During the Q2 2021 Visa Inc. Earnings Conference Call, which took place on the 27th of April, CEO Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. outlined the five opportunities the company will pursue in the crypto space. Let’s have a look at each of them.
Buying and Selling Crypto
First and second, Visa Inc. plans to simplify buying cryptocurrencies with Visa cards and converting them into fiat – by developing partnerships with crypto wallets and exchanges. For the moment, the company is working with a few of those, including Coinbase, Crypto.com, BlockFi, and Fold. Crypto.com alone launched Visa cards across their 10 million user base in 39 markers. Visa, of course, is reaping the fruits of these deals: in particular, its transaction volume grew 44% since 2019 – driven, in part, by crypto purchases.
The third opportunity is helping companies from fintech and traditional finance expand their offer to include crypto products. With the API created by Visa, and Anchorage – the first federally chartered digital asset bank in the US – providing custody, the banks will enable buying custody or trading digital currencies for their clients.
Fourth, Visa is adding more stablecoins besides USDC as an additional settlement currency. According to Kelly, the company sees Bitcoin as digital gold: more of an asset than a currency. With stablecoins, though, it’s different: they are “definitely emerging as a payment option”, and Visa is going to explore this course further.
The same goes for CBDCs: and not only do they promise to be in high demand as a payment method in the future, but they also offer room for developing financial infrastructure in underbanked countries. Quoting Kelly again, central bank digital currencies might become “valuable in countries where the infrastructure to distribute cash is either unavailable or limited” – which makes them the fifth opportunity for Visa to pursue.
Do you agree with Kelly’s view on Bitcoin? Can it be a mainstream payment method?