Payment Giant Visa Buys CryptoPunk to Mark its Entry into the “New Era of NFT-Commerce”


Payments giant Visa has announced its entry into the new era of non-fungible tokens (NFT) commerce market by adding a CryptoPunk to its collection as cryptocurrency and NFTs gain traction and drive headlines.

Visa bought CryptoPunk 7610, one of the 3840 female punks featuring a pair of clown eyes and a mohawk with green hot lipsticks as its rare traits. The payment processor said on Monday,

“To recognize the role that CryptoPunks have played as an historic NFT project, bridging culture and commerce, Visa has decided to purchase CryptoPunk 7610.”

With this announcement, “NFTs mark a new chapter for digital commerce,” Visa also posted a blog post featuring Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa and an NFT enthusiast.

Talking about NFTs, Sheffield explained that NFTs are unique tokens, unlike cryptos, and are tracked and exchanged on a public blockchain that is used to certify the provenance, authenticity, and ownership of a piece of digital media.

As for why someone might want an NFT, Sheffield shared how the practice of making and maintaining collections isn’t new in itself but just moving into the virtual world where we’re interacting with friends, coworkers, and other Internet communities.

Visa, in particular, decided to buy one of the most popular NFT collections, CryptoPunks, because they wanted to learn, for starters.

“We think NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce. 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.”

Not only NFTs have the potential to become a powerful accelerator for the creator economy, but they could also fuel small and medium-sized businesses, he added.

Visa is actually thinking “deeply” about this space and is ready to enable seamless and secure digital payments to make NFT-commerce usable and accessible.

Not just Visa, over the weekend, Ryan Watt, head of gaming at Youtube, also said that he is bullish on NFT.

Even in China, where the government cracked down on crypto mining and leverage trading, giants like Alipay and Tencent are entering the booming world of NFTs.

“The financial environment in the US is more open, so the current blockchain practice is very focused on financial resources. China's blockchain policy is more geared towards serving the real economy,” noted Sino Global Capital.

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