Visa Is Working to Make Crypto the Future of Money
Over the years, the credit card firm has become one of bitcoin’s biggest supporters despite not thinking much of digital assets for a time. Since then, however, it has forged relationships with approximately 35 separate bitcoin and cryptocurrency-related firms and hopes to make it so that digital currency can take its rightful place at the head of the financial line in the future.
With its plans to allow customers to purchase digital assets, the company is likely to be a direct competitor to PayPal, which initially launched its crypto-buying program in October of last year. Already, the company has been making a real name for itself in the digital world and ultimately set bitcoin on a path of heavy price spikes that eventually saw it reaching the $40,000 mark about two months later.
The crypto-buying program will be headed not only by Visa but by First Boulevard, a digital bank stationed in Kansas. The firm will pilot the system and work to allow customers to integrate both bitcoin and competing altcoins. All these assets will be custodied by a company known as Anchorage, which last month became the first national “digital asset bank” after it received a charter from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
Visa chief executive Al Kelly explained in a recent interview:
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.
He claims that bitcoin is “digital gold,” and that while the asset and others like it may not be used as payment methods at this time, Visa is hoping to instill this change. Cuy Sheffield – Visa’s head of crypto – offered similar sentiment, claiming:
We see crypto assets as more like digital gold. There’s less demand to spend bitcoin.
Will Bitcoin Spike Further?
At the time of writing, one unit of bitcoin has shot past the $37,000 mark, thereby increasing its price by about $4,000 from a few days ago. Companies like JPMorgan have stated that it’s unlikely bitcoin will ever reach the $40,000 mark again, though should the asset continue its present path, perhaps JPMorgan will be proven wrong.
The surge comes following praise from the likes of Elon Musk, the South African entrepreneur behind both SpaceX and Tesla. In the past, Musk has been rather mixed when it comes to BTC, though in a recent interview, he eagerly described bitcoin as a “good thing” and said that it was on the verge of accomplishing widespread acceptance.