Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges are Coming Together to Lobby for Regulation in India
According to rumors, top Indian crypto exchanges are close to joining IndiaTech. This industry group represents India’s consumer internet firms, unicorns, and investors to put more pressure on the government to regulate crypto in the country. In May, it was reported that the Indian government was considering forming a new council of experts to develop a roadmap for blockchain legislation and use in India. The proposed government panel will focus on blockchain development in addition to cryptocurrencies. According to reports, India’s finance ministry keeps an eye on the increased interest and activity in cryptocurrency trading and assessing supervisory concerns.
A top employee at another cryptocurrency exchange, who did not want to be identified, was cited as claiming that they were nearing completion of their application to join IndiaTech. Many other crypto exchanges’ senior executives stated they were considering joining IndiaTech. Still, their work with the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC), which is part of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), will continue. BACC presently includes all major crypto exchanges, including WazirX, CoinDCX, ZebPay, and CoinSwitch Kuber.
Multiple regulatory authorities are expected to oversee the growth of the Indian crypto sector, and the business hopes to establish a presence in various tech lobby groups to do so. IndiaTech, which has assisted local businesses with regulatory and government difficulties, released a white paper last month suggesting a complete framework to give regulatory clarity on crypto assets and exchanges in India.
IndiaTech has collaborated with authorities such as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to implement DVR reforms, listing regulations, and promoter lock-in reduction. It also played a key role in assisting entrepreneurs in getting their services listed on the government’s e-marketplace, which numerous ministries use to purchase goods and services. Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder of Ola, Deep Kalra, co-founder of MakeMyTrip, Ravi Mehta, founder of Steadview Capital, and Kavin Bharti Mittal, co-founder of Hike, are among its core members.
There are around 200 blockchain firms in India, with many of them focused on cryptocurrencies. In 2017, India’s crypto sector was predicted to be worth around $13 billion. That was before the Reserve Bank of India imposing a banking ban on cryptocurrency firms. Some of India’s well-known crypto businesses have claimed a 400 percent rise in trade volumes and user signups since the prohibition was lifted.
Beeple, a digital artist, stunned the world in March when he sold his collage “Everyday” for $69 million as a nonfungible token at Christie’s (NFT). Suddenly, every news source seemed to be publishing an explanation for this occurrence, attempting to answer the question: Why would someone pay the price of an authentic Monet, Picasso, or van Gogh for a glorified JPEG?
NFTs are used in various industries, including music, art, and sports memorabilia; thus, lumping them all together causes problems. However, the NFT market as a whole was already in decline by the time Beeple made his record-breaking transaction. The last week of February saw NFT trading volume reach roughly $200 million, powered by $125 million in activity on NBA Top Shot, the Dapper Labs-owned platform for buying and selling basketball highlight clips minted on a blockchain.
NFT activity is now decreasing in practically every statistic that can be measured. According to data tracking firm DappRadar, the NFT market saw around $35 million in sales last week, down substantially from its February peak. During the same period, the number of people using NFT markets dropped by 80 percent, from 650,000 to 128,000.
In an interview with Quartz, Daniel Roberts, the editor in chief of the crypto-focused news site Decrypt, said: “It certainly feels like NFTs were the greatest story in crypto a couple of months ago, and that is no longer the case.” “This isn’t to say that NFTs aren’t alive and well, which is something that many would love to claim in big, screamy headlines. However, there was a tremendous hype cycle that has subsided.”
Rise and Fall of NFT
The concept of NFTs, which are blockchain-based copies of digital media assets, was conceived years ago, long before the concept gained traction among digital artists and crypto fans. At a conference in 2014, Anil Dash, the CEO of the software company Glitch, co-created the first proto-NFT. However, he is wary about the present NFT frenzy. Much of the recent NFT rise, he believes, is due to an “overhang in crypto assets.”
Since the start of 2020, bitcoin and ether prices have risen by more than 400 percent and 1700 percent, respectively. He believes a divide exists between those who care about art and those who care about technology, with little overlap. In an interview, Dash stated, “It’s very, very evident to me that the growth and interest were [that] not a lot of dudes who were fascinated with crypto suddenly decided to care about art.” “There is a vanishingly little overlap that I believe will survive after the boom or bubble bursts, but that component is incredibly hard to discern because everything else is so noisy.”
The NFT boom, according to Roberts, is akin to the 2017 ICO craze, a revolutionary cryptocurrency fundraising approach that yielded few successes and scared regulators.
“Even though a lot of it was crap and the SEC cracked down on a lot of ICOs,” Roberts adds, “some token sales from that period were legitimate and have survived and still exist with a true business purpose.” “Similarly, I believe there will be a slow sifting of the wheat from the chaff, where a lot of the NFTs that were essentially money-grabs during the boom will fade away and appear stupid in retrospect, but there will be use cases of NFTs that will endure and prove to have staying power and resiliency.
Future of NFT
The NFT industry acknowledges that the boom is over—at least for the time being. They see it as a natural decline of an overheated business and are optimistic about the future. Although the company witnessed an initial spike around February when it originally started, Lindsay Howard, head of community for the NFT art market Foundation, said she is now seeing a “promising” secondary market with paintings averaging 200 percent rises from their original sale price.
“We were always sure that collectors were investing in the ongoing practices of the artists on our platform, and we were always conscious that the markets would change,” she said. Another NFT marketplace, Blockparty, has long relied on NFTs for blockchain-based ticket sales. Still, this year it shifted its focus to become a more general platform that can enable NFT sales on various websites. Vlad Ginzburg, the company’s CEO, stated that he wants the company to be the Shopify of the NFT sector.
Ginzburg stated that the company intends to offer NFT sales on various websites, integrate with a variety of blockchains such as Ethereum and Flow, and make transactions as simple as possible by taking credit cards and other forms of payment. As a result, the NFT market will become more inclusive, user-friendly, and affordable. He explained, “The purpose and goal are in the word Blockparty.” “It’s a get-together. It’s all-encompassing.”
However, he is concerned about the bubble breaking fully, particularly when the crypto bull run comes to an end. “We fear this becoming a bubble if we don’t make this user-friendly.” Dash has stayed away from the market since co-creating the original NFT with artist Kevin McCoy. He is wary of the NFT market, which he believes is overvalued and rife with con artists. But he sincerely hopes it succeeds in the way he planned, by assisting artists. “My most optimistic interpretation,” he continued, “is that it is returning to the folks who were genuinely interested in it a few months ago.”