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Global Payments Giant Visa Experiments with Ethereum’s Goerli Testnet – Here’s the Latest

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: iStock/onebluelight

Global payments giant Visa has used Ethereum’s Goerli testnet to try out transaction-free payments with the help of account abstraction. 

On-chain data shows that Visa used a smart contract called Paymaster, allowing the company to take advantage of account abstraction to perform complex tasks on behalf of accounts and manage transaction costs.

The main purpose of the Paymaster contract is to allow users to pay gas fees with any token, eliminating the need for users to hold Ether in their wallets.

In a recent tweet, Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa, confirmed that the company has deployed its first paymaster smart contract on the Goerli testnet.

“Excited to see Visa deploy our first paymaster smart contract on testnet as we continue to research and experiment with account abstraction and ERC-4337,” he said.

ERC-4337 is an Ethereum standard that achieves account abstraction on the protocol without any consensus-layer changes, allowing users to bundle and automate transactions on the network.

Visa also acknowledged that the method offers some level of flexibility and can enhance the payment experience when transacting in digital currencies.

“ERC-4337 lays down interesting future possibilities for improving on-chain user payments experience through a self-custodial smart contract wallet, which can in turn transform the way users engage with digital currencies and digital assets. “

Visa first announced the account abstraction project on its blog in December 2022. At the time, account abstraction was not yet used on the Ethereum network.

Notably, Visa’s relationship with Ethereum dates back to at least 2021, when the company announced it was settling payments in the USDC stablecoin on the blockchain.

Visa Maintains Commitment to Crypto Despite Recent Meltdown

Visa has remained committed to crypto despite the recent crypto meltdown that saw some high-profile digital asset companies collapse. 

Back in March, Sheffield said that the company plans to continue working on its crypto strategy and ink new partnerships with companies working in the digital asset space.

Sheffield added that the recent crypto meltdown has not changed their view of digital assets. 

He said they continue to believe that “fiat backed digital currencies running on public blockchains,” which is a reference to stablecoins, have the potential to play an important role in the payments ecosystem. 

The statements came shortly after a report by Reuters claimed both Visa and Mastercard have decided to push back the launch of their crypto-related products and services due to uncertain market conditions. 

More recently, Sheffield announced a new cryptocurrency-related project designed to drive mainstream adoption of public blockchain networks and stablecoin payments.

He also reposted a Visa job posting published on April 20, which said the company’s crypto division is building the “next generation of products” to facilitate the digital commerce of everyday life.

Both Visa and Mastercard have been aggressively pursuing opportunities in the crypto space over the past years, touting it as the next big thing in finance and payments.