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Visa buys NFT based digital avatar CryptoPunk for $150,000 in Ethereum

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Joyashree Dey Follow


Aug, 24 2021

Aug, 24 2021

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The largest payment company Visa Inc. confirmed on Monday, August 23, that it purchased a NFT based digital avatar ‘CryptoPunk #7610’ worth $150,000 in a show of support for a growing area of investment in the market of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Visa’s entering into the world of NFT is now marked by the acquisition of CryptoPunk #7610- one of a slate of digital avatars originally distributed free to anyone with an Ethereum wallet. The purchase was on August 18, with 49.5 of the cryptocurrency ETH.

Visa said in a tweet announcing the news, “Over the last 60 years, Visa has built a collection of historic commerce artefacts- from early paper credit cards to zip-zap machine. Today, as we enter a new era of NFT- commerce, Visa welcomes CryptoPunk #7610 to our collection.” Anchorage, digital asset platform, facilitated the purchase, Visa said.

Among one of thousands of digital avatars CryptoPunk #7610 is a female character with a mohawk, clown-green eyes and “hot lipstick” — one of only 696 punks with that feature, which is basically just a bright-red lip colour. Now, the cheapest available CryptoPunk is listed for 67.67 ether, or about $225,000, according to Larva Labs.

“We think NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment and commerce,” Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto, commented in an official blog post on Monday. Visa wanted to “signal our support” for people involved in the NFT market, Sheffield said.

"To help out clients and partners participate, we need a first hand understanding of the infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT." To that end, Visa's CryptoPunk purchase symbolises—at least from Visa's perspective—an NFT that "symbolises the excitement and opportunity of this particular cultural moment."

According to Sheffield, CryptoPunks have become a “cultural icon for the crypto community.” “With our CryptoPunk purchase, we’re jumping in feet first,” he said. “This is just the beginning of our work in this space.”

How the arriving of Visa in NFT market is beneficiary?

Enabling "secure commerce" in the NFT industry, Visa will be helping brands and businesses to better understand the NFT market—and how it can support those entities when it comes to customer engagement.

Moreover, Visa is working on "new concepts and partnerships" that it believes will support NFT buyers, sellers and creators. "We look forward to sharing more in the months ahead," Sheffield said.

Meanwhile, Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa, has also found particular interest in the cross-section of NFTs and sports. "NFTs are gaining momentum as digital-first sports memorabilia," he said in a prepared statement published today, adding "We expect a huge range of new cases in the years ahead."

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Joyashree Dey

CBW - External Analyst


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