Digital Assets: Visa Launches Crypto Pilot Program With Black-Focused First Boulevard

First Boulevard is a digitally native neobank that aims to help build generational wealth for the Black community.

Visa (NYSE: V) announced today the pilot launch of its new suite of crypto APIs in collaboration with digital neobank First Boulevard. The APIs will enable the bank’s customers to purchase, custody and trade digital assets. The customers are predominantly from the Black community. (BusinessWire)

Black America

“The First Boulevard mission is to help Black America build wealth,” said Donald Hawkins, president and CEO, First Boulevard.

“We are thrilled to partner with the leader in digital payments, Visa, and leverage their crypto APIs to provide another channel for the Black community to access crypto as a new asset class that can help build Black wealth.”

On its part, Visa emphasized its commitment to diversity and inclusion. It said it would offer new technologies on a level playing field.

Apart from the tie-up with First Boulevard, Visa also announced new partnerships with CapWay, OneUnited Bank, and Urban One to provide financial and business services that cater to the needs of the Black community.

Visa’s crypto plans

The new crypto APIs will allow financial institutions lacking their own digital currency infrastructure to harness Visa’s platform. They can, therefore, tap into the growing world of crypto assets and blockchain networks.

“We set out to make Visa the bridge between digital currencies and our global network of 70 million merchants. Today we are the leading network for crypto wallets with 35 crypto platforms choosing to issue with Visa,” said Jack Forestell, chief product officer, Visa. “With this pilot program, we want to extend the value of Visa to our neobank and financial institution clients by providing an easy bridge to crypto assets and blockchain networks.”

In the pilot with First Boulevard, Visa will enable the bank’s customers to connect to the infrastructure provided by its partner, Anchorage.

Anchorage is a federally chartered digital asset bank to buy and sell bitcoin.

According to Diogo Monica, president and co-founder, Anchorage, Visa’s crypto APIs pilot program is a significant step forward for the proliferation of crypto as an asset class. It would also promote accessibility and inclusion in payments and financial services.

Related Story: MoneyGram Offers Money Transfers In Real-Time In Europe

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