The CEO of Visa – Alfred Kelly – is weighing in on where he sees bitcoin going in the next few months.
Kelly: The Payment World Is About to Really Open Up
No doubt bitcoin has had a rather strong year (it’s probably been the only thing that’s remained strong throughout 2020). Things aren’t necessarily looking up for cash, checks and other traditional payment methods once the coronavirus is dead and gone. Kelly believes that the world is likely going to transition to digital payments in such a way that bitcoin and its altcoin cousins will have plenty of additional room for growth and adoption.
In a recent interview, he explained:
The battleground always is out in the local market, every day. We operate in 230 countries and territories and want to win as many transactions as we can… We’re a network and increasingly trying to become a network of networks.
He also points out that many new companies are popping up all over the place. These companies are designed to serve as middlemen of sorts between payment companies and customers and are built to ensure digital payments can occur on much easier level. One such firm is known as Plaid, which is currently utilized by roughly 11,000 financial enterprises and nearly 3,000 fintech developers.
The company strives to move data. It works in tandem with Visa, which specializes in moving money. Kelly commented:
Plaid is just at its most simple level another network that we believe fits into a desire to have multiple networks on which we move information and money around the world.
Plaid is not the only company designed to operate in such a way. Another one – Finicity – has caught the attention of Visa competitor Mastercard. Executives announced plans earlier in the year to purchase the firm for roughly $1 billion.
The Newest Store of Value?
Lex Sokolin – fintech expert and global fintech co-head at ConsenSys – explains:
As a payment rail, the company has to connect to every market and commerce venue available. As digital assets (in all their forms) are more seriously considered by governments to be legitimate and an actual economic instrument, it becomes more strategic for a card network to plug into it… A lot of the work in the space over the last two years is coming together to create a new story in the mainstream… Companies like PayPal are supporting bitcoin purchases, and Square is using [bitcoin] as a treasury asset. The OCC claims that American banks can custody crypto assets as well.
What’s interesting is that roughly two years ago, Kelly mentioned that the only way Visa would ever get involved in crypto is if it became a store of value. This has been the year where bitcoin has truly been established as so, which has ultimately allowed the currency to rise to such an unprecedented level despite the harsh economic conditions it’s been facing.