Visa has revealed that it is working to enable Bitcoin purchases.
The payment giant’s CEO, Al Kelly, told Fortune’s Leadership Next podcast:
“We’re trying to do two things. One is to enable the purchase of Bitcoin on Visa credentials. And secondly, working with bitcoin wallets to allow the Bitcoin to be translated into a fiat currency and therefore immediately be able to be used at any of the 70 million places around the world where Visa is accepted.”
Such a move would be a substantial milestone for adoption. Visa is the biggest card issuer in the U.K. and Ireland, with a market share of more than 80%.
Kelly also claimed that there is “strong potential” for fiat-backed digital currencies to become a new method for making payments — and the company is currently collaborating with 35 firms in the crypto and blockchain space.
It’s highly likely that Visa is making a concerted push to ensure that it remains relevant as digital currencies continue to gain popularity.
Jumping on the Bandwagon
Visa’s vision comes after a month after Mastercard announced that it intends to support digital assets on its network.
The credit card giant stopped short of announcing which cryptocurrencies it would enable customers and merchants to use.
At the time, Mastercard executive Raj Dhamodharan said:
“Whatever your opinions on cryptocurrencies — from a dyed-in-wool fanatic to utter skeptic — the fact remains that these digital assets are becoming a more important part of the payments world.”
Dhamodharan stressed that the move shouldn’t be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrencies, either. Instead, it was about offering choice to consumers.
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