Payment giant Visa plans to enable its users to purchase cryptocurrencies, cash out and make fiat purchases with their crypto assets, according to Visa CEO Alfred Kelly.
Visa users could eventually use digital currencies over blockchain in the same way it processes traditional money, said Kelly.
Speaking on the company’s fiscal first-quarter 2021 earnings call, Kelly described cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as “digital gold” which are “not used as a form of payment in a significant way at this point.”
“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,” Kelly said.
For now, 35 of the leading digital currency platforms and wallets have already chosen to issue Visa, including Crypto.com, BlockFi, Fold, and BitPanda. “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,” said Kelly.
Tech Entrepreneurs Endorses Bitcoin
The payment giant reaffirms its commitment to crypto payments, amid an increasing trend of Bitcoin endorsements from tech entrepreneurs. After Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk changed his Twitter bio to mention only Bitcoin last Friday, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, among others, have joined in updating their Twitter bios to “#Bitcoin”.
Bitcoin’s prices surged by about 20% on Friday, reaching a recent high of $38,429. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading at $33,492.93, down 0.6% over the last 24 hours.
On another note, crypto lending firm BlockFi has submitted its registration form for a Bitcoin Trust with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as the latest firm to go up against Grayscale’s behemoth Bitcoin trust.
In December 2020, BlockFi announced a partnership with Visa to offer a credit card that lets users earn Bitcoin on purchases. The service will initially be offered only in the United States and the shipping of cards will start in spring 2021.