Payments company Visa has paid around $150,000 in ethereum to buy a CryptoPunk
,a non-fungible token (NFT) as the company joins the NFT bandwagon, according to media reports. The payment giant acquired CryptoPunk 7610. It is among one of the 10,000 unique digital avatars and the proof of the ownership is stored in the ethereum blockchain.
A NFT is a unique digital asset that represents ownership of virtual items. But these are different from cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and others since they can’t be exchanged like-for-like with other NFTs. Experts have mentioned that this is what makes NFTs rare, therefore the steep price. These tokens have often been compared to other physically collectible items like rare books, items, trading cards, and pieces of art.
During a Q&A session on the Visa website, head of crypto Cuy Sheffield mentioned that the company thinks NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce. The acquisition was carried out with Anchorage Digital so that the company has a better understanding of the kind of infrastructure required for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT.
Sheffield, on his blog also mentioned that CryptoPunks have become a cultural icon for the crypto community and with their latest purchase, the company is diving ‘head first’ in this realm and it is only the beginning.
Currently, NFTs accounted for $1 billion purchase volume in August. Sheffield mentions that it is not surprising that Visa is looking into “how we can apply our expertise in enabling seamless and secure digital payments to make NFT-commerce accessible and usable for buyers and sellers”.
Additionally, the payment giant is also trying to help businesses use NFTs to garner crowd engagement, and to facilitate that, Visa is working on some new concepts and partnerships that support NFT buyers, sellers, and creators.