Another payment giant is taking more steps into Web3. Visa, a multinational credit card company, has launched a program to onboard creatives into the world of non-fungible tokens.
Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s Head of Crypto, said that NFTs can “take many forms,” and Visa wants to be in a position to support creatives when they use NFTs as a bridge to reach “new audiences, products, and services.”
The program will run for one year and feature a small cohort that will undergo training and education related to the NFT space. The creators will include artists, filmmakers, fashion designers, and musicians. The process for entering the cohort consists of filling out a questionnaire, then a final interview.
The framework for the program includes the following:
- Technical and product mentorship
- Community building
- Access to thought leaders
- Networking with Visa’s clients and partners
Visa will also give program participants a one-time stipend at the end of the program to fund their launching into the NFT space. The face of the program is none other than Micah Johnson, a former baseball player who started an NFT collection of black astronauts. He was inspired to create the collection after a young boy asked, “Can astronauts be black?”
Visa Not the Only Financial Services Company Launching into Web3
Visa is not new to Web3. In fact, in August of 2021, the company purchased a CryptoPunks NFT. It wanted to explore NFTs as a new financial medium and gain hands-on experience buying and storing the asset.
After Visa’s purchase — one of the first moves a financial company made in the Web3 space — other financial companies followed suit. Since it purchased the CryptoPunk, Mastercard has signed up as a payments processor for the Coinbase NFT marketplace. JP Morgan has opened a headquarters in the metaverse Decentraland. And American Express has registered trademarks for metaverse and Web3 use.
Some banks are even thinking about opening branches in the metaverse, where people would be able to complete regular bank functions like checking balances or receiving information. Visa has also said that its purchase of the CryptoPunk will not be its last NFT purchase, leading to speculation about what it might buy next.
There’s no telling if the program will be successful and its participants will have long and storied careers in the NFT space. But the institutional support is another sign that top companies are bullish on Web3, even though it’s a relatively young industry.