The world was in awe after Visa spent 150,000 USD on CryptoPunk token as part of its Visa’s NFT Commerce Strategy. CryptoPunks is a collection of pixel art images. What began as an early artistic experiment became a cultural icon for the crypto community. CryptoPunks are one of the earliest examples of NFTs, made of images of 24 by 24 pixels, launched on the Ethereum blockchain in 2017.
In a blog post on Visa website, Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa and an NFT enthusiast explains the reasoning behind the decision to invest in cryptoPunks and Visa’s future plans. Cuy Sheffield explains what NFTs are ” NFTs are unique tokens that can be used to certify the provenance, authenticity and ownership of a piece of digital media.” The are tracked and exchanged on public blockchain where each NFT unlike Bitcoin, are one of a kind.
Cuy believes that given that people like to collect, NFTs will be popular in the digital age. Visa decided to purchseCryptoPunk #7610 because of its historic role as part of the NFT project. There are 10,000 of the CryptoPunk tokens each of them unique.
So why did Visa buy CryptoPunks, first because Visa wants to learn and grow its NFT Commerce strategy. According to Sheffield, ” We think NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment and commerce. As such to help our clients and partners 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 are better positioned to help our partners navigate the process.”
Visa as an ecommerce enabler also wants to enable NFT-Commerce. This is just the begginning as Cuy states, ” With our CryptoPunk purchase, we’re jumping in feet first. This is just the beginning of our work in this space.” Sheffield believes that NFTs will be a powerful accelerator for what is called the creator economy by lowering the barrier of entry for individual creatives to earn a living through digital commerce, and fuel SMEs in powerful new ways.
NFTs give small businesses an opportunity to harness public blockchains for producing digital goods,which can be delivered instantly to a crypto wallet. he adds, “We can envision a future in which your crypto address becomes as important as your mailing address.”
Sheffield, “We expect a huge range of new cases in the years ahead. The ability to track and leverage a digital asset in multiple environments could mean exciting new opportunities in ticketing, gaming music, art, and beyond.”
Imagine discovering a new musician online. You purchase an NFT of their album art, which can simultaneously serve as a piece of art that you can display online, an entry into an exclusive chat group where you get to connect with other superfans, and a backstage pass for an upcoming show. Ownership of the NFT could also unlock exclusive memorabilia, whether “air dropped” into the owner’s wallet or rewarded after certain behavior, like making a purchase at a specific store.
The artist and their fans can now connect directly with each other and build a powerful community that create new experiences for both.
Visa wants to enable secure commerce for the NFT market enabling seamless an secure digital payments to make NFT commerce accessible and useable for buyers and sellers.
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.