While NFTs have cropped up as the newest blockchain craze, adoption has lagged due to the complexity of payments in the space. With this in mind, fintech Circle is launching a platform that will enable “seamless” payments for NFT marketplaces by enabling credit card and crypto payments for their non-fungible tokens.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique digital assets that are built into blockchains. From virtual kittens, to digital collectible cards, to artwork, to in-game items, or special recordings of iconic NBA plays, there is an extremely wide array of assets that can be recorded as an NFT. Its value depends on the eye of the beholder, the uniqueness of the NFT, and the relevance of it as a moment of history or special value. While people can view or copy the NFT files online, owning the original copy is what carries its cache. The term non-fungible token connotes the difficulty to exchange an NFT where fungible tokens (like digital currency or utility tokens) are quite interchangeable.
Until recently, purchasing NFTs has been an onerously cumbersome process that has prevented more buyers from entering the space. Currently the process is for a customer to first purchase the cryptocurrency and, upon settlement, convert the currency into an NFT marketplace before having the ability to buy. Circle’s intent is to build a platform that reduces the challenges faced by dedicated NFT supporters to make way for buyers who are deterred by the complicated steps. This will open the gates to a wider set of consumers who can enter to sell or purchase NFTs at will. Circle’s crypto-native payments option will enable users to transfer funds and tokens in and out as required to create customer retention and loyalty in the NFT market.
It was shared that Circle intends to allow its business users to enjoy native payment processing settlement into USDC within its system. According to its press release, “The Circle payment infrastructure offers both a pure-play fiat on and off-ramp for crypto purchases, as well as the ability to settle directly into a native USDC account infrastructure.” Users will have access to a master wallet from which they can aggregate their funds while having the flexibility to perform any type of accounting needed or move funds easily around Circle’s infrastructure. The ability to do it all in one place will be a key attribute for users.
At present, only highly devoted NFT followers are buying into the craze. However, with Circle’s foresight to create a seamless payments platform, many new entrants may be invited in to the NFT market which may in turn catalyze its ascent to mainstream.