Visa has announced it is searching for creators and entrepreneurs who want to sell their work and services using NFTs.
The company began accepting applications for a one-year immersive program aiming to help gig workers, entrepreneurs and artists dive deeper into the commercial side of non-fungible tokens – NFTs.
“We want to build a small cohort of amazing, talented creators from different geographies across the world that are focused on leveraging NFTs for different use cases,” says Cuy Sheffield, head of digital assets with Visa.
The move comes after these digital goods became prominent in 2021, buoyed by the money cryptocurrency investors gained on the back of a bull market. The market since has become more subdued.
This new program, through a test partnership with Micah Johnson, a former professional baseball player turned notable NFT creator, will allow selected creators to draw on Visa’s technical knowledge of the NFT space as well as give them an undisclosed one-time stipend, exposure to other emerging NFT creators and Visa’s partners and clients.
According to Sheffield, the company won’t receive any direct financial incentive but instead, can use the program as a way to learn how it can enhance NFT commerce and help their clients navigate the emerging technology.
“We have some of the largest merchants and brands across the world that are coming to Visa, and they’re asking about NFT’s and how they can participate and get involved in this space,” says Sheffield.
“And so we want to have this cohort that we can then connect to clients across our ecosystem to help enable really interesting collaborations.”
Visa took its first step into NFTs in August 2021 by purchasing a Crypto Punk NFT for roughly $150,000 worth of ETH at the time. The timing of the purchase coincided with the start of the market’s meteoric growth.
Investors spent $44 billion dollars on NFTs last year and already more than $23 billion in 2022, according to data from blockchain analysis firm, Chainalysis.
But following record demand in January, the market of NFT buyers has plummeted from its year-to-date peak to more than a fifth of that size, according to data tracker, Nonfungible.
The payments giant cites research from the venture firm, SignalFire, which estimates there are some 50 million people across the world drawing at least a part-time source of income by creating digital content, equating to a more than $100 billion market.