Visa launches NFT program as it considers the digital art a new form of ecommerce

The credit card giant Visa has launched a NFT creator program in an effort to bring small businesses into the digital economy.

“We’ve seen rapid growth in the NFT ecosystem over the past year,” Cuy Sheffield , head of crypto at Visa, told TechCrunch. “We think NFTs represent a new form of ecommerce.”

The idea of a small business is evolving from the traditional “brick and mortar mom-and-pop shops” to include other independent businesses with creators and entrepreneurs who want to build digital-focused companies and harness new tools like NFTs, Sheffield said.

The one-year immersion program, the Visa Creator Program, will bring together a global cohort of creators including artists, musicians, fashion designers and filmmakers the ability to build their businesses with NFTs.

There’s no “hard cap” on the number of creators for the first cohort and all members will have access to Visa clients and a broader network of mentors, Sheffield noted.

“Large merchants and brands are asking every day how they can get involved.” Sheffield said. “The thing that’s so exciting to us about NFTs is we think it lowers the barrier to entry for people to build a business and sell online.”

The traditional way of selling physical goods has a lot of logistics involved, which can be a huge challenge for small businesses and individuals to compete and scale. “NFTs allow someone who’s creative, who’s an artist, who’s talented, to produce a good entirely in a digital way,” Sheffield said.

Micah Johnson, a former Major League Baseball player and current artist behind Aku was one of the first participants in the cohort. Visa previously announced the partnership in October 2021, but did not disclose that he was involved in the program at the time.Johnson’s Aku NFTs are based on a character created by Johnson after hearing his nephew ask, “Can astronauts be […]

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