Blockchain and Crypto, Member Exclusive

What buying its first NFTs says about Visa’s broader crypto strategy

  • The recent purchase of an NFT signals Visa's deepening interest in crypto.
  • The payments company is beginning to lay the groundwork for more crypto activity.
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What buying its first NFTs says about Visa’s broader crypto strategy

Visa has jumped onboard the NFT train, paying $150,000 in ethereum for a CryptoPunk 7610 NFT — a female Punk with a mohawk, lipstick, and green-rimmed clown eyes. While the purchase is not a significant investment for the company, what could it mean for Visa and the NFT market?

The NFT that Visa bought is one of 10,000 unique avatars from the CryptoPunk collection, made by Larva Labs back in June 2017 and stored on the Ethereum blockchain. Upon release, the avatars were available for free for interested collectors.

In a recent report, Visa described NFTs as a promising medium for fan engagement. This view was developed in the pandemic year, when entertainment and sports industries suffered measurable losses of income — an estimated $18 billion was lost in global sports revenue. This loss in revenue meant that the industry needed to develop new revenue streams. The NBA, in partnership with Vancouver-based blockchain company Dapper Labs, launched a blockchain based trading card system, called Top Shot. Fans can purchase highlight clips and digital artwork from their favorite teams and players, with packs priced as low as $9, which are often sold out. A Lebron James highlight, part of the NBA’s Top Shot collection, was sold for $387,600 earlier this year.


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