Digital Assets: Visa Signals Potential ‘Mainstream’ Adoption of Bitcoin

March 18, 2021 | Digital Assets, News
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Visa CEO Al Kelly discussed the card giant’s crypto strategy on a podcast published Tuesday.

In a hugely positive comment for the global adoption of bitcoin, Al Kelly, CEO, Visa (NYSE: V) said on a podcast earlier this week that the leading cryptocurrency could potentially become “extremely mainstream” within five years. (MoneyControl)

Speaking on Fortune’s Leadership Next podcast, Kelly said: “I don’t know to what degree cryptocurrencies are going to take off. Are we going to say in five years that it was a fad and it was not a big deal? Or is it going to be extremely mainstream? I’m not smart enough to know but what I am smart enough to do is make sure that our company is in the middle of it today so that if it takes off, we are in the middle of helping move that money.”

Visa’s strategy

Earlier, DailyAlts wrote about Visa’s pilot project with First Boulevard for the launch of its new suite of crypto APIs. The APIs would enable the bank’s customers to purchase, custody, and trade digital assets. The customers are predominantly from the Black community.

At the time, Jack Forestell, chief product officer, Visa, said: “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.”

On the podcast, Kelly clarified that narrative.

“We’re trying to do two things,” he said. “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.”

Emerging markets

From the inclusion of minority communities in the U.S., Visa is now setting its sights further across the globe and looking at the potential for emerging markets in crypto payments. Kelly stated that there’s a “strong potential” for cryptocurrencies to become new payment vehicles, particularly in emerging markets.

“These are fiat-backed currencies, but we’re allowing this translation, if you will, into a fiat currency and in a wallet where there’s a Visa card.”

“And again that Visa card can be used with the translated digital currency over to the fiat currency to purchase at any one of our 70 million locations,” he added.

Related Story:  Visa Launches Crypto Pilot Program With Black-Focused First Boulevard

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