Visa announced that it is working with NFT artist Micah Johnson to develop a program that will enable creators to understand the NFT industry better and use various public blockchain networks to develop and sell their digital works.
VISA sees Micah Johnson as an example of the creator economy
Visa announced the news in a press release Wednesday. The company said it would connect creators with its network of payment partners, which will benefit the former by expanding the reach of its audience and boosting business growth. In the latest announcement, the company said it is going to select a group of creators through an open application process to form Visa’s inaugural class. The U.S. company will sponsor the group and provide advisory services.
The company uses Micah Johnson, a retired baseball player, as an example of the success of the creator economy. Johnson is the creator of “Aku,” a young African-American boy who wears a large space helmet and dreams of becoming an astronaut. According to VISA, Micah has a community of thousands of followers who collect his artwork. The NFT character was first released in February 2021 and sold over $2 million worth of tokens within 24 hours. Aku later became the first NFT figure to be optioned for TV and a movie.
VISA is not the only company entering the NFT space
The latest development comes nearly two months after Visa made its first NFT purchase in August. The financial services giant paid 49.5 ETH for a CryptoPunk NFT, which was valued at $160,000 at the time. However, VISA is not the only company recognizing the potential of NFTs, as the list of companies joining the NFT industry is long. In September, video-sharing platform TikTok announced the launch of its NFT collection, which includes videos from influential artists such as Lil Nas X, Brittany Broski, and Rudy Willingham.
Crypto exchanges are also getting into the NFT industry and have begun to launch NFT marketplaces. For example, FTX US announced the release of its Solana-based NFT marketplace, which will later expand to Ethereum-based NFTs, and Coinbase responded by opening its waiting list for a cross-chain NFT marketplace. Users made more than one million signups on the crypto exchange’s NFT waiting list the first day it opened.