Visa buys $150,000 ‘CryptoPunk’ NFT

Visa has purchased an NFT (non- fungible token), dubbed a “CryptoPunk,” for $150,000 in cryptocurrency Ethereum.

An NFT is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger – or a blockchain - that certifies the uniqueness of a digital asset.

Developed by Canadian software developers Matt Hall and John Watkinson and released in June 2017, CryptoPunks were some of the earliest NFTs.

There are 10,000 unique CryptoPunks in existence, each with its own unique traits.

The news comes as NFTs are seeing an increasing amount of high value transactions; an NFT representing the original source code for the World Wide Web recently sold for $5.4 million at auction house Sotheby's.

The current record for an NFT sale is held by a piece of digital art by artist Beeple, which sold for $69.3 million at auction house Christie’s.

Visa has been seriously exploring the practical applications of blockchain over the past year.

In March, the payments giant became the first major payments company to accept transactions in USD Coin (USDC), a stablecoin backed by the US dollar.

In July, Visa said its customers had spent more than $1 billion on crypto-linked cards in the first half of 2021.

“We think NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce,” said Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa. “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.”

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