New Visa NFT Program Aims To ‘Help Creators Reach New Audiences’

October 15, 2021, 10:45 AM AEST - 3 days ago

Financial services giant Visa has partnered with former major league baseballer Micah Johnson to launch an initiative to help digital creators learn about using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies, the company announced in a media statement.

In August, Visa sprang across the NFT board by purchasing a CryptoPunks NFT avatar for US$150,000 worth of Ethereum. The company now aims to bring more NFT awareness to a larger audience, in a new initiative it has launched jointly with Johnson.  

Bringing Blockchain to a Wider Audience

Johnson, a former MLB player turned crypto artist and creator of the NFT series character Aku, has launched along with Visa a program aiming to assist digital creators and small-business owners to better understand how NFTs work, and how blockchain can be used to create and mint digital art.

The initiative will select a group of creators, sponsor them and consult with them on NFTs and using blockchain to enter the digital art scene.

Johnson came onto the digital art scene in 2020 when he launched Aku, an animated astronaut character that became the first NFT to be optioned for a feature film.

Visa also aims to build connections between NFT creators and its current network of payment partners. Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa, explained that Visa will help participants “navigate both crypto and traditional payment infrastructure”:

Visa Aims to Operate as a Universal Payment Channel

The financial services powerhouse is very active in the blockchain and crypto space. Earlier this month, Visa announced plans for the development of a protocol to make cross-border payments with Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and stablecoins from any blockchain connected to its network.

Visa is developing the protocol to allow customers to send digital currencies between blockchains so as to operate as a “universal payment channel” (UPC). The payment channel will connect CBDC networks between countries and will link CBDCs with private stablecoins.

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