November 1, 2021
India jumps on NFT craze with Bollywood star Bachchan's auction
Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became the first Indian celebrity to join the global NFT craze by launching an auction of his digital memorabilia on Monday.
Non-fungible tokens—unique digital objects such as drawings or animations—have soared in popularity in recent months.
Investors and wealthy collectors have clamoured to get involved in the latest digital craze, which relies on the same blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies and cannot be forged or otherwise manipulated.
On Bachchan's virtual auction block will be audio and art by the star including poetry recitals, movie posters and digital portraits.
"The NFTs will offer the audience a chance to own an original piece of rare and cherished moments of my life," the 79-year-old said in a statement.
The three-day auction is open to bidders globally and will close at midday (0630 GMT) Wednesday.
Analysts said the auction could give a hint of the potential appetite for digital collectables among India's 1.3 billion people.
"It is still at a very nascent stage but a lot more celebrities, artists and sportsmen are getting into it," said Kashif Raza, founder of crypto-education platform Bitinning.
"If Amitabh Bachchan is talking about NFTs on social media and elsewhere, more people will get to know about it," he told AFP.
Several other high-profile Indians, including fellow Bollywood megastar Salman Khan and cricketer Rishabh Pant, are also planning to hold NFT auctions.
© 2021 AFP