Popular financial services giant Visa is currently exploring the possibility of offering some digital currencies directly on its platform, Chief Executive Officer Alfred Kelly has revealed.
The Visa boss disclosed this in the payment giant’s fiscal Q1 2021 earnings call, noting that Visa is looking to ensure cryptocurrency payments are safer, useful, and more generally accepted.
Visa already dabbles in crypto through wallet relationships and collaborations with crypto platforms like Crypto.com, BlockFi, BitPanda, Fold, and several others who, due to their respective partnerships, can issue Visa-branded cards. However, Visa’s CEO hinted in the announcement that the payments giant is poised towards supporting certain cryptocurrencies directly.
“In this space, we see ways that we can add differentiated value to the ecosystem. And we believe that we are uniquely positioned to help make cryptocurrencies more safe, useful, and applicable for payments through our global presence, our partnership approach, and our trusted brand,” he said.
Visa View of the Crypto Market
Alfred Kelly, during Visa’s Q1 2021 earnings call, further took time to explain how the payment giant views cryptocurrencies and the entire crypto space.
According to him, digital currencies are in two types, namely, Bitcoin and most altcoins in one category while stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as a second category.
Kelly described the first crypto category (Bitcoin) as “digital gold,” noting that the payment giant will work with exchanges and wallets to allow Visa users to buy such cryptocurrencies with their Visa credentials, as well as cash out using a Visa card to make a fiat purchase at the over 70 million merchants in Visa’s global network.
He referred to the second crypto category (stablecoins and CBDCs) as an emerging payments innovation. He then stated this category could possess exceptional potential to be adopted for global commerce, much like every other fiat currency.
“And it goes without saying, to the extent a specific digital currency becomes a recognized means of exchange, there’s no reason why we cannot add it to our network, which already supports over 160 currencies today,” Kelly noted.
Change in Crypto Stance From Visa CEO
It’s important to note that Visa CEO Alfred Kelly has not always been in support of digital currency. In 2018, the payments giant boss, in an interview with CNBC, said Visa will not associate with Bitcoin.
“We at Visa won’t process transactions that are cryptocurrency-based. We will only process fiat currency-based transactions,” Kelly said.
However, growing interest in digital currencies, coupled with greater adoption, especially by institutional investors, has led several other financial entities to change their stance and take interest in digital currency.
At the time of publication, BTC was trading at $38,492.06, with a market cap of $716,824,466,602 and a 24-hour trading volume of $52,280,053,655.
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