- American financial payments major Visa Inc announced its first step into non-fungible tokens after it bought CryptoPunk 7610 for 49.5 ETH.
- The transaction completed on 18 August roughly equates to about US$ 150,000.
- Visa also hailed NFT as the future of commerce.
US-based multinational financial services payments giant Visa (NYSE: V) announced its first foray into the world of non-fungible tokens (NFT) today by purchasing an NFT asset called CryptoPunk 7610 for up to US$ 150,000.
CryptoPunk 7610 is a digital punk character and is one of the 3,840 female punks. It was released in June 2017 by US-based studio Larva Labs and is one of the first NFTs built on the Ethereum blockchain protocol. They are considered the original NFTs.
Visa’s NFT transaction details
Visa completed the transaction on 18 August and paid 49.5 ETH for the NFT asset, which roughly converts to around US$ 150,000, based on current ETH/USD prices.
Interestingly, Visa did not pay for the token, custody or for the NFT collector asset by themselves. The deal was instead facilitated by US-based newly licensed bank Anchorage, thus making it the first such bank in the US to custody such types of new assets.
Cuy Sheffield, the head of crypto at Visa, said NFTs were comparable to the initial stages of e-commerce wherein small businesses sell their products and services to a wider customer base.
Mr. Sheffield added, NFTs can thus allow small businesses to harness public blockchains for making digital goods which can then be immediately sent to a crypto wallet.
The news comes just weeks after Visa announced its partnership plans with 50 leading cryptocurrency platforms in order to simplify conversion and spending cryptocurrencies on its card programs.
Visa’s shares rose by 0.85 per cent to USD 233.54 today at 10:27 AM GMT-4, following the news.
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What is the CryptoPunk NFT collection?
CryptoPunk is a collection of 10,000 minted 24x24 pixel art images, which are generated algorithmically. Visa’s NFT asset, the CryptoPunk 7610, has distinguishing characteristics, including large green eyes, a mohawk and bright red lipstick.
90 CyberPunks were sold with a total transaction value of US$ 20 million within hours, following the Visa announcement.
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NFT has been one of the fastest growing sub sectors within the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies this year. Visa’s entry into the market further legitimises the novel collectible asset, thereby increasing its visibility in the mainstream.