Visa Steps into NFT Craze with CryptoPunk Purchase of $150,000
Visa Inc has become the latest major firm to get in on the NFT craze. The Major US payment company announced on Monday, August 23, that it purchased a “CryptoPunk”, one of the thousands of non-fungible tokens (NFT)-based digital avatars, for almost $150,000 on Ethereum.
Cuy Sheffield, head of the crypto at Visa, talked about the development and said that the key purpose behind Visa's purchase was to learn more about the rising popularity of the NFT market.
Sheffield stated that Visa thinks that NFTs will play a significant role in the future of commerce, retail, entertainment and social media to help its clients and partners participate, "we need a firsthand understanding of the infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT," he added.
Sheffield also mentioned that Visa wanted to show its support for the artists, creators, and collectors developing NFT commerce.
He further stated that CryptoPunks has become a “cultural icon for the crypto community,” saying that Visa wanted to collect an NFT that symbolizes the opportunity and excitement of that particular cultural moment.
Sheffield compared NFTs to the early days of e-commerce, in which small businesses were empowered to sell online and reach customers worldwide. "We can envision a future in which your crypto address becomes as important as your mailing address," Sheffield said.
NFTs Opportunities for Brands
NFTs have proven to be extremely popular and valuable.
One NFT by US artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, sold in a JPF file at an online auction for $69.3 million. Jack Dorsey, Twitter and Square CEO, sold the first-ever Tweet as an NFT for $2.9 million and donated the proceeds to charity.
Visa has joined numerous big firms that have been experimenting with NFTs lately. Big brands such as Team GB British Olympic team, the NBA professional basketball league, the South China Morning Post media outlet, Asics sports equipment manufacturing company, and Coca-Cola multinational beverage corporation, have all been experimenting with NFTs as efforts to tap into the growing popularity of virtual worlds and connect with consumers.
Meanwhile, several media publications such as Fortune Magazine, the New York Times, and CNN have sold their NFTs. And consumer goods companies like Taco Bell and Pringles have already issued and sold some of their NFTs as a way to promote their products and brandings to their target audiences.
Most recently, General Mills, a US food company, auctioned 10 digital artworks as NFTs to promote the return of its chocolate-flavoured Dunkaroos, a popular snack brand discontinued in 2012.
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