On Wednesday, March 30, Visa began accepting applications for a one-year immersive program aiming to help gig workers, entrepreneurs, and artists learn how to, hopefully, turn profits off of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
A representative of Visa stated that the payments company will not directly profit off of this new initiative, but will, instead, use this effort to explore ways for Visa and its clients to capitalize on the growing NFT market. In August 2021, Visa purchased a Crypto Punk NFT for roughly $150,000 worth of Ethereum, (ETH), right as the NFT market began to enjoy significant growth.
Investors worldwide spent $44 billion dollars on NFTs last year and already more than $23 billion in 2022, according to Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis firm. However, the market of NFT buyers has plummeted from its year-to-date peak to more than a fifth of that size, according to Nonfungible, a data-tracking firm.
Not all NFTs have suffered, however. NFT collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Azuki, and World of Women have enjoyed great commercial success—largely by transforming their tokens from digital novelties, in the vein of Beanie Babies and baseball cards, to digital passports that give holders access to exclusive online communities.
Visa, citing the venture firm SignalFire, estimates there are approximately 50 million people worldwide whose income relies at least partially on sales of their digital creations—a market worth more than $100 billion.
The blockchain analytics company Nansen recently reported that one-third of NFT collections “end up as a dead collection with little or no trading activity.” This is perhaps another reminder of the age-old saying: “No risk, no reward.”