A Visa NFT program is launching to help establish emerging digital artists. It’s the latest sign of major corporations throwing serious resources behind the non-fungible token scene. From where we’re sitting, this, in turn, proves the coming months are going to be huge for the sector.
OK, so what exactly is the financial services giant up to? Partnering with former Major League Baseball player Micah Johnson, more latterly recognised as an NFT artist, the idea is to launch an initiative that will support new creators.
An application process invites creatives in the digital space to submit proposals for support from Visa. A small number will be chosen to begin with. These lucky — not to mention talented — individuals will then receive training in crypto and blockchain matters.
What Visa Says About the Visa NFT Program
Naturally, Visa is pretty excited about the potential of its new NFT program. Crucially, though, from what we have seen on social media, it sees the empowerment of individuals and small businesses as key.
“We believe that we are at the beginning of a digital renaissance in the world of art and content creation,” said Visa’s Head of Crypto, Cuy Sheffield, on Twitter. “New technologies emerging in the crypto ecosystem, like NFTs, have the potential to lower the barrier to entry for digital creators across the world.”
This is not surprising. In the EU, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up 99% of the bloc’s economy. Meanwhile, the UK government has long touted small firms as “the backbone” of the country’s economy. Albeit a number of decisions around taxation paint a different picture for Britain. Cynicism aside, though, firms like Visa need to support smaller companies and sole traders. After all, without them, every major financial institution would struggle.
There’s (Probably) More To The Visa NFT Program
Clearly driven by an understanding of where one of its core customer bases is heading in the coming years, Visa is also shrewd in terms of its own profitability. At the time of writing, specifics are thin on the ground about where the new NFT program is heading. However, it wouldn’t be a stretch of anyone’s imagination to see Visa collaborating on projects with artists it has helped break.
When you consider the exponential boom in NFTs — with DappRadar reporting $10billion in sales during the third quarter of 2021 — you can understand why everyone from anonymous independents to major corporations wants in. And there are few better ways to do that than by working with the creators themselves. Unless, of course, you go around spending $132 ETH on CryptoPunks for your collection, which Visa has also done.
And What About Johnson?
As for Micah Johnson, the MLB star is arguably just as well known for his crypto work these days, in some circles at least. In February he unveiled Aku, a Black astronaut character, now the first NFT to be optioned for movie rights. When it was released, the project sold $2million in NFTs within 24-hours. Keep an eye on how all NFT series are doing with our dedicated collectibles section.