Indian exchange WazirX closes NFT marketplace

Indian exchange WazirX closes NFT marketplace

On Feb. 22, Indian-based crypto exchange WazirX shut down its NFT marketplace because it did not gain traction.

WazirX serves notice on the shutdown

The notice on WazirX’s official website expressed regret after shutting down its NFT marketplace. The notice also expressed pride in being the first Indian NFT marketplace, a platform that showcased Indian creators’ talents. The platform also provided an avenue for exchanging digital assets and intellectual property like art. 

WazirX’s NFT marketplace came to the crypto scene back in June 2021. The exchange played a big part in shining the spotlight on Indian creators. Moreover, NFTs are decentralized, giving creators complete control over their assets. Unfortunately, despite the exchange gaining popularity for its users, its NFT marketplace did not gain much traction and therefore had to be shut down.

The notice reassured users that they could hold their NFTs in their wallets or sell them in other marketplaces like OpenSea.  

Challenges facing Indian crypto exchanges

The shutdown has come amid other market challenges. First, the exchange was crippled by the Indian government introducing a new tax on crypto transactions policy. The business lost more than 90% of its trading volume since the implementation of the tax policy. 

The hostile tax regimen and previous crypto winters led to the collapse of the exchange firm. According to reports, during the recent crypto downturn, WazirX laid off 40% of its employees in Oct 2022.  

Additionally, the exchange platform received regulatory scrutiny when the Enforcement Directorate raided its director’s premises and froze accounts connected to the firm. However, the accounts were later unfrozen. 

Secondly, WazirX has had an ongoing wrangle with Binance over the exchange’s ownership. Binance had previously announced the acquisition but later clarified that the agreement was only for certain assets. Binance also cut off the services that connected it to the firm earlier in Feb. 

Moreover, Binance claimed no control over WazirX user funds or the platform’s operations. It also gave WazirX an ultimatum to stop using Binance wallets earlier this month. 

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