Visa is partnering with artist Micah Johnson, the former second baseman and outfielder for the White Sox, Dodgers, Braves and Rays, in building a program to support artists in the creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), according to an announcement on Visa’s website.
Through the collaborative effort, Visa and Johnson will help creators understand NFT technology and how to harness public blockchains for producing and selling digital goods. NFTs are digital assets created to showcase various items such as art, video, music and games.
For its part, Visa will offer an open application process aimed at selecting a group of creators. From there, the company will sponsor the group and offer consultation services to help participants move through the world of crypto and traditional payment infrastructure, according to the release. In addition, Visa will look to develop relationships between artists and Visa’s network of payment providers, who can help creators expand their audience base and grow their businesses.
Johnson, who retired from baseball in 2018 and began dabbling in NFTs a year later, will serve as a collaborator in the program.
“NFTs unlocked an opportunity for me to build a community of people interested in supporting my work — in a way that goes way beyond simply liking or sharing,” Johnson said. “With guidance from the early crypto community, I’ve been able to build a small business around my crypto-native character, Aku, that can grow into a global media company rooted in driving value back to that same community that evangelized my work.”
The popularity of NFTs has been growing at a fever pitch. Rapper Lil Nas X is one of the latest to announce the creation of a limited-edition NFT token, as PYMNTS reported.
Last month, Burger King announced an NFT effort that’s part of its new Royal Perks loyalty program, launched to give NFT loyalists the opportunity to collect digital tokens that unlock more rewards once the set is complete.