Visa Launching NFT Program to Support Digital Artists

The financial services giant is partnering with Aku creator and former Major League Baseball player Micah Johnson, who once sold $1 million worth of art in one minute.

Oct 13, 2021 at 5:29 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 13, 2021 at 9:48 p.m. UTC

Helene is a U.S. markets reporter at CoinDesk, covering US economics, stablecoins, and Wall Street. She is a recent graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

Visa is launching a non-fungible token (NFT) support program to help artists join the digital art space.

  • The financial services giant is partnering with former Major League Baseball player turned NFT artist Micah Johnson to build a program that will support artists who want to use NFTs to sell their work, Visa said in a press release.
  • Visa will select a small group of creators through an application process and then help them learn about the crypto and blockchain industry.
  • “We believe that we are at the beginning of a digital renaissance in the world of art and content creation,” Visa’s Head of Crypto Cuy Sheffield wrote on Twitter. “New technologies emerging in the crypto ecosystem, like NFTs, have the potential to lower the barrier to entry for digital creators across the world to build their own small businesses.”
  • A large number of NFT marketplaces have launched in recent months. On Tuesday, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase became the latest organization to join the trend. According to a report by the data analysis company DappRadar, the NFT market passed $10 billion in sales volume in the third quarter.
  • Johnson joined the digital art space in 2020 and is the creator of Aku, an animated black astronaut character, which has become the first NFT to be optioned for a feature film. Aku was released in February 2021 on Nifty Gateway and sold more than $2 million in NFT tokens in 24 hours.
  • “Working together [with Visa], we want to arm creators with the resources they need to stay at the forefront of this revolution,” Johnson said in a statement.
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Helene is a U.S. markets reporter at CoinDesk, covering US economics, stablecoins, and Wall Street. She is a recent graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

Helene is a U.S. markets reporter at CoinDesk, covering US economics, stablecoins, and Wall Street. She is a recent graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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