Cuy Sheffield, the Head of Crypto at leading financial services company Visa, believes non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have inspired a whole new class of mainstream investors to enter the crypto space.
The executive shared his opinions during a panel discussion at the Singapore Fintech Festival on November 8, saying NFTs have played a significant role in opening the crypto market to art enthusiasts.
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According to Sheffield, people interested in art, music, and culture have been actively setting up crypto wallets to mint NFTs or support other creators in the space. The Visa official went on to note that digital assets initially attracted investors interested in gold and finance.
During the discussion, Sheffield said people considered investing in crypto weird. However, the NFT boom made the sector cultural and cool. With people increasingly embracing NFTs, he believes the function of crypto wallets is changing as well.
While wallets were initially created to offer secure storage for digital assets, they have morphed into platforms for people to discover music. As such, Sheffield believes crypto wallets have become more of super applications that influence consumer lives.
Sheffield’s analysis comes after Visa dipped its toes in the NFT sector earlier this year by purchasing a CryptoPunk #7610 for $150,000.00 (£110,767.50) in Ethereum (ETH/USD).
The rise of meme tokens
Apart from NFTs, meme tokens have also contributed to more crypto adoption this year. According to Yusho Liu, the co-founder of Coinhako, a Singapore-based crypto exchange, digital assets like Dogecoin (DOGE/USD) and Shiba Inu (SHIB/USD) have seen high demand in the country. Speaking in the same event as Sheffield, Yusho added that the exchange had received numerous requests to list SHIB.
Explaining why the two meme coins have caught on, Kevin Lim, a Director at Temasek, said they are ideal for speculation. He further divulged that speculation has partly driven interest in the crypto sector because they offer an opportunity to make meaningful money.
Lim added that speculative investing could increase people’s awareness of crypto in the long term. This feat would help make the sector more mainstream.
This news comes as the crypto market continues bleeding after being green for the better part of this week. At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC/USD), the leading cryptocurrency by capitalization, is changing hands at $66,759.60 (£49,344.36) after trading as high as $68,530.34 (£50,653.17) yesterday.
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