Veteran Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan’s experiment with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is proving wildly lucrative.
On the first day of Bachchan’s auction, which started on Nov. 1 and ends on Nov. 4, his NFT collections have amassed bids upwards of $520,000. Of this, the “Madhushala” collection—his late father’s poem collection recorded in the superstar’s own voice—has received bids amounting to $420,000. Harivansh Rai Bachchan was an early 20th century writer widely considered a pioneer of Hindi romantic poetry, and Madhushala is his best known collection comprising of 135 four-line verses.
The rest of the bids came for autographed posters and other collectibles.
“NFTs have opened the doors to a new realm of connectivity and an opportunity to engage with my fans in a new way,” Bachchan said in a press release. “The NFTs will offer the audience a chance to own an original piece of rare and cherished moments of my life including stories from my films, recitation from Madhushala, some back stories, and moments from my films and these moments remain with them forever.”
NFTs are unique digital assets whose ownership can be tracked on blockchain, an immutable digital ledger. This system allows them to mimic the scarcity of real world art, driving up their value.
BeyondLife.club, the website hosting Bachchan’s NFT auction clocked over 6 million site visits on day one. Additionally, a “Loot Box” that goes live on Nov. 2 at 7pm India time, assures buyers one of 5,000 collectibles from the NFT collection for $10 each. Over 300,000 crypto collectible fans have signed up for it globally so far.
Bollywood’s NFT dreams
Bachhan is among the first Indian stars to dabble in NFTs but he’s not the only one.
Sunny Leone recently hosted a private NFT sale. Salman Khan teased his NFT dreams on social media. The Malayalam-language crime thriller Kurup, which stars and is co- produced by Dulquer Salmaan, recently became the first Indian film to hold an NFT sale of signed posters, videos with embedded music, and digital artwork.
Beyond films, Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik is auctioning a digital art reel of a match-winning shot for around $20,000. Fashion designer Manish Malhotra recently sold NFTs of digital sketches of some of his iconic creations for $4,000 a piece.
While there is some excitement drumming up in the sector, no one in India—not even Bachchan—can rival the biggest NFT deals globally.
A CryptoPunk, one of 10,000 collectible characters created by Canadian software developers Matt Hall and John Watkinson, sold for almost $12 million. American digital artist Mike Winkelmann, popularly known as Beeple, sold an NFT of his work Everydays: the First 5000 Days for a staggering $69 million—the highest price tag for an NFT artwork to date.