NFTs are Bringing “Whole New Class” to The Crypto Space Says Visa CEO


Nonfungible tokens or NFTs for short are broadening the cryptocurrencies market assets, according to an executive at Visa.

NFTs are digital assets that are securely recorded on a blockchain. The digital assets act as a collector’s item and can’t be counterfeited or duplicated. In other words, if you own an NFT; there will be no copycats anywhere, and that NFTs is all yours. This includes; music, digital artwork, website domains, and several other digital assets. Additionally, everything is recorded on a blockchain or a digital ledger.

A “whole new class” of mainstream consumers entered the crypto space because of NFTs, said Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto. Endorsers of NFTs aren’t only limited to art, but also music and culture in general and they are “setting up crypto wallets in waves” and are excited to mint their own NFTs or support other creators, he added.

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When cryptocurrencies boomed in recent years, crypto assets were destined for financial-minded people. However, NFTs are changing that, Sheffield said during a panel discussion at the Singapore Fintech Festival on Monday.

“Crypto is becoming cultural, it’s becoming cool,” he said.

“It used to be that if you were investing in crypto, you were kind of weird,” added Sheffield.

A crypto wallet is now used for different purposes, he said. Before NFTs, wallets were used as a secure measure of storing digital assets. However, people now discover new music—becoming more of a “super app” that influences a consumer’s life, he explained.

Meme-based Coins’ Increasing Popularity

In addition to NFTs, meme tokens such as dogecoin and Shiba Inu are other crypto assets that exploded in popularity this year.

There has been “huge demand” for such tokens in Singapore, said Yusho Liu, co-founder of local crypto exchange Coinhako.

The exchange saw a “pretty large” number of queries on when it would list the Shiba Inu token, said Liu, who spoke on the same panel as Sheffield. He said Coinhako has no plans to list the token.

Kevin Lim, a director at Singapore’s state investor Temasek, said speculation has partly driven interest in the crypto economy because of an opportunity to make “meaningful money.”

In the longer term, speculative investing could increase people’s awareness of crypto assets and make such assets more mainstream, Lim said during the same Singapore Fintech Festival panel.