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Bollywood and NFTs – Marriage made in heaven?

Imagine, for a moment, your favorite Bollywood actor or actress and imagine the scene from their movie that is your most memorable one. Now imagine that you have an opportunity to buy that scene for life and you become the owner of that clip in the world. Yes, today it's possible through a technology called Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs.

What is a NFT ?

Let us understand what are NFTs and how they operate in simple terms to understand their huge implications. NFT is a identification number and non-fungible makes it unique. Each NFT is unique in its form and cannot be traded for another at same value. The technology was built on the fast growing blockchain platform. And blockchain is just a public register of all owners and transactions locked in which makes it secure and transparent. In the physical world we purchase goods through currency and that’s a fungible token. You can exchange one rupee for another and it still holds value. In the digital world like games, movies, digital art so far assets have largely been free or paid but difficult to ascertain ownership rights. The video game industry gave rise to a fast growing form of digital ownership through avatars and accessories bought by gamers around the world. Till the arrival of blockchain there was a a lack of consistent, uniform, scalable platform that could identify, hold, secure and provide trading ability of digital ownership rights. With bitcoins the movement has gained momentum and platforms like Ethereum made it possible for anyone anywhere to own bitcoins (fungible token) in their names and trade it with anyone else around the world in a seamless manner.

Now with NFTs and underlying blockchain platform the same is true for all digital assets.

Momentum or Fad?

Recently a digital art from Beeple was sold for $69 M. NBA in partnership with dapper labs has already sold more than $200 million of NFTs of various basketball video clips of memorable moments. Just in the last 2 weeks a New York Times writer sold his article for over half a million dollars as the first NFT article. I am sure your imagination is running wild now, imagine owning the Gabbar singh dialog from Sholay or the Amitabh Bachchan dialog from Shahenshah and possibilities are enormous. This opens up a whole new spectrum of marketplaces and trade in the digital world. The same can be applied to literature, online short films, ads, tiktok videos and so much more.

So what next ?

Before we get carried away on this, there are still many hurdle blocks for this technology to become mainstream in India. The marketplaces are limited and largely international. More work needs to be done to make the transact-ability simple and quick. And finally the underlying currency depends on bitcoin which has run into legal issues for now in India. So how the government develops its position on bitcoin or cryptocurrencies will also have a bearing on the outcome. Ideally it would be better for them to let the marketplace develop its rules and let it evolve. Just like large fairs, conventions and farmers marketplaces develop their own rules, this marketplace should also develop organically. Hopefully India will capitalize this huge opportunity of creating a global marketplace for our products. A great step in the direction of "Make in India". With the largest movie, music business along with a thriving Tiktok/Instagram reels content and a global audience, this could unleash the massive creative potential of a billion masses into the world helping us, stamp the world with our make in India label. I stay cautiously optimistic that we can make this a game changer for India. “Pawri ho rahi hain” NFT anyone ?

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