NFTs Go Corporate with VISA’s Purchase of CryptoPunk
Released in June 2017, CryptoPunks were one of the first NFT art projects to hit the crypto scene. As of August 2021, CryptoPunk 7610 sits on the balance sheet of Fortune 500 company, VISA. This announcement comes on the heels of auction house Christie’s sale of nine CryptoPunks for almost $17M in May 2021.
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
In a blog post, Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa, explained the purchase saying:
“First and foremost, we wanted to learn.
We think NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, and cCommerce. 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 its helping small and micro business owners get online, or making it easier for companies to pay their partners across borders. We’re excited to work with this growing community to make NFTs useable and accessible in a variety of contexts.
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.“