Visa has officially launched its creator program first announced last October to help artists grow their businesses with non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The program will run for one year in cohorts and train creators — including artists, musicians, fashion designers and filmmakers — on NFTs.
"NFTs can take many forms as creators become more invested in this medium, and we want to be positioned to support and impact creators using NFTs as a bridge to new audiences, products and services," Visa's head of crypto, Cuy Sheffield, told The Block.
But how does this program benefit Visa? Sheffield said the company hopes to understand opportunities and pain points facing creators and explore the role NFTs could play in monetizing their work.
"This is just the beginning," said Sheffield. "We're continually developing new products and solutions at Visa for our clients, which can include creators and creator platforms."
Visa first exhibited an interest in NFTs last August when it bought a CryptoPunk. At the time, Sheffield said that Visa wants to play a role in NFT commerce, helping consumers purchase NFTs and merchants accept payment for NFTs as easily as they do for traditional goods in e-commerce.
Visa has developed the creator program with former professional baseball player turned NFT artist Micah Johnson. Johnson recently created Aku — an NFT collection depicting a boy in an astronaut helmet — after overhearing a conversation where a young boy asked: "Can astronauts be black?"
Through Visa's creator program, Johnson aims to provide mentorship to emerging artists setting out on their own NFT journey.
Visa hasn't yet decided how many creators it wants to train in this program. Sheffield said the company wants to keep the cohort to a small enough size to facilitate community-building and support technical mentorship.
Creators interested in attending the program will have to complete a questionnaire form. They will then be interviewed for final consideration, according to Sheffield.
Besides mentorship, Visa will also provide a one-time stipend to help creators jumpstart their next growth phase, but Sheffield declined to comment on the size of that stipend.
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