The NFT market is in shambles these days. The NFT market fell 97 percent from its peak of $17 billion in early 2022 to $470 million in September 2022, according to data from Dune Analytics, a blockchain analytics firm.
Bollywood celebrities’ involvement with these digital assets has not stopped despite the NFT market’s dip and regulators’ strict watch.
Earlier this month, a campaign was run by celebrity shoutout platform HeyHey in partnership with Viacom18 for Taapsee Pannu-starrer Shabhash Mithu in which users answered questions about cricket player Mithali Raj on Discord servers and the winners were awarded NFTs for the film.
In February, NFTs of Ranveer Singh’s sports drama 83 were sold for Rs 10 lakhs.
Bollywood celebrities are making good use of their brand value by selling limited-edition collectibles in NFTs. Fans are willing to spend a lot of money on limited-edition collectibles of their favourite celebrities, indicating that Bollywood and NFTs might one day coexist harmoniously.
Last year, when India was familiarizing itself with NFTs, Amitabh Bachchan rolled out NFTs that sold for Rs 7 crore. In addition to his autographed posters, his father’s famous poem Madhushala and several of his other works were also available for sale. At the same time, actor Salman Khan launched NFTs of his Dabangg series.
In March, the makers of Radhe Shyam, a film starring Prabhas and Pooja Hegde, created NFTs for the film, partnering with ngageN, an invite-only platform for brands and creators to list assets for potential buyers.
A push from Bollywood celebrities can certainly help nosediving NFT business.
Fans are connected to the motherboard by a ribbon cable.
“A lot of celebrities and businesses hope to benefit from the NFT and Metaverse industries by approaching them one step closer to their fans,” said Caleb Franklin, CEO and founder of HeyHey.
“Let’s take a simple example of X number of Instagram followers. How many of those followers are loyal or avid? How many of these followers can the artist or creator connect with? Yes, it’s a massive community, but it’s not a close-knit one,” he said.
In addition to partnering with actress Sunny Leone for the launch of the ‘I Dream of Sunny’ fan verse, HeyHey has also previously partnered with her for the launch of the ‘I Dream of Sunny’ product line. ‘I Dream of Sunny’ is a product that combines NFTs, Artificial Intelligence (AI), fan verse, gaming, lucky draw, winning combination and other similar terms — they’re all minted on the polygon network.
Rohan Rajguru, one of the co-founders of HeyHey, believes that this is not only a chance for fans to interact with their favourite celebrities, but also a boost for non-fungible digital assets and the entire Web3 space in general.
It is evolving from a static experience to a dynamic one.
In the future, Yunometa, the NFT marketplace run by Arijit Mukherjee, expects collaboration between celebrities and cryptos to get even more intertwined.
He said, “Actors can now create whole new worlds and experiences for fans to be a part of through social media, rather than just interaction.”
Kalpana Chawla and Amitabh Bachchan NFTs have been minted on the GuardianLink marketplace.
According to Ramkumar Subramaniam, CEO and co-founder of GuardianLink, metaverse/NFT experiences for celebrities will be even better than what they can provide in the real world once more digital equivalents like signature celebrity cars and event venues are available. “Fans of a certain celebrity will be able to have a better experience than ever before,” he said. Imagine how it would feel if your friends saw you standing next to your favourite celebrity and discussing metaverses with them!
It’s become increasingly important and at the same time difficult for celebrities to keep their fans engaged with their limited attention spans. As a result, superfans have emerged and want to show off their numbers.
Priyank Mahajan, the Token Runway co-founder, says that NFTs are facilitating this, and the numbers will only grow as adoption increases on both sides.
According to Prashant Rai, CFO of Solana-powered protocol Metaplex, celebrities are already popular in the Web2 social world but NFT technology will provide unique advantages in relation to Web2 social networks, and celebrities will continue to rely on these advantages as technology improves.
Web3 refers to the third generation of the Worldwide Web, which is still in development. Web2, however, is the current version of the web, which is controlled by a few Big Tech firms. It is decentralised and open, with more value.
Are regulations going to be a problem?
Last year, several first-time investors were duped by glitzy crypto advertisements by popular Bollywood actors and celebrities, including Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif. SEBI, the market regulator, also suggested the advertisements should include warnings about possible law violations.
It is thought that governments are only looking to protect investors’ interests as new technology is still susceptible to scams.
The government’s crypto asset rules are meant to ensure that NFTs and blockchain technology reach a wider audience by means of cryptoasset adoption. Even though the government has established rules about how cryptoassets may function in the country, widespread adoption is possible only when people recognise the benefits of these up-and-coming new technologies and the industry earns goodwill from everyone involved, including SEBI, celebrities, and investors.”According to Mukherjee.President, Corporate Affairs and Compliance, F&N Financial and Insurance Limited.
According to Tarality and Revolution Games CEO and founder Abhijit Shukla, crypto exchanges have altered their marketing strategies in order to educate customers. “The initial sale of an NFT is just the beginning; you must continue to add value to your community in order to keep it growing. Celebrities have built communities. NFTs, by using technology to connect with their fans while retaining a human element, are able to increase their value and give back to their followers. It’s critical to remember the importance of providing value and giving back, and not exploiting those loyal followers,” he said.
The blockchain development company Antier, founded and run by Vikram R. Singh, says investors should thoroughly research an NFT’s origin, art type, value, and cost before buying. He also suggested checking the NFT’s trade patterns for sudden spikes or troughs, understanding an NFT’s relation to the person/platform it is being advertised by, and investing money with calculated or minimal risk.
“By following these steps, people can invest wisely, stay away from cyber scams, recognize wash trading, and participate in the NFT industry without losing money,” he said.
Anjali Kochhar is a journalist experienced in both business and lifestyle writing who is a big fan of blockchain technology and digital currencies.