Here is Visa’s Bitcoin and Crypto Banking Roadmap
Originally, Visa stood as bitcoin and cryptocurrency’s main enemy, but has surprisingly grown into a big fan, instead. Within the last few years, this credit card giant worked to partner with 35 bitcoin and crypto platforms, and plans to develop a Visa crypto software program. With an official launch set later in 2021, Visa’s program will incorporate buying and trading services set forth by bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
With First Boulevard at the helm, Visa is posed to compete with rivals such as PayPal, who announced their own plans to allow their users to utilize bitcoin and various cryptocurrencies within their own platform – something that has drawn a lot of criticism. First Boulevard is a Kansas-based digital bank, who has designed the APIs to assist Visa’s clients with the overall integration. The idea is to enable users to withdraw and manage cryptocurrencies and bitcoin as they see fit.
In fall of 2020 the price of bitcoin soaring up to 200%, with an all time high of $40,000/bitcoin. For institutional investors warming to bitcoin, and the support of PayPal, the bitcoin rally has been largely put down. And, while their popularity continues to grow among investors, this seemingly speculative asset and hedge against inflation, it’s perceived utility as an alternative payment method has reduced overall.
Cuy Sheffield, the head of Visa’s crypto, said, “We see crypto assets as more like digital gold,” over the phone, before Visa’s announcement, “There’s less demand to spend bitcoin.”
Al Kelly’s, Visa’s chief executive, rang true to Sheffield’s comments, speaking on the first quarter 2021 earnings call for the company. He said cryptocurrencies are “not used as a form of payment in a significant way at this point,” describing bitcoin as “digital gold”. “Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase their currencies using their Visa credentials, or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a flat purchase at any of 70 million merchants.”
According to phone call transcripts, Kelly’s statements pointed to digital currency platforms and wallets who already issued Visa cards, such as BlockFI, BitPanda, Crypto.com, and Fold. With a recent price boom, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies alike have been catapulted back to the front lines of global consciousness. Paid-for celebrity endorsements of crypto have assisted with overall growth, with actresses such as Lindsay Lohan taking on roles. Elon Musk, self-made billionaire, and chief executive of Tesla, also made headlines after stating his thoughts on bitcoin being on the verge of becoming the norm in traditional finance.