Visa recently partnered with acclaimed crypto artist Micah Johnson, the creator of the NFT character Aku, to develop an NFT-focused campaign.
Visa and Johnson have teamed up to help creators and small business owners better understand NFTs and how they may leverage blockchain networks and bitcoin to develop and sell digital content.
Visa will issue an open request for creators interested in participating in the program and select an initial class of participants. The company will sponsor the organization and advise with it, as well as "try to build meaningful partnerships" between the founders and Visa's payment partners.
Cuy Sheffield, Visa vice president and head of crypto, tweeted, "We believe we are at the beginning of a digital renaissance in the world of art and content creation—a flourishing ecosystem of artists, music artists, writers, photographers, and curators connecting people at the intersection of culture and commerce."
An NFT is a deed of ownership for a rare digital asset, such as digital artwork, video clips, interactive video game elements, and more, that is based on the blockchain.
Johnson debuted his Aku character in a series of NFT artwork pieces earlier this year, depicting the magical adventures of a young Black child who dreams of exploring space.
In April, Anonymous Content and Permanent Content partnered to option Aku for possible film and TV adaptations, making it the first crypto-native character to be licensed for usage in other entertainment genres.
The purchase of CryptoPunks by Visa on August 23 seems to energize an already-hot NFT market, hitting an all-time high for single-day CryptoPunks trading volume and raising the floor price (or lowest available) for the popular NFT collection.
Some Ethereum-based CryptoPunks were selling for less than $170k worth of ETH before Visa's purchase announcement. The current starting price is around $380k.
Budweiser, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Arizona Iced Tea, and Charmin are among the many companies that have entered the NFT arena in one form or another.
Visa has made a concerted push into the crypto industry in general, adopting a platform-agnostic approach.