In a shocking development, Indian cryptocurrency exchange, WazirX on Friday, February 24, announced the closure of its WazirX NFT marketplace. According to the company, the decision came as a result of “low volume and traction.” The sudden closure sparked outrage among NFT artists, with some vowing to boycott future products from the co-founders, Nischal Shetty and Sandesh Suvarna.
Here’s all you need to know about the WazirX NFT marketplace’s closure:
WazirX shuts down its NFT marketplace: Here’s why
In a Twitter thread on Friday, the WazirX NFT marketplace wrote about its decision to close down the platform.
“To all the creators and collectors of WazirX NFT Marketplace, we regret to inform you that our platform has closed due to low volume and traction,” the company wrote. It further claimed that in the past 30 days, the platform saw only 354 transactions, generating a volume of $112.24. From this, only about $6 was collected in total platform fees. Besides, the site added only 71 unique active wallets during this period.
“We created a safe and secure marketplace where creators could showcase and trade their unique digital assets,” WazirX wrote in a blog post. “NFTs are decentralised, and owners have complete control over their assets… Our users can rest assured that they can continue to hold their NFTs in their wallets, and these can be sold in other marketplaces such as OpenSea.”
How has NFT Twitter reacted?
For months now, WazirX NFT marketplace’s official Twitter account has been inactive. In fact, before the announcement, its last post was in mid-October last year. Apparently, the team was even unaware of a Cloudflare error on the site until community members raised the issue.
Post the announcement, the NFT artist community criticised WazirX for its sudden decision, without consulting any of the stakeholders. For many of the artists on the platform, the announcement came as a shock.
Vimal Chandran, a multidisciplinary visual artist from India, wrote: “A little disappointed in the way @WazirXNFT ended things abruptly!!”
“I will avoid any-place where these guys are present @sandeshsuvarna @jbsahani,” added photographer Arijit Mondal. “90% of the creators got demotivated and left the NFT space. 50% of collectors did the same. I am stuck with 140+ collected NFTs myself.”
Several artists have also accused the marketplace of being a rug pull. However, co-founder Nischal Shetty refuted the claims, saying, the “NFTs have always been under self custody of those participating.”
What happens now?
WazirX has said it will keep the NFT marketplace website in the archive for the next 20 days. Artists and creators can also trade their NFTs on marketplaces that support the BNB blockchain. Meanwhile, some community members have also suggested that the team help members to set up a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) around WazirX.
However, it remains to be seen if this will come to fruition. It also remains to be seen how the NFTs will perform if traded on other NFT marketplaces. After all, WazirX largely catered to the Indian NFT community.