Visa paid $150,000 for a 'CryptoPunk' blockchain token

Payments company Visa has parted with $150,000 (£110,000) for a 'CryptoPunk' blockchain token as part of what the company called “a new chapter for digital commerce”.

“Over the last 60 years, Visa has built a collection of historic commerce artefacts – from early paper credit cards to the zip-zap machine,” the company announced on Twitter.

“Today, as we enter a new era of NFT-commerce, Visa welcomes CryptoPunk #7610 to our collection.”

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are essentially certificates similar to cryptocurrency coins and stored on the same blockchain ledgers.

However, where those coins are fungible – being broken down into 0.001 of a coin for instance – the certificate token is non-fungible.

CryptoPunks are one of the earliest examples of NFTs, made of images of 24 by 24 pixels, launched on the Ethereum blockchain in 2017 and inspiring the standard that is now being used to sell digital artworks for millions.

There are 10,000 of the CryptoPunk tokens – each of them unique – with Visa acquiring number #7610.

It doesn't do anything, it's just a unique entry on a blockchain, but Visa said: “We think NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce.

“To help our clients and partners participate, we need a firsthand understanding of the infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT.”

“Having worked with Anchorage Digital to complete this process, we're better positioned to help our partners navigate the process,” the company added.

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