Hello and welcome to this week's edition of Overbit's Weekly Round Up; in our first story of the day, we're covering changing consumers' buying habits and demographics as studied by Visa. According to Visa CEO Abigail Ng, a "whole new class" of customers joins the crypto market.
According to the Visa executive, nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, have opened up the market for crypto assets to many more individuals this year. NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital assets that serve as collectors' items that cannot be copied, making them uncommon by design. The ownership of these goods, which may range from music to digital artwork to website domains, is documented on a blockchain or digital ledger. Because of NFTs, a "whole new class" of mainstream customers joined the crypto market, according to Cuy Sheffield, Visa's director of Crypto.
People interested in art, music, or culture, in general, are "setting up crypto wallets in waves," he says, and are eager to mint their own NFTs or assist other producers. Before last year's surge in NFTs, crypto-assets mainly drew those interested in gold and finance, Sheffield said on Monday during a panel discussion at the Singapore Fintech Festival.
Crypto is becoming cultural, and it is becoming cool," he says. "It used to be that if you invested in crypto, you were kind of weird," Sheffield continued. According to him, the purpose of a cryptocurrency wallet is evolving. Previously, it was a safe location to store digital assets, but now it might be a place where people find new music, he noted, becoming more of a "super app" that impacts a consumer's life.
Meme tokens' popularity Meme tokens such as dogecoin and Shiba Inu, in addition to NFTs, have skyrocketed in popularity this year. Kevin Lim, a director of Singapore's state investor Temasek, said that speculation has fueled interest in the crypto economy due to the potential for "meaningful money."
Heading into our next story of the week, we're covering the CEO of Apple's rising interest in Crypto. Apple CEO Tim Cook said he owns cryptocurrency after asking at The New York Times DealBook conference if he owns bitcoin or ethereum. "I do. I think it's reasonable to own it as part of a diversified portfolio," Cook told Andrew Ross Sorkin in an interview that aired Tuesday. Cook said that he had been interested in cryptocurrency "for a while" and researched the topic.
However, Cook said that his interest was from a "personal point of view" and dismissed suggestions that Apple might take cryptocurrency in exchange for products as tender. Cook also rejected the possibility of Apple buying cryptocurrency with corporate funds as an investment. "I wouldn't go invest in crypto, not because I wouldn't invest my own money, but because I don't think people buy Apple stock to get exposure to crypto," he said.
In August, Cook received 5 million shares of Apple stock worth $750 million at the time. He will get additional grants of Apple stock through 2026, of which the number of shares depends on Apple stock performance. He has said he plans to donate his entire fortune to charity.
Apple doesn't currently have any cryptocurrency products or services. It does allow crypto wallet apps on its iPhone App Store, but it also prohibits mining apps. Apple has released financial services through its Wallet app, including contactless Apple Pay, peer-to-peer payments and the Apple Card credit card. If Apple does introduce cryptocurrency products or services, they are many years away.
An Apple Pay executive said in 2019 that the company saw "long-term potential" in cryptocurrency. Cook said Tuesday that while Apple was looking at cryptocurrency technology, it's "not something we have immediate plans to do."
That's it for this week's edition of Overbit Round Up and we'll see you next week!