Payments behemoth Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) acquired a blockchain collectible non-fungible token (NFT) for $150,000 as it makes its first moves in this nascent space.

What Happened: According to a Monday announcement, Visa bought CryptoPunk 7610 on Aug 19.

The firm's head of crypto, Cuy Sheffield, said that Visa is now "committing to starting to help clients navigate ways that they can participate in the NFT commerce ecosystem."

The company intends to enable not only NFT acquisition but also merchants to accept NFTs both online and in brick and mortar stores.

Why It Matters: Sheffield likened NFTs to the early days of e-commerce which increased the reach of small companies.

Similarly, he believes that "NFTs give small businesses an opportunity to harness public blockchains for producing digital goods—which can be delivered instantly to a crypto wallet."

Visa's head of crypto has gone as far as to note that the company "can envision a future in which your crypto address becomes as important as your mailing address."

After the payments giant bought the token, 90 CryptoPunks were sold within one hour for a combined sale value of $20 million.

Sheffield explained that the firm "felt that CryptoPunks would be a great addition to our collection of artifacts that can chart and celebrate the past, present, and future of commerce." The same collection features early paper credit cards and knuckle busters (a device used for manually processing credit card transactions).

Visa's head of crypto explained that CryptoPunks deserve their place in the collection since they "pioneered the NFT technology and wave of NFT commerce."

Photo: Courtesy of CryptoPunks

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