Amitabh Bachchan jumps on NFT craze, becomes first Indian celeb to launch auction of memorabilia

    • Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became the first Indian celebrity to join the global NFT craze by launching an auction of his digital memorabilia.
    By AFP
    | Updated on Nov 02 2021, 08:43 AM IST
    On Amitabh Bachchan's NFT auction block will be audio and art by the star including poetry recitals, movie posters and digital portraits.
    On Amitabh Bachchan's NFT auction block will be audio and art by the star including poetry recitals, movie posters and digital portraits. (MINT_PRINT)
    On Amitabh Bachchan's NFT auction block will be audio and art by the star including poetry recitals, movie posters and digital portraits.
    On Amitabh Bachchan's NFT auction block will be audio and art by the star including poetry recitals, movie posters and digital portraits. (MINT_PRINT)

    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 Amitabh 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 Amitabh Bachchan said in a statement.

    The three-day NFT 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.

    Hollywood star Matt Damon takes to crypto now

    In the meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that actor Matt Damon will be the face of Crypto.com as the cryptocurrency platform seeks to lure new users to its service and bring the industry into the mainstream.

    This marks the first global marketing push for Crypto.com, which has grown its user base about tenfold since last year amid rising interest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. It will spend more than $100 million on the campaign, as ads starring Damon and directed by cinematographer Wally Pfister are to air in more than 20 countries.

    “I’ve never done an endorsement like this,” Damon said in an interview. “We’re hoping this is the beginning of a great long-term collaboration.”

    Cryptocurrency platforms like Crypto.com, FTX and Coinbase are pumping money into marketing this year as well as signing deals with sports leagues and teams. Celebrities are getting involved too, through partnerships or their own personal investments.

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    First Published Date: 01 Nov, 09:22 PM IST
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