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Visa Wants to Work with Exchanges, Wallets on ‘Digital Gold’ Bitcoin

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

The CEO of payments giant Visa has stated that the firm wants to “work with wallets and exchanges” on handling crypto, in order to make its own card solutions interoperable with digital tokens – and has called bitcoin (BTC) and other “cryptocurrencies” “digital gold.”

Alfred Kelly. Source: a video screenshot, Youtube, Business Live ME

The remarks were made by Visa supremo Alfred Kelly in a earnings call yesterday. During his talk, Kelly spent a significant amount of time discussing crypto. After differentiating a divide between “cryptocurrencies that represent new assets such as bitcoin” and “digital currencies and stablecoins” backed by fiat holdings, he stated,

“We see all [cryptocurrencies] as digital gold. They are predominantly held as assets that are not used as a form of payment in a significant way at this point. Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make fiat purchase[s].”

The Visa chief appeared to be keen to leave the door open for all crypto projects that show promise, pledging that should “a specific digital currency become a recognized means of exchange, there’s no reason why we cannot add it to our network, which already supports over 160 currencies.”

And Kelly appeared ready to court the custom of stablecoin issuers – as well as digital currency-issuing central banks. He said,

“For […] stablecoins and central bank digital currencies, these are an emerging payments innovation that could have the potential to be used for global commerce, much like any other fiat currency. We think of digital currencies running on public blockchains as additional networks […] we see them as part of our network of networks strategy. […] We are the clear leader in this space.”

Kelly was also keen to point out that it already has 35 partnership deals in place with what he termed “leading digital currency platforms and wallets,” with name-checks for, BlockFi, Fold and BitPanda, and was eager to add,

“The next leading network has a fraction of that.”

BTC trades at US 32,677 (08:46 UTC) and is up by 4.6% in a day and 5% in a week. It jumped by 19% in a month and 250% in a year.
Learn more:
Strike Visa Cards To Launch in US, EU, and UK Within First Half of 2021
Visa Develops Offline Payment System that Could Aid CBDC Rollouts
Visa Makes Stablecoin Push With Circle’s USDC
Visa Mulls Interoperation With Blockchain as It Evolves Into ‘Network of Networks’
Visa to Remain ‘Agnostic’ On Crypto, Will Support What Clients’ Demand