Financial services behemoth Visa has announced the purchase of a Cryptopunk, a popular non-fungible token (NFT) product.
NFTs are like virtual certificates that individuals use to claim digital ownership of digital goods, like an image, video, or piece of text.
CryptoPunks are one of the first NFT projects created on the Ethereum blockchain. They are a collection of 10,000 24×24, 8-bit-style pixel art images of male and female characters with unique characteristics such as hairstyle, accessories, and more.
After launching the project in 2017, the project creator Larva Labs initially offered the CryptoPunks for free to anyone with an Ethereum wallet.
Visa announced on Tuesday that the financial service company purchased its very own CryptoPunk for 49.5 Ethereum (ETH), valued at just under $150,000 at the time of purchase last week.
Over the last 60 years, Visa has built a collection of historic commerce 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 does not directly hold the NFT themselves but instead has utilized the crypto custodian Anchorage Digital to hold its digital artwork.
As for why Visa is entering the crypto art scene, the company explains that they want to get in on the ground floor of what they believe is just the beginning of NFTs.
“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…
We also wanted to signal our support for the creators, collectors, and artists driving the future of NFT-commerce. Enabling buyers and sellers is what we do — whether it’s helping small and micro business owners get online, or making it easier for companies to pay their partners across borders…
Lastly, we wanted to collect an NFT that symbolizes the excitement and opportunity of this particular cultural moment. 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.”
Visa purchased a common CryptoPunk, and its sale price pales in comparison to others.
At the beginning of August, the third and fourth largest CryptoPunk sales took place, with CryptoPunk #5217 fetching 2,250 ETH, or roughly $7.42 million while CryptoPunk #2140 selling for 1,600 ETH, worth about $5.28 million.
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