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Visa Shows Support for NFTs With Purchase of CryptoPunk #7610

Earlier this week, Visa announced the purchase of CryptoPunk #7610, showing support for the creators, collectors and artists driving the future of NFT commerce, as well as signalling the next step in Visa’s digital currency journey.

The company said that it is excited to work with the growing community to make NFTs usable and accessible in a variety of contexts.

While cryptocurrency and NFTs are gaining traction and driving headlines today, many are still scratching their heads. After becoming the first major payment network to seriously invest in crypto infrastructure and products, this announcement extends Visa’s leadership position by becoming the first network to recognize the opportunity and help accelerate the adoption of NFT-commerce.

Visa has also released a whitepaper on NFTs which detail various use cases and how those in the entertainment, sports and business industries can get involved with this exciting technology.

In a recent blog Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa, explained why someone might want an NFT:

He said, “Like anything, it really depends on the use case, the individual, and their motivations.

“The practice of making and maintaining collections is as old as civilization itself. It makes sense that this drive to collect and display items of meaning would follow us into the virtual world, where we’re interacting with friends, coworkers, and other Internet communities.

“Take CryptoPunks — a collection of pixel art images. What began as an early artistic experiment has quickly become a cultural icon for the crypto community. In fact, to recognize the role that CryptoPunks have played as an historic NFT project, bridging culture and commerce, Visa has decided to purchase CryptoPunk 7610.

Answering the question, Why did Visa decide to purchase one? Sheffield added, “First and foremost, we wanted to learn.

“We think NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce. To help our clients and partners participate, we need a firsthand understanding of the infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT. Having worked with Anchorage Digital to complete this process, we’re better positioned to help our partners navigate the process.

“We also wanted to signal our support for the creators, collectors, and artists driving the future of  NFT-commerce. Enabling buyers and sellers is what we do — whether its helping small and micro business owners get online, or making it easier for companies to pay their partners across borders. We’re excited to work with this growing community to make NFTs useable and accessible in a variety of contexts.

“Lastly, we wanted to collect an NFT that symbolizes the excitement and opportunity of this particular cultural moment. We’re a company steeped in the history of commerce and payments — but with our eyes on the future. With our CryptoPunk purchase, we’re jumping in feet first. This is just the beginning of our work in this space.”

He ended the blog by explaining what part Visa might want to play in the future of NFTs.

He said, “NFTs are rapidly gaining traction and we expect continued growth. For example, there has already been $1B in payment volume in August alone up from less than $100M in all of 2020.

“Enabling secure commerce is what we do — we’re the network working for everyone — and that extends to new forms of digital commerce that unlock access. So, it’s not surprising that we’re thinking deeply about this space and how we can apply our expertise in enabling seamless and secure digital payments to make NFT-commerce accessible and useable for buyers and sellers.

“In the near term, we want to help brands and businesses better understand NFTs and how they might be harnessed for customer and fan engagement. To that end, we published a paper with observations on today’s NFT landscape, as well as actionable guidance on how to evaluate and scale NFT opportunities.

“Looking ahead, we’re working on some new concepts and partnerships that support NFT buyers, sellers, and creators. We look forward to sharing more in the months ahead.”

Author

  • Gina is a fintech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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