During Visa’s Q2 2021 earnings call, the company showed interest in fully integrating a cryptocurrency payment system into its current infrastructure, with several interesting elements that would push the boundaries of the bridge between legacy finance and the crypto world as we know it. Most notably, Visa’s CEO Alfred Kelly stated that the company viewed Bitcoin and other crypto assets as ‘digital gold.’
Visa’s Growing Interest in the Cryptocurrency Space
This has been a long time coming, ever since Visa began experimenting with their first crypto API in February. The next month, Visa announced that they would be using USDC to settle transactions on Ethereum, which was a landmark move.
What may have potentially exacerbated Visa’s push to integrate cryptocurrencies is the recent explosive growth that the space has seen: earlier this month, Bitcoin’s market cap surpassed that of Visa and MasterCard combined for the very first time.
How Visa’s Plans Will Manifest
During the call, Kelly went into great detail regarding the types of initiatives Visa would look into in terms of integrating cryptocurrencies into their infrastructure.
Potential plans include enabling direct cryptocurrency purchases on all Visa cards worldwide, cryptocurrency conversion systems at Visa merchant checkpoints, and allowing financial institutions to settle cryptocurrency transactions with stablecoins like USDC.
It’s a massive leap forward in terms of both legitimizing Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency space, as well as integrating it in a meaningful way into systems that most consumers use every single day. If done right, it could enable cryptocurrency lovers to instantly transact using their holdings across millions of merchants.
More interestingly, opening the floodgates by enabling direct crypto purchases on all 2.5 billion Visa cards would be a game-changer since it would make purchasing Bitcoin and other crypto assets far easier than ever before. This will doubtless create a massive boost in demand for popular cryptocurrencies in the mid- to long-term.