Holders of Visa cryptocurrency cards spent over $1B in 2021
In the first half of 2021, the volume of transactions on Visa debit cryptocurrency cards exceeded $1 billion (~£730 million), according to the payment system’s blog.
Convenient crypto proves popular
According to the post, the company’s card programmes enable Visa to partner with 50 leading cryptocurrency platforms, including FTX and Coinbase. Customers of the latter can convert and spend digital assets at any of the 70 million outlets that support Visa.
“The merchants don’t have to change anything. It will be the same as any other Visa transaction to them. But on the backend, the crypto assets are instantly converted into fiat,” Kai Sheffield, senior director and head of cryptocurrency at Visa, told Business Insider.
Sheffield noted that the company is simultaneously working with a “growing number” of digital asset holders and “millions” of sellers who fail to understand cryptocurrencies and are reluctant to interact with them.
“They don’t want to have to update their point of sales and terminals and figure out what a blockchain is,” he added.
In an interview with CNBC, Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu shared that the company is working to create an ecosystem that will make cryptocurrency similar to fiat and easier to use.
“We see a lot of volume on our [network] of people buying crypto currencies at these various regulated exchanges and as far as we can see that trend continues,” he said.
According to a recent study by Visa’s competitor, Mastercard, 40% of their users plan to use digital currencies in 2022.
Prabhu also stressed that Visa doesn’t plan to follow in the footsteps of companies like Tesla or MicroStrategy and invest in Bitcoin and other crypto currencies any time soon.
“We don’t hold crypto currencies on our balance sheet today. We hold currencies on our balance sheet that we need to run our business. We hold currencies that we get paid in or we pay people in. That tends to be the dollar, euro, pound,” he explained.
Major payment processors have got a taste of the crypto market, and it looks like they want more. Visa saw its clients spend over $1 billion (~£730 million) with crypto cards this year alone, which is a clear signal for Visa to continue along the crypto route.
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