Credit card giant Visa made a splash on its rise into the non-fungible token space (NFT) by acquiring a $ 150,000 CryptoPunk, the digital artwork collective that pioneered the mainstream culture of the space in 2017.
In a blog post announcement published on Monday, Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa and a self-proclaimed NFT enthusiast, shared his views on the value of buying NFT assets in the digital economy and the tremendous growth of the market in recent years. as well as Visa’s commercial incentives for this investment.
Sheffield stated, “To make it easier for our customers and partners to participate, we need to understand firsthand the infrastructure requirements of a global brand to buy, store and use an NFT.”
“The ability to track and use a digital asset in multiple environments could mean exciting new opportunities in ticketing, gaming music, art, and more,” he continued.
Visa bought CryptoPunk 7610 – a mohawk female character with clown green eyes, and lipstick – which was first claimed on June 23, 2017 and sold a month later for a measly 0.6 Ether (ETH) (then $ 114).
Using the blockchain’s native feature of an open ledger, it can be seen that the newly acquired asset was bought by Visa on Wednesday for 49.50 ETH, which is $ 149,939.
This sizeable investment in the NFT market is due to Visa’s pursuit of the cryptocurrency market. Its cryptocentric credit and debit cards reportedly processed an impressive $ 1 billion in the first half of 2021.
The NFT market saw parabolic growth in 2020, culminating in the historic sale of Beeple’s artwork “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” for over $ 69 million at Christie’s auction house.
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During the second half of 2021 it seems that the momentum in this area is picking up again. Heavyweight boxing legend Mike Tyson recently released a number of tokenized collectibles on OpenSea.
According to recent figures, the platform has processed over 1.18 million transactions valued at $ 1.06 billion in the last 30 days, up a remarkable 12,000% in 2021.
Sheffield concluded his comments on CryptoPunk with the words: “We are a company that is shaped by the history of commerce and payments – but with an eye to the future. With our CryptoPunk purchase, we jump into our feet first. This is just the beginning of our work in this area. “