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Visa Jumps Into NFTs With CryptoPunk Purchase

Visa pays 49.50 Ether for the CryptoPunk 7610 NFT, according to the blockchain ledger.
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Credit card giant Visa  (V) - Get Visa Inc. Class A Report is delving into the hot non-fungible token market through the purchase of a CryptoPunk NFT for $150,000.

The company says the purchase will give it first-hand understanding of the space as it seeks to help its clients and partners participate in the burgeoning NFT market. 

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

"Enabling buyers and sellers is what we do — whether its helping small and micro business owners get online, or making it easier for companies to pay their partners across borders."

Like cryptocurrencies, NFTs are tracked and exchanged on public blockchains, proving the authentic ownership of digital properties.

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The NFT Visa purchased is CryptoPunk 7610, which is part of a collection of pixel art images that carries weight in the crypto community, according to Visa.

CryptoPunk 7610 was first claimed on June 23, 2017, according to Cointelegraph, and first sold a month later for 0.6 Ether or about $114 at the time. 

Visa purchased the NFT piece for 49.50 ETH ($149,939) last Wednesday, according to the blockchain ledger. 

"We expect a huge range of new cases in the years ahead. The ability to track and leverage a digital asset in multiple environments could mean exciting new opportunities in ticketing, gaming, music, art, and beyond," Sheffield said. 

Visa shares were rising 1.1% to $233.89 Monday at last check.

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