Visa recently bought one of the renowned CryptoPunk NFTs for $150,000. This is the first time the digital payments giant has dipped its toes into the metaverse, an online world of virtual reality. 

According to a recent article on Forbes, Visa, an institution that was launched by Bank of America in 1958, has bought itself its first NFT, depicting a female punk, complete with mohawk, green eyes, and vivid red lipstick. 

The pixelated NFT artwork is named CryptoPunk 7610. It is one of 10,000 unique pieces of art, of which 3,840 are females. There will never be more than 10,000, and the unique hash of the NFT means that ownership can be verifiable and proven on the blockchain. 

Anchorage, a fully regulated custodian bank, was chosen by Visa to custody the 49.5 ETH paid for the NFT, and it will also custody the digital asset on behalf of Visa. 

Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa, said of the purchase: 

“We think that NFTs are going to play a really important role in the future of retail and social media, entertainment and commerce. So we wanted to understand first-hand what it takes to acquire, custody and interact with an NFT. We’ve worked with Anchorage to do this so that we can build the expertise and be better positioned to help clients navigate this space.” 

According to Sheffield, Visa wants to purchase more NFTs and forge a role for itself in the metaverse: 

“We envision there could be a future where your crypto address becomes as important as your mailing address. In the same way Visa’s been here through shifts of commerce before, we’re really excited to help drive this new shift of commerce in the future.” 

Diogo Monica, president and co-founder of Anchorage Digital, explained how his bank’s digital vault was as secure as any traditional bank’s vault: 

“Instead of a traditional bank with an actual vault behind one of those very heavy blinded doors, it is stored behind a very heavily blinded digital door, which is the security that Anchorage guarantees,” 

With NFT sales of collections like CryptoPunks reaching a sales volume of $752 million, and blockchain games such as Axie Infinity achieving $1 billion in sales, there is fertile ground for the likes of Visa and Anchorage to step in and provide services to the institutional top end of crypto.  

As Sheffield of Visa acknowledged: 

“We’re really excited to see what developers build and how we can help merchants, brands and platforms connect and interact with NFT commerce.” 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.    

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