Visa Plans To Bring Crypto To Network Of 70 Million Merchants
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Visa is now well and truly part of the Cryptocurrency future, as it reveals that it will roll out its ‘crypto software program’ later this year, in order to help banks offer buying and trading services to their customers.
As reported in Forbes, in order to reach their goal, Visa has instigated a pilot program with the digital Kansas-based bank, First Boulevard. APIs will be used to help clients integrate Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies.
Anchorage, the Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency banking custodian, will hold the Crypto assets on behalf of Visa clients. However, banks will allow users to withdraw and self-custody their assets if they wish.
This could be seen as a move by Visa to upstage PayPal when the payments platform allowed its 346 million users to buy and spend Bitcoin from October of last year. However, PayPal does not allow its users to withdraw their Cryptocurrencies from the platform.
Given the sharp rise in Bitcoin interest and buying since PayPal made the Cryptocurrency available, the Visa announcement could certainly add fuel to Bitcoin’s recent resurgence.
Cuy Sheffield, the Head of Visa’s Crypto arm, does say that he doesn’t see Bitcoin as a payments option, but rather as a store of value like gold:
"We see crypto assets as more like digital gold," and "There's less demand to spend bitcoin."
Al Kelly, the CEO of Visa, was generally in line with Sheffield’s statement when he said:
"Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally,"
First PayPal and now Visa. The largest institutions are now starting to become fully invested with Bitcoin’s future success. Also, with hundreds of CEOs from many of the world’s leading institutions currently attending the Michael Saylor conference to press the case for Bitcoin, an institutionally led future for Bitcoin is looking likely.