The value of crypto assets held in regulated digital wallets is in the hundreds of billions. For the tens of millions of people using those platforms, one of the simplest ways to spend crypto is through a Visa card.
Visa has announced that they partnering with 50 of the leading crypto platforms on card programmes that make it easy to convert and spend digital currency at 70 million merchants worldwide. With more than $1 billion spent on crypto-linked Visa cards in the first half of 2021, it’s clear that the crypto community sees value in linking digital currencies to Visa’s global network.
These programs don’t require coffee shops, dry cleaners, or grocery stores to directly accept cryptocurrencies at the checkout. It’s the magic of “tap and go” without the complexity of new acceptance points or cryptographic keys.
Visa have also shared some of the trends they are seeing in the space, as well as the progress made against their digital currency roadmap.
- An expanding and evolving ecosystem: Visa have been growing its relationships with today’s leading digital currency platforms — FTX, Coinbase, Crypto.com, and CoinZoom, to name a few. The expertise and treasury infrastructure they’ve built have helped establish Visa as the network of choice for crypto native companies. In fact, today one-quarter of the companies in Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program are working to issue Visa cards linked to a crypto platform.
- These platforms are diversifying to meet an array of consumer needs, with new tools and features spanning interest accounts, lending and direct deposits. In this context, it’s more important than ever for financial institutions of all stripes to establish a crypto strategy.
- Rewards Reimagined: Consumers want choice in all things, and loyalty and rewards are no different. Programs like the BlockFi Rewards Visa Credit Card let users spend fiat and earn crypto rewards in a similar way other cards offer rewards programs for airline miles or hotel points. By combining engagement in the crypto economy with the utility of a standard Visa card, these programs have the potential to win long-term customer loyalty among both crypto enthusiasts and new adopters.
- Stablecoins come to the fore: With more than $100 billion worth of stablecoins in circulation and hundreds of billions exchanged each month on public blockchains, stablecoins are starting to live up to the promise of “digital fiat”: the developer-friendly characteristics of cryptocurrency combined with the reliability of fiat-backed reserves.
Visa has seen digital wallets and crypto platforms build payment products entirely with digital currency. For example, the fast-growing FTX platform, a new Fintech Fast Track member they’ve announced is paying fifty per cent of their remote employees in USDC. They are making their network more accessible to this growing ecosystem with capabilities like USDC settlement and through a partnership with Circle. As we look to the future, stablecoins are on track to become an important part of the broader digital transformation of financial services.