Visa Settles Payments in USDC Stablecoin on Ethereum


Visa announces that it will accept the use of the stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) to settle transactions on its payment network.  

The USD Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin cryptocurrency pegged to the U.S. dollar in a 1:1 ratio. 

Previously, if a customer uses a crypto debit card to pay for a coffee, the system would then convert the crypto into traditional money, before the transaction takes place on Visa’s payment network. After conversion, the traditional money will be deposited in a bank account, to be wired to Visa at the end of the day to settle any transactions. 

Now, using the Ethereum blockchain and the USD Coin, Visa removes the need to convert crypto to traditional money. This solves pre-existing complexities for businesses. 

Visa told Reuters that in a pilot program, sent a USDC transaction to Visa’s Ethereum address at crypto custody service Anchorage. Visa plans to offer the option to more partners later this year.


More Big Tech Buy Up Crypto Startups

The move is part of a wider pivot to the crypto industry for the payment giant. Visa’s CEO Al Kelly said the firm plans to enable users to purchase Bitcoin directly via the payment network. It is also eyeing the opportunity to tap into Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), as they become available. 

A growing number of firms is getting involved in Bitcoin, and their influence will only increase, according to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The Big Four firm also expects more tech giants, such as PayPal, will aggressively acquire crypto firms that provide ancillary services. 

The total value of mergers and acquisitions in crypto more than doubled last year to $1.1 billion from 2019. And average deal size rose to $52.7 million from $19.2 million, according to PwC. 

Last year was a record for M&A and crypto fundraising but 2021 “is already on track to significantly surpass it from every single metric,” said Henri Arslanian, PwC global crypto leader.