Visa, the world’s largest credit card company, has created an NFT creator initiative to help small businesses get into the digital economy.
According to Sheffield, the concept of a small business is moving from traditional “brick-and-mortar mom-and-pop shops” to encompass other independent firms with artists and entrepreneurs who want to establish digital-focused businesses and employ new tools like NFTs.
The Visa Creator Program, a one-year immersion programme, will bring together a global cohort of creators, including artists, singers, fashion designers, and filmmakers, to learn how to use NFTs to grow their companies.
According to Sheffield, there would be no “strict cap” on the number of creators in the initial cohort, and all members will have access to Visa clients and a larger network of mentors.
“Every day, large retailers and brands ask how they can get involved.” Sheffield remarked. “What excites us about NFTs is that we believe it lowers the barrier to entry for anyone who want to start a business and sell online.”
Traditional methods of selling physical things entail a great deal of logistics, which can make it difficult for small enterprises and individuals to compete and scale. “NFTs enable someone who is creative, an artist, or a talented person to generate a good wholly digitally,” Sheffield explained.
Micah Johnson, a former Major League Baseball player and current Aku artist, was one of the cohort’s founding members. Visa announced the relationship in October 2021, but did not say whether or not he was a part of it at the time.
Johnson’s Aku NFTs are based on a figure he devised in response to his nephew’s question, “Can astronauts be Black?”
His ten-part series has Black male astronauts dressed in a variety of outfits, ranging from spaghetti and meatball-covered headgear to a basic, sleek white helmet. According to the Aku website, the NFTs range in price from $1,790 to $37,000.
Johnson: “I observed personally how NFTs can assist artists.” “I simply started painting in my garage with this vision, this mission, and now it’s a global company.” I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for NFTs.”
Visa is no new to the cryptocurrency community, and has been a proponent of it for the past year. Sheffield has stated that this will not be the company’s only NFT purchase. It previously made waves for purchasing a popular CryptoPunk NFT in August 2021.
Apart from collecting NFTs, Visa has expanded its crypto team and created a crypto advising business in December 2021 to assist clients and partners considering a deep dive into the field.
Sheffield stated, “We believe that [NFTs] are a fundamental rudimentary instrument that may alter trade and offer new opportunities.” “However, there are still a lot of doubts about how it will evolve.” What blockchains should you use? What makes you unique? How do you get in touch with your customers? As a result, we want to learn as much as we think the creators can teach us.”
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