Visa next to jump on NFT hype with US$150k purchase of CryptoPunk

Visa has joined the non-fungible token (NFT) hype with its purchase of an NFT known as CryptoPunk 7610. According to CNBC, CryptoPunk is one of thousands of NFT-based digital avatars and the purchase is nearly US$150,000 in ethereum. Multiple media outlets have reported that CryptoPunks were created by Larva Labs in 2017.

Visa's head of crypto, Cuy Sheffield, said in a blog post that the company made the purchase to gain a firsthand understanding of the infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT. According to him, Visa thinks NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce. 

"We also wanted to signal our support for the creators, collectors, and artists driving the future of NFT-commerce," he added. Visa prides itself in enabling buyers and sellers, be it helping small and micro business owners get online or making it easier for them to pay their partners across borders. "We are excited to work with this growing community to make NFTs useable and accessible in a variety of contexts," he said. 

At the same time, the company wanted to collect an NFT that symbolises the excitement and opportunity of this particular cultural moment. "We are 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 added. 

On why NFTs excite him, Sheffield explained that they have the potential to become "a powerful accelerator" for the creator economy and lower the barrier to entry for individual creatives to earn a living through digital commerce. "NFTs are starting to usher in a new form of social commerce that empowers both creators and collectors," he added.

He also said that NFTs could fuel small and medium-sized businesses "in powerful ways".  NFTs give small businesses an opportunity to harness public blockchains for producing digital good, which can be delivered instantly in a crypto wallet. "We can envision a future in which your crypto address becomes as important as your mailing address," he added.

Separately, football player Lionel Messi recently launched his Messiverse NFT art collection created by BossLogic. In a Medium post by Ethernity, BossLogic explained that the collection is a set of pieces outlining achievements, moments, team love, and future accomplishments.

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