Facebook, after almost two years of effort, may not have been able to launch the digital currency Diem (better known by its former name, Libra) yet, but it now has other aspirations for its blockchain wallet, Novi.
“When you have such a competitive wallet for digital currencies like Novi, you also have to think about how to help consumers manage NFTs,” said David Marcus, head of Facebook Financial and co-creator of Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Diem.
Marcus said the company was definitely looking for ways to get involved in the NFT industry. Facebook is considering many options for entering the NFT market, as it is “in a very good position to do so,” Marcus said in an interview.
Marcus said Novi was now ready to be released, after several years of development, but Facebook decided to suspend its launch until the company received approval from regulators to move on with Diem.
The social media giant is considering launching Novi without Diem “as a last resort,” Marcus said, but believes both are necessary. If Facebook’s involvement in the NFTs market comes as a surprise, then we really have no words on Visa’s latest move. Visa has recently acquired the CryptoPunk 7610, thus entering the NFT world.
“NFTs are a crossroad of culture and commerce,” said Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto. Visa bought CryptoPunk 7610, one of 3.840 punk women, for $150.000 last week.
CryptoPunks are considered the original NFTs, released in 2017 by Larva Labs. They are a collection of 10.000-pixel art images with icons that are considered “odd” and have an eccentric character. Each CryptoPunk has its own personality and unique combination of features.
Sheffield compared NFT to the early days of e-commerce, saying e-commerce allowed a small business to sell online and reach customers worldwide, but they still have to produce and ship natural goods though, which can be expensive.
NFTs allow a small business to leverage a public blockchain and create digital goods, which can be instantly delivered to a wallet anywhere in the world. “We can visualise a future in which a cryptocurrency address will be just as important as your mailing address,” he said.
After the news, about 90 NFTs of the collection were sold in one hour. The total amount of these sales exceeded $20 million. Currently the lowest value of an NFT of the collection available for sale is around $250.000.