Crypto’s Are Becoming Mediums of Exchange as Visa CEO Plans to Add Them to the Network

Describing Bitcoin as “digital gold,” Alfred Kelly said they “predominantly held as assets” but sees stablecoins and CBDCs as “emerging payments innovation” that can be used for global commerce.


Payments giant Visa could be the latest one to add cryptocurrencies to its network after PayPal allowed its millions of users to buy and sell last year and soon to use cryptos in its merchant network in October.

Last week, Alfred Kelly, the chief executive officer at Visa, said the company might add cryptos to its payment network as he said they are in a position to make digital currencies more “safe, useful and applicable.” While speaking on the company’s fiscal first-quarter 2021 earnings call, Kelly said,

“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 they see the crypto market in two segments; the first one is new assets like Bitcoin, which he described as “digital gold.” He said,

“They are predominantly held as assets that are not used as a form of payment in a significant way at this point.”

The second segment is of stablecoins, which are directly backed by existing fiat currencies, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which he said, “are an emerging payments innovation that could have the potential to be used for global commerce, much like any other fiat currency,” and Visa sees them as part of their network of networks strategy. Kelly said,

“Across both of these segments, we are the clear leader in this space.”

The CEO further goes on to mention how already several, a total of 35, leading digital currency platforms and wallets such as Crypto.com, BlockFi, Fold, and BitPanda are working with Visa, which “represent the potential for more than 50 million Visa credentials.” Kelly said,

“It goes without saying, 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.”

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