Visa, the worldwide digital payments service provider, has partnered with as many as 60 major crypto platforms to launch card programs that make it easy for consumers to convert and spend digital currency at 80 million merchant locations worldwide. In an interview, Cuy Sheffield, the head of crypto at Visa emphasised that Visa has accumulated a fair bit of momentum in the crypto space and will continue to support the crypto ecosystem in more ways than offering card-based services.
According to Sheffield, the scale and scope of Visa’s crypto activity have grown substantially. Visa currently has hundreds of individuals working on crypto in some form across many departments, up from a handful just a few years ago. In the previous 18 months, he says Visa has quadrupled the number of contracts with crypto platforms, bringing the total to 60. So far, notable names among these crypto companies include the likes of FTX, Blockfi, Crypto.com, Coinbase, and Binance.
The global payments providers have also watched clients’ attitudes on cryptocurrency change over the previous few years, from scepticism to awareness, to the realisation that crypto will very certainly influence their present business.
Visa wanted to understand better how people believe and feel about cryptocurrency, so they conducted a global survey on consumer views. The data revealed that crypto is almost universally known. A sizable proportion of respondents (almost one-third) had utilised it, either as a financial instrument or a medium of exchange.
As per Sheffield, Visa also expects that non-fungible tokens or NFTs will play a key role in retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce in the future. Merchants, brands, and content platforms interested in participating in the NFT-commerce ecosystem have shown a lot of interest.
The purchase of a CryptoPunk for $165,000 (roughly Rs. 1.22 crores) in August 2021 aided the organisation in developing that fundamental knowledge. It is because they have had intimate contact with the NFT environment. As a result, they are better equipped to assist their partners in understanding the NFT ecosystem to begin considering methods to participate in the expanding crypto economy.
Sheffield goes on to claim that Visa’s eventual goal is to bridge the crypto ecosystem and the worldwide network of 80 million merchant locations and over 15,000 financial institutions.