per se, the 1k collection refers to a curated list of the top 1000 NFTs minted and sold in the market. All NFTs meeting this criteria are tagged with the 1k badge, and only the market itself is able to issue these badges. So if you want to quickly get up to speed with WazirX’s OG NFTs, browsing this tag is your best bet. With just a few clicks, you can find what might have been the first NFT created on the site: Kathakali by user ajmellow, a rendition of traditional Indian dance and art.

Folk science fiction

WazirX header from Folk SciFi. Source: Vimal Chandran

At the time of writing, Folk SciFi is the best-selling original collection on WazirX’s NFT marketplace, with nearly 80 BNB in ​​total sales volume. According to current appraisals, it is close to $30,000. Presented by artist Vimal Chandran as a sci-fi reimagining of stories and characters drawn from Indian folklore, it depicts the unique collision of tradition and technology taking place in this South Asian country. Each NFT in the collection consists of 1:1 animated NFT thumbnails showcasing Chandran’s take on the rich folklore of his country.

SSC-Club

STAR #545 Source: CSS Club

Of course, it’s hard not to talk about an NFT market without mentioning at least one PFP collection. While these PFPs are great virtual ambassadors for WazirX on social media, they also offer any users who view them a glimpse into contemporary Indian culture, especially its rich cinematic history. The Crypto Sauga Stars Club, or CSS Club for short, is a collection of 10,000 coins of NFT PFPs inspired by characters from decades-long Bollywood history. If you’ve recently gotten into this unique brand of cinema, then this collection might just be for you.

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