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Visa CEO Signals Crypto Payments Support

2 mins
Updated by James Hydzik
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In Brief

  • Visa's CEO said in a call with company executives that cryptocurrencies could be added to the company's network.
  • The move comes after several exchanges issued Visa payments cards in 2020.
  • If this support continues, the cryptocurrency world could see mass mainstream adoption in 2021.
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Visa’s CEO, Al Kelly, suggests Visa could add cryptocurrencies to its list of over 160 currencies, according to the transcript of an earnings call.

Enter Visa

In a quarterly earnings phone call with executives, Visa‘s CEO, Al Kelly, indicated the company’s support for cryptocurrencies.

Speaking after a brief introduction by senior vice president of investments Mike Milotich, Kelly said Visa is “uniquely positioned to help make cryptocurrencies more safe, useful and applicable”.

Moreover, he went on to suggest the company could achieve this using its “global presence, our partnership approach and our trusted brand”.

Kelly specifically split the cryptocurrency market into two sections: crypto-backed assets (such as Bitcoin) and stablecoins, describing assets in the first section as “digital gold”.

The CEO also suggested a particular strategy the company could follow:

Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally.

Al Kelly, CEO, Visa

The endorsement comes as the cryptocurrency market experiences an enormous increase in value in 2020. Led by Bitcoin (BTC), the market’s total value is now worth over $1 trillion.

A Crypto-Payments Revolution

Visa’s new approach to cryptocurrency is a massive endorsement for the market. The company supports over 160 currencies in almost every country in the world.

In 2019, its network facilitated over 185.5 billion transactions for 1.14 billion people and over 46 million merchants worldwide.

The company already showed support for the space after allowing several cryptocurrency businesses to issue branded Visa cards. The value of these transactions totaled over $11 trillion.

If even a fraction of those figures involved cryptocurrencies, the market would undoubtedly see growth it has never seen before.

In addition to capacity, Visa has already supported several cryptocurrency business.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, launched Binance Card last year, supported by Visa. Its aims to facilitate the use of cryptocurrencies in every day life.

Additionally crypto exchange/bank, issues a similar Visa card that also allows staking for rewards such as Prime and Netflix membership.

The Fundamentals are Strong

These developments suggest robust fundamentals for the cryptocurrency market. By integrating with the world’s number one payment processor, adoption would thus be simplified drastically.

Every single Visa card holder will have access to cryptocurrency payments. Moreover, the company’s main competitor, Mastercard, made a similar move in 2020.

The power of the two combined could send the cryptocurrency market to new highs, both in terms of use and value.

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Emmanuel Young
Emmanuel entered the cryptocurrency space in 2013 as a cryptocurrency broker. He is a crypto-enthusiast, entrepreneur, and investor, who has built and led several projects and communities in the space. He is CEO and co-founder of Provence Intelligence, a boutique crypto-consultancy firm that aims to bridge the gap between the cryptocurrency and DLT space and the traditional world. Interests include DeFi, non-blockchain DLTs, and the synthetic derivatives space.