Yuga Labs. Larva Labs. The Sandbox. These companies are all major players in the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), but a few years ago, almost nobody had heard of them. That doesn’t mean, however, that established financial institutions can’t carve out their own space in the NFT industry.
Enter Visa. The credit card company may not be the first business you think of when you think of crypto, but it has been interested in NFTs for about a year now, and has hired Cuy Sheffield as its head of crypto. Now, Sheffield is at the forefront of his employer’s ambitious new Web3 venture. The Visa Creator Program will provide assistance to “digital-first artists, musicians, fashion designers, and filmmakers” who are interested in utilizing NFTs as a moneymaking tool.
Education is the program’s primary goal. Visa will teach its partner creators about the technology behind NFTs and will help them understand the ways they can use the digital collectibles to accelerate their small businesses. “We’ve seen rapid growth in the NFT ecosystem over the past year,” Sheffield told TechCrunch. “We think NFTs represent a new form of e-commerce.”
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The program can be broken down into five distinct areas in which Visa will support creators. It will offer a one-time stipend, exposure to its clients, access to esteemed Web3 thinkers, community-building opportunities, and most of all, mentorship. Visa wants aspiring creators to know what a good crypto contract looks like, which blockchains they should use, and which marketplaces they should go to to sell their NFTs. To help cover those topics, Visa has brought in NFT notables like Micah Johnson, the creator of the 10-piece Aku World collection.
In a video on the Visa YouTube channel, Johnson called himself “the first Visa-sponsored artist.” He said that Visa’s decision to pay attention to digital artist “was really a powerful statement.”
If you’re interested in the Visa Creator Program, more details about it are available here.