Payment giant VISA has made another bet on the Ethereum ecosystem. The company recently announced the purchase of an item from the popular non-fungible token (NFT) collection CryptoPunk.
Item 7610, one of 3840 “Female” punks with a Mohawk, Clown Eyes Green, and “Hot” Lipstick, VISA purchased this Ethereum-based NFT on August 18th, 2021. The company paid around 49.50 ETH or $150,000, at the time. The company said:
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.
Additionally, Cuy Sheffield head of VISA’s crypto division said that the company has and continues to have a “pivotal role” in commerce transformation. Thus, the payment giant made a bet on NFTs because they consider these assets to “represent the intersection of culture and commerce”.
Therefore, the company expects NFTs, such as the Ethereum based CryptoPunks, to gain more relevance in the social media, online retail, and entertainment sector. Sheffield said:
Over the past year, we’ve built a lot of momentum in bridging the crypto ecosystem and Visa’s global network of 70M+ merchants and we are excited to help our clients understand, participate in, and accelerate the adoption of NFT-commerce.
To strengthen his argument, Sheffield said that in the early days of social media platforms, it was difficult to think that all major corporations would have an account. Now, it is almost impossible to find one without an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and others, Sheffield said:
While Visa may be one of the first major brands to do so today, we expect that over time, many brands will recognize the value of collecting NFTs to express their brand identities as well as to support and connect with passionate communities of creators and collectors.
In that sense, the head of VISA’s crypto division called the CryptoPunk purchased “an opportunity”. The company bought the Ethereum based NFT with its partner, digital bank Anchorage.
After the payment company announced their CryptoPunk purchase, community members sent other NFTs to VISA’s associated wallet. Data from OpenSea shows that VISA holds many items from several NFTs collections.
Amongst the NFTs there are items from collections such as “Zombie Baby”, “Wife Collection”, “HDPunks”, “Bastard Forks”, “Lord Kek”, and others. One user sent VISA an NFT with the following text: “Bought with Ethereum for everything else, there’s Mastercard”.
However, the CryptoPunk acquired by VISA will be one of the rarest in its newly formed collection. The NFT is one of only 10,000 that will ever be created, and it’s one of the “earliest” items to be deployed with the ERC-721 standard on the Ethereum blockchain.
Thus, collectors consider this collection to represent a piece of history of the crypto industry in its early stage. In addition, its limited supply makes CryptoPunk one of the scarcest assets in the crypto market, more so than Bitcoin with its 21,000,000 BTC total supply.
This has let some users to claimed that VISA could use these NFTs as a “more efficient” store of value than the number one cryptocurrency by market cap. CryptoPunk 3100, part of the “Alien” punks, was one of the highest-selling of the entire collection after someone paid $7,58 million for it.
On August 1st, 2021, someone offered a staggering $90,5 million for this NFT, but the holder passed on the offer. This and VISA jumping into the market suggest that NFTs will continue to play a big role in the future of finances, the crypto industry, and the Ethereum ecosystem.
At the time of writing, ETH trades at $3,321 with a 4.4% profit in the daily chart.