Crypto has gone from 'weird' to 'cool' thanks to NFTs says Visa executive

Visa’s head of crypto Cuy Sheffield said that investing in cryptocurrency has become a lot cooler thanks to an influx of creative types drawn in by the booming NFT sector.

Sheffield was speaking on day one of the Singapore Fintech Festival on Nov. 8. He said that a “whole new class” of mainstream users are flocking to crypto and that NFTs ar attracting people with a broad range of interests such as music, art and culture who are “setting up crypto wallets in waves.”

“Crypto is becoming cultural, it’s becoming cool,” Sheffield said, and added that:

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

Sheffield believes that blending the entertainment sectors with NFT tech could see crypto wallets become a sort of “super app” where users can discover new content related to their interests as opposed to simply a way to hold digital assets.

Visa’s head of crypto is a self-proclaimed NFT-enthusiast and spearheaded the firm’s move to snap up CryptoPunk 7610 — a female figure with a mohawk, clown green eyes and lipstick — for 49.50 Ether (ETH) in August.

Sheffield stated at the time that the move was part of a push 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 firm was looking at offering services tied to NFTs.

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

The annual event, which runs until Nov.12, is organized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and non-profit organization Eleandi. This year’s event is focused on the prospects of Web 3.0 tech and features notable guests including Visa, Mastercard, Chainlink, Celo AMTD Group, Microsoft, Ant Group and Tencent.

Ravi Menon the Managing Director of MAS also gave a speech at the event stating that smart contracts and the tokenization of real world objects and intellectual property are the “key enablers” of the new Web 3.0 paradigm.

Menon emphasized the significance of the tech in relation to commodities such as real estate and intangible assets such as patents, along with digital music and art:

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

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