Visa may add cryptocurrencies to its payments network as it has the power to make them safer and more useful
Visa CEO Al Kelly believes that the payments giant has what it takes to make cryptocurrencies safer, more useful and applicable. The payments giant could add cryptocurrencies to its network in the future.
Kelly made this known to the company’s investors during the fiscal first-quarter 2021 earnings call over the weekend. The growing interest in cryptocurrencies has sparked Visa’s attention, and the company intends to venture into the sector soon.
The CEO likened Bitcoin to Gold, calling it the digital Gold as it is more of an asset than a currency. He stated, “We think of the crypto market in two segments. First, there are cryptocurrencies that represent new assets, such as Bitcoin. Second, there are digital currencies or stable coins that are directly backed by existing fiat currencies. We see all currencies in that first segment as digital Gold. They are predominantly held as assets that are not used as a form of payment in a significant way at this point”.
Visa intends to work with wallets and crypto exchanges to allow users to buy digital currencies using their Visa credentials. The payments giant also wants to allow users to cash out using their Visa credentials, enabling them to pay for goods and services at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally.
Kelly pointed out that their job will be somewhat easier as 35 of the leading digital currency platforms and wallets, including crypto.com, BitPanda, Fold and BlockFi, have already chosen to partner with Visa.
The CEO argues that cryptocurrencies are becoming a recognised means of exchange, which encourages the company to add them to their network, which already supports over 160 fiat currencies.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are increasingly gaining attention from the mainstream financial sector. In its early years, financial institutions and experts attacked Bitcoin, with some of them calling it a gamble rather than an asset or a currency. However, leading financial institutions such as JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and others have changed their stance. They are now venturing into the crypto market or encouraging their customers to include Bitcoin in their portfolio.
Bitcoin joining the Visa network could boost the cryptocurrency’s adoption as billions of people can use it at Visa checkout points globally.