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August 9, 2022
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“Bitcoin Digital Currency Business Plan” revealed by VISA CEO

Credit card business and virtual currency

Alfred Kelly, CEO of payment giant Visa, talked about what crypto assets (cryptocurrencies) mean for the credit card business in an interview program “Leadeship Next” of major US business media Fortune. VISA is known for actively introducing cryptocurrencies into its own network, mainly through collaboration with numerous exchanges and cryptocurrency-related startups.

Kelly first categorizes cryptocurrencies into two categories: “more speculative assets” and “digital currencies.” He said that the former’s representative asset is Bitcoin (BTC), which he calls digital gold, and the latter means fiat-backed digital currency, or stable coins.

Kelly then explained what Visa is doing for each category.

Efforts to introduce virtual currency

The following two are mentioned as VISA’s efforts regarding Bitcoin.

  • Enables Bitcoin purchases with credit cards
  • By linking with Bitcoin wallet and exchanging Bitcoin for legal tender, it will be possible to use it at 70 million VISA affiliated stores around the world.

Kelly commented that the latter digital currency is likely to be a new payment method, especially in emerging markets. He added that he is currently partnering with about 35 companies on crypto-related projects. In that case, the VISA card will play a role in “converting” stable coins into fiat currency, making it available at 70 million locations around the world.

VISA Business Strategy

Originally, when asked if one of the roles of cryptocurrencies was to enable transactions between the parties, eliminating intermediaries like VISA and lowering fees, Kelly said today. Mentioned that the business content of the company is changing.

Visa’s business was previously centered on providing a means of selling and purchasing goods and services, but now it’s centered around “moving money globally,” Kelly said. Therefore, it is unknown whether cryptocurrencies will become the mainstream of payments in the future, but it is important for VISA to be at the center of all the flow of funds at this time, and it will be beneficial in the future by arranging in related fields. He said he would be more likely to receive it.

He added that Visa is well prepared for future possibilities and can be said to be a good start.

VISA movement

As Kelly said in an interview, VISA is already making various efforts to introduce cryptocurrencies.

For example, various virtual currency companies such as Coinbase of major US exchanges, Paxful of P2P exchanges, wallet provider ZenGo, etc. issue VISA cards, but BlockFi, which provides virtual currency lending service, is the card payment amount. We will issue a VISA card where 1.5% will be returned in Bitcoin.

Relation:Issued by BlockFi, a Visa card that returns Bitcoins

In addition, the issuance of a VISA card compatible with the dollar-denominated stable coin USDC issued by the US virtual currency company Circle has also been announced. It is said that it will establish a mechanism to use USDC for corporate transactions by more than 60 million companies.

Relation:Visa enables issuance of stable coin USDC compatible cards

VISA’s “Fast Track Program” supports access to the vast VISA network by issuing credit cards specialized for such cryptocurrency companies.

Most recently, the Bitcoin payment service provided by Lightning Network startup Moon, which specializes in quick Bitcoin payments, has become available on VISA-enabled e-commerce sites. By using Moon’s browser extension, you can purchase VISA prepaid cards with Bitcoin in your Lightning Wallet and pay for online shopping.

Regarding the Lightning Network, Zap’s payment app “Strike”, which supports multiple legal currencies such as the dollar and the euro, is also supported by the VISA Fast Track Program.

Visa’s cryptocurrency-related business is not limited to card issuance.

Earlier last month, Visa announced plans to implement a pilot program for an API that would allow banks to offer their customers Bitcoin-based services. The program is intended to make VISA a bridge between banking customers and cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

As the first step in this effort, VISA has partnered with Anchorage Bank, which provides digital asset storage services for institutional investors. The API developed by VISA will give access to Anchorage Bank’s digital asset platform, allowing financial institutions to buy, trade and store digital assets.

Relation:VISA, a major payment company, announces a new business that enables “bank bitcoin trading service provision”

Visa’s “strategy in the middle of the money flow,” as CEO Kelly showed, seems to be steadily progressing.

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Author: Naoko Kouda
reference:Fortune , Coindesk

Images used under Shutterstock license
“Cryptocurrency” means “cryptographic assets”

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