CEO Reveals Visa’s Crypto Strategy to Enable Bitcoin Purchases & Crypto-to-Fiat Conversion

Visa is planning to allow its users to purchase Bitcoin through VISA credentials and even allow some wallets to convert the crypto asset into fiat currency.

“We’re trying to do two things. One is to enable the purchase of bitcoin on Visa credentials. And secondly, working with bitcoin wallets to allow the bitcoin to be translated into a fiat currency and therefore immediately be able to be used at any of the 70 million places around the world where Visa is accepted,” said Alfred Kelly, the CEO of Visa in a podcast with Fortune's Leadership Next.

Back in 2018, Kelly had described Bitcoin as a speculative commodity that he didn’t view as a “payment system player.” At the time he said Visa “won’t process” crypto-based transactions.

But now as Bitcoin’s market cap grows to be bigger than the combined value of Visa and Mastercard and cryptocurrency goes mainstream, everyone wants to integrate them into their business.

Payments giant PayPal already did in October and has been seeing immense traction. Mastercard also announced last month that it is bringing selective cryptos to its network. Discover Card is also looking to put together a team for integrating crypto. So, it makes sense that Visa has its crypto strategy in line as well.

According to Kelly, there’s a “strong potential” for cryptos to become new payment vehicles, especially in emerging markets.

The financial service company is also planning to allow the translation of digital assets into a fiat currency in a wallet with a Visa card which then can be used to purchase at any one of its 70 million locations.

“We set out to make Visa the bridge between digital currencies and our global network of 70 million merchants and today we are the leading network for crypto wallets with 35 crypto platforms choosing to issue with Visa.”

Jack Forestell Visa CFO

First Boulevard, a digitally native neobank that partnered with Visa in early February will be the first to pilot this new suite of crypto APIs to enable customers to purchase, trade, and custody digital assets held by the federally chartered digital asset bank Anchorage.

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