Credit card giant Visa has made a substantial splash on its emergence into the nonfungible token (NFT) space with a $150,000 acquisition of a CryptoPunk, the collective of digital artworks that pioneered the mainstream culture of the space back in 2017.
In a blog post announcement released on Monday, Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa and self-proclaimed NFT enthusiast, shared his views on the value of purchasing NFT assets in the digital economy, the vast growth of the market in the past few years, as well as Visa’s commercial incentives in this investment.
Sheffield claimed, “To help our 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.”
“The ability to track and leverage a digital asset in multiple environments could mean exciting new opportunities in ticketing, gaming music, art, and beyond,” he continued.
Visa purchased CryptoPunk 7610 — a female figure with a mohawk, clown green eyes and lipstick — which was first claimed back on June 23, 2017, and first sold a month later for a measly 0.6 Ether (ETH) ($114 at the time).
Utilizing blockchain’s native feature of an open ledger, one can see that Visa’s newly acquired asset was purchased on Wednesday for 49.50 ETH, equivalent to $149,939.
This considerable investment in the NFT market comes off the back of Visa’s pursuits in the cryptocurrency market. Its crypto-centric credit and debit cards reportedly processed an impressive $1 billion throughout the first half of 2021.
The NFT market witnessed parabolic growth throughout 2020, culminating with the historic sale of Beeple’s artwork “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” which raised over $69 million at Christie’s auction house.
As we progress through the latter half of 2021, it seems that momentum in the space is once again growing. Heavyweight boxing legend Mike Tyson has recently released a series of tokenized collectibles on OpenSea.
According to recent figures, the platform has processed over 1.18 million transactions worth $1.06 billion in the last 30 days, up by a remarkable 12,000% in 2021.
Sheffield concluded his comments on the CryptoPunk by stating, “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.”