Visa to allow payment settlements using cryptocurrency

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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The world’s leading digital payment provider Visa has revealed that it would embrace the cryptocurrency USD Coin (USDC) to settle transactions on its payment network, the latest sign of the mainstream financial industry’s increasing acceptance of digital currencies.

Visa has reportedly begun a pilot program with payment and crypto platform, with plans to extend the option to add more partners later this year. The USDC is a stable coin cryptocurrency that is directly related to the US dollar. Visa’s decision follows the adoption of several digital coins by major financial institutions such as BNY Mellon, BlackRock Inc, and Mastercard Inc, prompting expectations that cryptocurrencies will become a daily part of investment portfolios.

Mr. Elon Musk, the CEO of electric car maker Tesla, announced last week that bitcoin can be used to purchase the company’s electric vehicles, marking a major move forward for Bitcoin’s use in commerce.

Mr. Cuy Sheffield Head of Crypto at Visa remarked that “we see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold and use digital currencies and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers.”

If a customer wishes to pay for a coffee with a Visa card, the digital currency stored in a cryptocurrency wallet must first be converted into traditional money. Traditional fiat currency would be deposited in a bank account, and wired to Visa at the end of the day to settle any transactions, raising the expense and difficulty for companies. Visa’s new step, which will make use of the Ethereum blockchain, eliminates the need to convert digital currency into fiat currency to complete a transaction.

Visa said it has collaborated with digital asset bank Anchorage, and the first transaction was completed this month, with sending USDC to Visa’s Ethereum address in Anchorage.

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