- Visa has spent $150,000 on CryptoPunk #7610
- The company bought the NFT to add to their collection of “historic commerce artifacts”
- Visa is bullish on the potential of NFTs to help small businesses
Payments giant Visa has shocked the cryptocurrency world by announcing that it has purchased a CryptoPunk NFT for $150,000. The company made the announcement yesterday as the second NFT wave continues to gather strength, with Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s Head of Crypto, stating in a blog post that the company wanted to “signal our support for the creators, collectors, and artists driving the future of NFT-commerce”. NFTs have been criticized for the fact that buying one does not constitute ownership of the underlying asset, but there are predictions that they will play a very big role in the growth of our digital identities.
Visa Sees NFTs as a “Historic Commerce Artifact”
Visa’s move into the NFT world came as a surprise to many, with their Tweet thread on the subject being met with rank confusion:
— cobie (@CryptoCobain) August 23, 2021
Visa said in the thread that their purchase of CryptoPunk #7610 would form the latest in their “collection of historic commerce artifacts”, which include early credit card prototypes and a “zip-zap machine”. They apparently rank their CryptoPunk #7610 among these early artifacts, despite the vast majority being bought simply in the hopes of turning a profit. Visa’s introduction into the market seemed to help this, with the price floor yesterday passing $200,000 for the first time, netting Visa a quick $50,000 profit…if they choose to sell.
Discussions Over NFT Viability Continue
Selling is seemingly not on their agenda however according to Sheffield, who used the blog post to state the reason for the purchase:
We think NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce. To help our clients and partners participate, we need a firsthand understanding of the infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT.
While Sheffield and Visa are clearly bullish on the future of NFTs, there are still plenty of naysayers who criticize the format for the fact that buying one does not entitle the owner to the underlying asset, a discussion also that took place in the comments section of Visa’s tweet:
This joke is getting old. Try selling your copy.
— Wayne Sites (@noWaynenoGain) August 23, 2021