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Visa Purchases a CryptoPunk as Part of its Initial Foray Into NFTs

Visa has purchased CryptoPunk 7610, which marks their jump on the NFT bandwagon.

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Payments technology firm Visa stated on Monday that they had purchased a CryptoPunk as they join the world of NFTs.

For around $150,000 last week, Visa has purchased CryptoPunk 7610, one of 3,840 women punks. The earliest NFTs launched by Larva Labs in 2017 are regarded as CryptoPunks. These are a 10,000-pixel art collection of photos depicting misfits and excentricities. Each CryptoPunk is distinct and has its own personality.

“We felt CryptoPunks would be a huge addition to our collection of objects that are able to charter and celebrate the history, present, and future of business,” said Cuy Sheffield, head of cryptographic Visa.

As part of the art collection, Visa holds numerous vintage items linked to the market like early credit cards and knuckle buster, a device dealer used before the advent of the electronic point-of-sale terminals to record credit card transactions, said Sheffield.

Sheffield explained that CryptoPunks “pioneered the NFT technology and wave of NFT commerce,” thus Visa decided to purchase one. Given that it is a historical NFT initiative, he stated that the decision was made less about the specific punk and more about CryptoPunks in general.

According to Sheffield, Visa partnered with Anchorage Digital to purchase the CryptoPunk, which means Anchorage handled the deal and is now custodying the NFT for Visa. “We bought it with fiat from Anchorage,” he explained. Additionally, Visa and Anchorage collaborated for the first time earlier this year to settle payments in the USDC stablecoin on Ethereum.

NFTs in commerce

NFTs, according to Visa, will play a significant role in the future of trade.

Sheffield believes that NFTs can assist individual content creators and small and medium-sized organizations in innovative ways. “NFTs are a crossroads of culture and commerce,” he continued.

Sheffield compared NFTs to the early days of e-commerce, claiming that e-commerce allowed small businesses to sell online and reach clients worldwide. However, they must still manufacture and ship tangible goods, which can be costly upfront. According to Sheffield, NFTs enable a small firm to use a public blockchain to manufacture digital commodities that can be delivered quickly to a crypto wallet anywhere in the world. “We can see a future where your crypto address is as significant as your mailing address,” he predicted.

According to Visa, merchants, brands, and content platforms interested in participating in the NFT market are showing “quite significant” interest. “So now we’re committing to begin assisting clients in navigating methods to participate in the NFT commerce environment,” Sheffield added.

Visa has also released a whitepaper on NFTs to assist businesses in understanding how to incorporate NFTs into their platforms and how Visa can assist.

According to Sheffield, Visa’s fundamental function is to assist customers in purchasing NFTs and businesses in accepting NFTs as simply as they do for traditional commodities and e-commerce.

According to Sheffield, Visa is currently “actively engaged” with a number of its clients, assisting them in understanding how to participate in the NFT ecosystem.

Visa established an internal crypto team in 2019 and has subsequently launched various crypto-related initiatives. Visa became the first major payment network to settle a transaction with a stable coin lately. As reported previously, it has also set its eyes on facilitating central bank digital currency or CBDC payments.

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NFTmania to Decrease? Volumes of NFT Trades have Begun to Decrease

Although the volumes of NFT trading achieved tremendous heights in August, they decreased dramatically in September.

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Investors appear to have drastically lessened their demand for non-fungible tokens, reaching all-time highs in August. Indeed, the NFT-based trade volumes at Ethereum did not exceed $100 million in the last three days, while in August, they exceeded $500 million for one day.

The Volumes of NFT Trade to the South

According to Alex Thorn, head of firmwide research at Galaxy Digital, a recent study has shown that daily volumes of non-food tokens have been falling steadily every day since the start of September.

For example, the NFT marketplace was about 300 million dollars on September 1 and 2; however, the marketplace was less than 100 million dollars after September 10. On the contrary, the trade volumes recorded successive all-time highs, exceeding $500 million daily on 29 August.

Talking of the amazing peak last month, OpenSea – a significant peer-to-peer marketplace that is not fungible – was an enormous milestone as its trading volume reached the 1 billion dollar mark.

Previously, the platform had a total transaction volume of about $100 million in 48 hours. Moreover, this figure was four times higher than that registered by the Open Sea during 2020.

However, the NFT industry has increased its popularity this year despite the fall in trading volume in September. Athletes, singers, entertainers, musicians, and other notable people who started their different digital arts became highly attractive.

Who Was Part of the NFT Craze

Some are particularly concerned with the mania that is not fungible among these renowned persons. For example, the famous quarterback Tom Brady is like this.

In April, the 43-year old, probably America’s most successful football player, said that his own NFT platform, Autograph, would be released. By doing that, Brady planned to bring together important names from diverse industries, such as sports, fashion, pop culture, and entertainment. They might produce individual digital pieces of art.

Since Naomi Osaka, Tiger Woods, and Tony Hawk joined the platform, his plan appears to have been tremendously successful.

Eminem, a hip-hop giant, also stepped onto the NFT bandwagon. After working with the digital art auction platform, Nifty Gateway, the 15-time Grammy winner, unveiled a collection of his own, dubbed Shady Con.

One of the latest examples of this is the American comic book powerhouse Marvel Entertainment. Firstly, in early August, the organization joined together to release Spider-Man NFTs with the blockchain digital collectibles market – VeVe. Shortly thereafter, new digital collections, including Captain America, Barnes’ Bocky, and Red Skull, were added to expand their not-fungible token universe.

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China’s Official Media Slams the NFT Craze

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Securities Times, a sister publication of the People’s Daily, issued an editorial piece criticizing non-fungible tokens as the hype and arguing that digital assets should serve the real economy by tokenizing actual assets.

The essay also stated that NFTs should benefit the real economy by tokenizing real-world assets such as real estate and automobiles.

Meanwhile, Chinese tech behemoths are capitalizing on the NFT market’s strong success. Last week, Alibaba’s online mall launched an NFT moon cake — a dessert to commemorate the Chinese traditional celebration Mid-Autumn Festival — and it sold out in one day. In addition, Alipay sold two batches of NFT artworks in June and August, totaling 160,000 pieces on the day of issue. Tencent’s NFT platform “Huanhe” was also introduced in August.

Despite this, Chinese technological behemoths have been the subject of antitrust investigations for nearly a year. Alibaba was fined 18.2 billion yuan (US$2.812 billion) in April after being accused of monopoly. In July, the Market Supervision and Administration agency issued 22 antitrust fines to technology companies, including Alibaba, Tencent, and Meituan. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s anti-corruption watchdog, published an article on its website on Saturday headlined “Set Traffic Lights for Capital Expansion,” demonstrating the government’s antitrust determination.

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Fees for Ethereum have Risen Dramatically

Yesterday, Ethereum’s average network fees increased by 300 percent, owing to the market’s fall and a hyped project’s minting event.

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Fees on the Ethereum network have risen yet more. This time, it appears to have been triggered by two different factors: the market’s fall and the impending release of a new NFT collection.

Since May, Ethereum fees have been at an all-time high

The costs on Ethereum’s network have soared yet again, with a 300 percent spike in a single day. According to YCharts, they were at their highest position since late May yesterday.

On September 7th, the average costs for Ethereum were $21.29.

The entire community took notice, with many claiming that there are cheaper choices available from competing businesses.

What Caused the ETH Fees to Increase?

Two factors could be at the root of the exorbitant ETH expenses. The marketwide collapse that we saw yesterday seems to be the most obvious explanation right off the bat.

Over $2.5 billion in long and short positions were wiped out in just a few hours. This occurred as Bitcoin fell below $43,000 and Ethereum fell below $3,000.

Such events trigger panic sellers. People are flocking to exchanges, especially decentralized ones like Uniswap, to liquidate their holdings and avoid more losses. As a result, the number of requests for transactions rises, pushing up the ETH fees. It occurs whenever there is a sudden movement in any direction.

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