Fintech outfit Circle is bidding to cash in on the NFT craze by launching a platform that helps marketplaces accept credit card and crypto payments for their non-fungible tokens.
NFTs are cryptocurrency tokens which certify ownership of a unique digital file using blockchain technology. Anyone from the public is able to view the images online, but must connect an Ethereum wallet to enter the bidding.
NFT marketplaces have seen their popularity surge in recent months, boosted by high-profile cases such as the sale of the first ever tweet, by Jack Dorsey, for $2.9 million and the $69 million sale of a piece from digital artist Beeple. Last week another fintech, Curve, got in on the craze by auctioning five pieces of digital art for charity.
But, according to Circle, broad-based mainstream adoption is lagging due to the complexity of payment transactions, which usually require the use of cryptocurrencies.
The firm says its new service simplifies buying and selling by enabling platforms to accept credit card payments alongside crypto, all with a seamless user experience. In the next few months it will roll out support for USDC, BTC and ETH payments, NFT custodial services, and yield-generating Circle accounts for NFT market operators.
Jeremy Allaire, CEO, Circle, says: "This is not only an important and valuable trend for marketplaces and creators, it represents incredible demand from customers - for collectibles, artwork, moments, and really anything that can be tokenized on the blockchain.
"Circle looks forward to supporting the industry - creators, platforms, marketplaces, storefronts and customers - with our solution for enabling a user-friendly, mainstream payments experience with the power of crypto connectivity and USDC."