Indian Exchange WazirX Kills NFT Marketplace Due to Poor Traction

Indian crypto exchange WazirX announced the closing of its NFT marketplace, citing poor traction and market conditions. The decision comes a year after India introduced 30% taxes on crypto profits, which killed crypto trading volumes in the South Asian country.

India’s Taxing Regime Continues to Take Toll on Local Crypto Market

Mumbai-based crypto exchange WazirX has shut down its NFT marketplace less than two years after launching it. The marketplace “did not gain much traction,” WazirX said in the Wednesday notice, even though it was the first NFT platform in India.

“We regret to announce that the WazirX NFT Marketplace has been sunsetted. We are proud to have launched India’s first NFT Marketplace in June 2021, which showcased the work of many creators.”

– WazirX said in the announcement.

WazirX was the biggest crypto exchange in India until last year, when the government introduced a rigorous tax regime that battered the platform’s trading volumes. This and a sharp downturn in the global crypto market caused strong headwinds for the crypto exchange.

A year ago, the Indian government presented the Union Budget for 2022, which brought new taxes on profits from digital assets of as much as 30%. The country’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the new regime was introduced due to a substantial increase in “virtual digital assets transactions.”

The new tax regime did not take long to impact crypto trading volumes in India. More specifically, it resulted in Indian crypto traders transferring over $3.8 billion in trading volume to overseas crypto exchanges since February 2022.

WazirX Woes Don’t Stop as Dispute with Binance Intensifies

Wazirx’s decision to shut down its NFT marketplace comes amid its escalating dispute with Binance, which first emerged in August 2022 when Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said Binance didn’t control the Indian crypto exchange.

The two companies have been holding private talks to address the ownership issue until last month when the world’s biggest crypto exchange gave WazirX a request to revoke its “false and misleading narrative” or stop using Binance’s wallets by Feb. 3. On that date, however, Binance announced it was making an exception, inviting WazirX to “work out arrangements to withdraw any remaining assets in the relevant accounts.”

In response, WazirX said it had initiated moving assets to multi-signature wallets, assuring investors they don’t have to worry about Binance’s announcement. But a few days later, WazirX published a blog post, accusing Binance of making “false and unsubstantiated” allegations, adding it would take the necessary measures to seek recourse and protect its legal rights.

This article originally appeared on The Tokenist

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