Two of Visa’s largest executives in charge of crypto payments and blockchain technology gave a detailed interview on the overall crypto ecosystem. The interview of the pair, by Forbes, touched on how the company is structuring its business on the crypto and blockchain front to integrate innovative solutions to current payment problems.
The executives also highlighted the impact of the central bank’s digital currencies (CBDCs), stablecoins such as Libra, and the future of digital payments, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain in Visa’s strategy.
Visa Executives share firm’s visions in crypto and blockchain
As SVP global head of fintech at Visa, Terry Angelos handles a distributed network of groups building solutions on blockchain and deals with clients in the crypto space. Cuy Sheffield’s role as the senior director in charge of crypto at Visa speaks on the way Visa’s fintech clients in the crypto and blockchain space can leverage existing products.
Visa has been making partnerships across the globe – recently partnering with Coinbase exchange, which saw the crypto exchange become the first Visa cards issuer. The partnership has since made waves across the crypto universe. Other recent partnerships include;
- Bitcoin Lightning Payment Startup LastBit
- Crypto Lender Cred
- Non-Custodial Lightning Network Wallet Zap
Responding on the number of crypto and blockchain clients Visa has so far, Terry said,
“So far, we have onboarded about 25 companies from around the world that are at various stages of development. Given this diversity, our engagement with them can go down a few different paths. First, there are very large and established companies like Coinbase, which we simply treat as strategic fintech clients.”
Further clarifying the distinction between how they rank their clients, Terry explained crypto companies as those that work with “assets that are natively issued onto a blockchain.” On the other hand, digital currencies are defined as “tokenized versions of fiat, such as what Coinbase and Circle are doing with USDC.”
A clear look on CBDCs from Visa
On the subject of the development of central bank digital currencies, Sheffield said Visa is ‘closely working with some of them in the development of a CBDC”. He stated for CBDCs to gain global traction, the assets must-have utility and should be acceptable by merchants,
“We think there’s a big opportunity for Visa to leverage our existing network and assets and expertise to add value to both central banks as they think about CBDCs, as well as to other private sector entities that are exploring these privately issued stable coins.”
Visa also led the founding team of the Libra Association before quitting a year ago, claiming they are concentrating on their payment projects. Cuy further explained that Visa is currently not looking for a consortium (recently joined Chamber of Digital Commerce) after leaving the Libra Association. He added,
“I doubt that we would join any exclusively.”
On his closing remarks, Terry highlighted that Visa is focusing on launching offline digital currency payment solutions in the future. He remarked, “One area that we’ve spent time on as well is offline digital currency payments,” he remarked.
“When central banks think about CBDCs, one of the potential features that they are paying attention to is offline payments.”