Business

Totality Corp CEO explains why India is still largely untouched by NFTs

Despite being ranked as one of the most crypto-adopted markets among emerging markets, a large portion of the Indian market has yet to accept non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Totality Corp founder and CEO Anshul Rustaggi explained that social and cultural barriers, as well as regulations on cryptocurrencies, are preventing large-scale adoption of NFTs.

With a population of 1.38 billion, India is the second most populous country in the world after China. Last month, the United Nations predicted that the country will overtake its competitors in 2023.

However, Rustaggi explained that cryptocurrency trading and collecting NFTs are considered speculative investments. This is a concept that is hated in Indian culture and is in the same boat as gambling.

“India has a very love-hate relationship with speculation. So the whole of Asia, including India, likes speculation. But morally, we always like to say bad things about it.” He said.

Rustaggi explained that even when he was working as a hedge fund manager in London, he was seen by his mother at the time as “basically gambling with other people’s money.”

“At NFT, speculation was the only way to make money. […] We as a society have not yet embraced digital goods. “

Studies have found that most NFTs are bought for their speculative nature, but some collections, as in the case of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, which boasts a long list of celebrities, are sold for wealth and status. can be considered a “signal” of and Crypto’s heavy hitter as Hodler.

However, Rustaggi said the concept is not widespread in India, despite the strong emphasis on “social status” in Indian society.

“In India, social status is very important and the biggest expense in India is marriage. The thing is, this is a very social event and you want to show the world your best, so social standing is important.”

Rustaggi says the speculative nature of NFTs prevents them from reaching the same level of social “signaling” compared to luxury cars and Rolex watches, but: said to

“So I think the time will come for India when NFTs will be great signaling.

In late 2021, Totality Corp will launch its first “Lakshmi NFT” inspired by the Goddess of Wealth and Fortune. Rustaggi said this was the biggest drop in his NFTs in India “by far”, bringing in a total of $561,000 from his collection of 5,555 NFTs.

Rustaggi said the drop was successful because it touted USD Coin (USDC) staking rewards as an incentive to hold the NFT, making it a “guaranteed return” rather than a “speculation.”

Related: Indian Government’s “Blockchain, Not Crypto” Stance Highlights Lack of Understanding

Overall, however, Rustaggi believes that crypto adoption in India remains challenging as long as there is regulatory uncertainty.

The Indian government has maintained a strong anti-crypto stance since 2013. Earlier this year, the government proposed and implemented two of her cryptocurrency tax laws. This caused trading volumes to plummet and many crypto unicorns to leave the country.

“The Indian government definitely doesn’t want cryptocurrencies anymore. […] The government has made it very clear that we don’t like blockchain and we don’t like cryptocurrencies. But it’s kind of silly. “