Visa has paid around $150,000 in Ethereum to buy a CryptoPunk non-fungible token as it explores ways to get into the fast-growing NFT game.
The payments giant has acquired CryptoPunk 7610, one of 10,000 unique digital collectible characters with proof of ownership stored on the Ethereum blockchain.
In a Q&A on the Visa website, head of crypto Cuy Sheffield says that the company thinks NFTs will “play an important role in the “future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce”.
The CryptoPunk acquisition was carried out – with Anchorage Digital – to help get an understanding of the “infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT”.
With NFTs accounting for $1 billion in payment volume in August, Sheffield says it’s “not surprising” that Visa is looking into “how we can apply our expertise in enabling seamless and secure digital payments to make NFT-commerce accessible and useable for buyers and sellers”.
The firm is looking into how it can help businesses use NFTs to harness customer engagement and is “working on some new concepts and partnerships that support NFT buyers, sellers, and creators”.