Visa, the credit card and payment processing giant has made a substantial investment 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.
Visa has reportedly bought one of the popular CryptoPunk NFTs, many of which have generated over a million dollars in the auction. The payment processing giant has spent $150,000 for the digital 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).
Visa did not directly pay for the avatar but did so in partnership with Anchorage, a digital bank in the United States. During the process, Anchorage also became the first-ever US bank to custody an NFT art. CryptoPunk is considered a blue-chip NFT investment collection as total sales have reached $752 million.
On this, Cuy Sheffield, head of the crypto at Visa stated, “We think that NFTs are going to play a really important role in the future of retail and social media, entertainment and commerce. So we wanted to understand firsthand what it takes to acquire, custody, and interact with an NFT. We’ve worked with Anchorage to do this so that we can build the expertise and be better positioned to help clients navigate this space.”
Utilizing blockchain’s native feature, according to larva labs, one can see that Visa’s newly acquired asset was purchased today 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.
As we progress into the second 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 collectables on OpenSea.
Cuy 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.”