The cryptocurrency world celebrated today as the Visa credit card network crashed across the United Kingdom and Europe, leaving millions unable to pay for various goods and services with debit or credit cards.
The news spread across the cryptocurrency world like wildfire, with many prominent members of the crypto community gleefully retweeting stories of the unprecedented crash in Visa’s payment system.
Visa’s credit card payment platform is famously stable. However, earlier today, it crashed in shops, gas stations, and railway stations across Britain and Europe, leaving millions unable to use their debit or credit cards. The collapse took place at around 2:30pm on Friday across Europe, according to The Guardian.
Visa responded to the incident saying they were experiencing “a service disruption” across the continent, although they did not identify the cause of the disruption.
“This incident is preventing some Visa transactions in Europe from being processed. We are investigating the cause and working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation,” explained Visa in a statement.
Across the United Kingdom and Europe, lines began to form at gas stations as frustrated drivers were unable to pay for their gas after filling up. Similar queues appeared at Sainsbury’s supermarkets and train stations.
Mastercard’s payment network, meanwhile, continued to work as usual. However, customers with debit cards or credit cards connected to the Visa network were left with no way to access their money.
All of this was exciting news for the cryptocurrency community, which eagerly celebrated the news across Reddit, Twitter, and similar outlets. The incident underscored the importance of having alternative payment systems – like cash or cryptocurrencies – and not wholly depending on Visa for all of your payment needs.
The Visa network was down for approximately 30 minutes before service was restored around 3pm on Friday. However, retailers reported that payments were restored sporadically, and that some payments continued to not go through.
Before the incident was over, the Spanish Guardia Civil had sent a tweet reassuring citizens after the failure in the Visa network. The tweet advised citizens to “stay calm” and that if they couldn’t pay, “it’s not because you’ve been robbed or hacked…Visa is suffering a service crash in Europe that’s stopping payments going through in its cards.”
Similar statements were issued by the Bank of England band Bank of Scotland.
Ultimately, this latest incident highlights the importance of having an alternative payment method with you at all times. Whether you choose to use cryptocurrencies, cash, or some mixture of both is up to you. However, keeping all of your funds locked behind debit cards and credit cards on the Visa network is introducing a single point of failure for your financial accounts – and that’s never a good idea.