Credit-card giant Visa 'plugs in' to the NFT market with its purchase of a $150K CryptoPunk
Updated: Aug 30, 2021
While the launch of a crypto-linked credit card with impressive Australian start-up CryptoSpend is just around the corner, Visa has stepped into the realm of NFTs through its recent purchase of a female CryptoPunk, CryptoPunk 7610, for USD$150,000.
Known as one of the earliest NFTs, CryptoPunks which only have about 10,000 in circulation, are highly sought-after NFTs. CryptoPunk 7610 specifically is one of 3,840 "female" punks which, in the words of Marketplace Larva Labs, "sports a mohawk, clown-green eyes and hot lipstick".
If you could use a touch up on what NFTs are (beyond a digital avatar like this one), we suggest you visit one of our previous articles on NFT basics. NFTs are an increasingly growing market, and as Visa's head of crypto, Cuy Sheffield, recently shared in a company blog post:
NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment and commerce.
With this clear position of Sheffield's, it's easy to connect the dots on why Visa felt motivated to purchase the popular NFT. "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", Sheffield commented.
Sheffield also mentioned that with Visa's focus being on the future, this Cryptopunk purchase was "only the beginning" of Visa's work in the NFT space.
When pressed about what makes him excited about NFTs, Sheffield promoted that amongst other things, NFTs have the ability to elevate the creator economy and lower the barrier to entry for creatives who earn a living through digital commerce (think graphic designers, social media influencers and digital artists) - and he is right. With NFTs like CryptoPunks on the market, we can see the cultural movement creating a new kind of social commerce which empowers creators and collectors.
With August sales of CryptoPunks already having reached $332 million - doubling last month's average (according to website Coindesk), the authors look forward to observing the next step Visa and other crypto-curious companies may take to recognise and commence their participation in the burgeoning NFT market.