WazirX shuts down NFT market due to low traction

Indian crypto exchange WazirX has ended its NFT market operations with immediate effect. Currently, the WazirX NFT website displays a message to that effect.

WazirX NFT disabled

“The WazirX NFT marketplace has been disabled. You can still trade your NFTs on OpenSea,” the message read.

On a declaration on its website, Wazir said that despite creating a “safe and secure” market, the business “has not gained much traction”.

“NFTs are decentralized and owners have full control over their assets, which is why they have become so popular. Our users can rest assured that they can continue to keep their NFTs in their wallets, and these can be sold on other marketplaces such as OpenSea,” the statement clarified.

A report by Inc42 said that WazirX NFTs have 52,253 items for sale on OpenSea.

Without Warning, Pull the Rug Out…

The news was met with surprise on social media. Several Twitter posts pointed to “Notice zero” and some called it a rug pull. One Twitter user complained that NFTs hosted on this platform will now not fetch anything.

WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty responded to a tweet that denominated the closure of the WazirX NFT marketplace was a rug pull.

“Rugpull? NFTs have always been in the custody of participants,” he he said.

Just a day before WazirX closed its marketplace, an NFT collection under the Friendsies brand announced a similar decision to “pause” operations, citing market volatility. The announcement caused fears of a rug pull in the Friendsies community.

India’s NFT Market

The WazirX NFT marketplace was launched in June 2021, followed by several other India-focused NFT platforms by other companies. Some managed to entice major movie stars to mint their NFTs, and the market seemed to be taking off to greater heights, with movie stars and cricket personalities in particular jumping on the NFT bandwagon. But a prolonged bear market and hostile regulatory environment appear to have hit the cryptocurrency sub-sector hard.

Technology consulting firm Deloitte, in its Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Forecasts to 2022, said that the Indian sports and entertainment NFT market will grow to $1 billion in the near future, while the global sports trade NFT will exceed $2 billion in 2022.

“With more than 500 million cricket fans in India and Bollywood…, an NFT market just for film and sports in India has the potential to exceed $1 billion in value in the near future,” said the Deloitte report.


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