Visa Inc. announced on Wednesday that transactions using crypto-linked Visa cards exceeded $1 billion in the first quarter. The company also said it is working with 50 major cryptocurrency platforms “to launch a card program that will facilitate the exchange and issuance of digital currency at 70 million merchants worldwide.”
Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu told CNBC: “We see a lot of volume on our network people buying cryptocurrencies at these various regulated exchanges and as far as we can see that trend continues.” He added:
“We are doing a lot to create an ecosystem that makes cryptocurrency more usable and more like any other currency. People are exploring ways in which they can use cryptocurrencies for things they would use normal currencies for.“
Among crypto platforms that Visa is working within its Fintech Fast Track Program are Coinbase, Blockfi, Circle, and FTX. The program is focused in part on making cryptocurrency more practical for consumer and business spending.
- An expanding and evolving ecosystem: VISA is growing its relationships with today’s leading digital currency platforms — FTX, Coinbase, Crypto.com, and CoinZoom, to name a few. The expertise and treasury infrastructure VISA built have helped establish Visa as the network of choice for crypto native companies. In fact, today one-quarter of the companies in Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program are working to issue Visa cards linked to a crypto platform.
- Rewards Reimagined: Consumers want choice in all things, and loyalty and rewards are no different. Programs like the BlockFi Rewards Visa Credit Card let users spend fiat and earn crypto rewards in a similar way other cards offer rewards programs for airline miles or hotel points.By combining engagement in the crypto economy with the utility of a standard Visa card, these programs have potential to win long-term customer loyalty among both crypto enthusiasts and new adopters.
- Stablecoins come to the fore: With more than $100 billion worth of stablecoins in circulation and hundreds of billions exchanged each month on public blockchains, stablecoins are starting to live up to the promise of “digital fiat”: the developer-friendly characteristics of cryptocurrency combined with the reliability of fiat-backed reserves.