• According to a Visa executive, NFTs have transformed cryptocurrency from ‘weird’ to ‘cool.’

  • Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto, stated that investing in cryptocurrency has become much cooler as a result of an influx of creative types drawn in by the thriving NFT sector.

    Sheffield spoke on the first day of the Singapore Fintech Festival on November 8. He claims that a “whole new class” of mainstream users is flocking to cryptocurrency, and that NFTs are attracting people with diverse interests such as music, art, and culture, who are “setting up crypto wallets in waves.”

    “Crypto is becoming cultural, it’s becoming cool,” Sheffield explained, adding:

    “It used to be that if you invested in cryptocurrency, you were kind of weird.”

    Sheffield believes that combining the entertainment and NFT sectors will result in crypto wallets becoming a sort of “super app” where users can discover new content related to their interests rather than just a place to store digital assets.

    Visa’s head of crypto is a self-proclaimed NFT enthusiast who led the company’s acquisition of CryptoPunk 7610 — a female figure with a mohawk, clown green eyes, and lipstick — in August for 49.50 Ether (ETH).

    Sheffield explained the move at the time as part of an effort to “gain first-hand understanding of the infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT.” He also hinted that the company was considering offering services related to NFTs.

    “The ability to track and leverage a digital asset across multiple environments could open up exciting new opportunities in ticketing, gaming, music, art, and beyond,” he said.

    The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the non-profit organization Eleandi organize the annual event, which runs until November 12. This year’s event focuses on the future of Web 3.0 technology and features notable guests such as Visa, Mastercard, Chainlink, Celo AMTD Group, Microsoft, Ant Group, and Tencent.

    Ravi Menon, MAS’s Managing Director, also spoke at the event, stating that smart contracts and the tokenization of real-world objects and intellectual property are “key enablers” of the new Web 3.0 paradigm.

    Menon emphasized the importance of technology in relation to commodities like real estate and intangible assets like patents, as well as digital music and art:

    “Once tokenized, these assets’ rights and ownership could be transferred seamlessly, improving liquidity and efficiency.” This has the potential to significantly boost economic opportunity and inclusion.”

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