Visa has announced that it has acquired a CryptoPunk NFT. The company’s entry into the sector sends a strong signal: institutional players clearly want a share of the market.
Exciting things rarely happen on Visa’s corporate Twitter account. Above all, we really like communication commercialsome advice for business Visa customers, Forbes rankings … And then, on August 23, 2021, unexpected news caused a stir timeline Twitter: Visa has bought an NFT.
NFTs are non-exchangeable tokens, non-exchangeable tokens in French. They are based on the Ethereum blockchain and allow files to be verified. This technology makes it possible to create certificates of authenticity or ownership on the internet, registered on the blockchain – and has enabled the emergence of a true virtual art market.
Visa decided to invest in this market by purchasing an NFT for nearly $165,000. Strange ? Not really.
“NFTs are rapidly gaining popularity”
† Over the past 60 years, Visa has built up a collection of historic business objects – from paper credit cards to early payment terminals. Today, as we enter a new era of NFT trading, Visa welcomes CryptoPunk #7610 to its collection the company explained in a tweet.
Over the past 60 years, Visa has built up a collection of historic trade artifacts – from early paper credit cards to the zip-zap machine. Today, as we enter a new era of NFT commerce, Visa welcomes CryptoPunk #7610 to our collection. https://t.co/XoPFfwxUiu
—VisaNews (@VisaNews) August 23, 2021
Visa therefore offered an NFT, for the modest amount of 49.5 ETH, or just over $141,600. In addition to the news, Visa accompanied his tweet with a document explaining the company’s vision for the virtual art market, but most importantly
a dedicated NFT buyer’s guide for its clients, explaining how to make money from it.
† NFTs are rapidly gaining popularity Cuy Sheffield, head of cryptocurrencies at Visa, said in the document explaining the company’s stance. † They brought in $1 billion in sales in August alone […] To help our customers and partners invest, we had to figure out for ourselves how to buy, keep and profit from an NFT. So it is not really out of an interest in art that Visa bought its CryptoPunk, but for financial reasons, and much more sober.
More broadly, Visa’s interest in NFTs shows that the payment system giant is increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies. With more and more institutional players positioning themselves in the segment and allowing their users to buy bitcoins and other cryptos directly, Visa wants to get involved. The company announced in March to accept USD Coin payments and announced a partnership with 50 crypto exchanges in July. NFTs are an additional indication that the company really intends to establish itself in the industry.
The NFT market is not dead
Last March, we mostly heard about NFTs, when several consecutive sales set records. Since then, they have gradually disappeared from the news. However, the NFT market is far from dead: it is even more active than ever. Data from the specialized site Nonfungible shows that trading volume hit a new all-time high this month, set in May, reaching $896 million.
The success of NFTs has always been driven by the success of collectible tokens, especially with CryptoPunks, a collection of 10,000 unique characters, or basketball game “moments” sold by the NBA. But a market for “second-hand NFTs” that is still very active shows that buyer interest doesn’t stop at collectibles, and is a long-term interest. The arrival of Visa will certainly strengthen the trend.