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Visa takes first step into ‘NFT commerce’ with purchase of a CryptoPunk

Multinational financial services corporation Visa earlier today announced it has entered the world of non-fungible token (NFT) commerce with its purchase of CryptoPunk 7610 – an NFT of a female digital punk character launched by creative technology project Larva Labs.

Visa’s purchase – worth $150,000 – comes at a time when the fintech giant considers NFTs to play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce.

“Over the last 60 years, Visa has built a collection of historic commerce artifacts – from early paper credit cards to the zip-zap machine. Today, as we enter a new era of NFT-commerce, Visa welcomes CryptoPunk #7610 to our collection,” the fintech giant said in a tweet.

In a blog post, Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa, said, “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. Having worked with Anchorage Digital to complete this process, we’re better positioned to help our partners navigate the process.”

Sheffield added that Visa is also looking to signal its support for the creators, collectors, and artists driving the future of NFT-commerce.

Enabling buyers and sellers is what it does – it claimed – whether it’s helping small and micro business owners get online, or making it easier for companies to pay their partners across borders.

“We wanted to collect an NFT that symbolises the excitement and opportunity of this particular cultural moment. We’re 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,” Sheffield said.

With this, Visa is expecting a wide range of new cases in the years ahead, and it believes the ability to track and leverage a digital asset, such as an NFT, in multiple environments “could mean exciting new opportunities in ticketing, gaming music, art, and beyond.”

Image Credits: Visa

CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Changpeng Zhao, hailed the move.

The CryptoPunk purchase comes almost two months since Visa announced it is partnering with 50 “leading crypto platforms on card programs that make it easy to convert and spend digital currency at 70 million merchants worldwide.”

“With more than $1 billion spent on crypto-linked Visa cards in the first half of 2021, it’s clear that the crypto community sees value in linking digital currencies to Visa’s global network,” it said in a blog post.

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