Despite previous hesitation, VISA has thrown itself into cryptocurrency adoption. VISA is presently partnering with over 50 crypto exchanges and platforms to offer its users seamless integration for daily purchases.
Due to the surge of cryptocurrency investments and wider use cases, VISA has taken a major step in utilising digital currencies on its system. In the first half of 2021, over $1 billion have already been spent via crypto-linked VISA cards. It then comes as no surprise that this industry is estimated to disrupt $18 trillion of annual consumer spending with cash and checks. VISA’s CFO, Vasant Prabhu, has taken the initiative to aid crypto in being used as a normal currency in day-to-day life. Prabhu acknowledged the volatile nature of crypto but believes that it will soon be possible to make ‘cryptocurrency more usable and more like any other currency’.
VISA has been researching cryptocurrency science for quite some time and now believes that there is room for scalability and security. However, VISA still treats crypto as a store of value rather than real currency. As such, when a transaction is confirmed through crypto, VISA’s merchants will accept the respective crypto and automatically convert it back to fiat currency. This seems to detract from the purpose of using crypto as a native currency and emphasises that these institutions are not yet set on the true value of digital money. This is also confirmed as Prabhu noted that VISA does not hold any cryptocurrency in its balance sheet nor plans to in the near future. Although, the rationale behind this, and what makes this approach so attractive, is that VISA’s merchants will not have to do or change anything to accept crypto payments.
In similar news, a combination of funding from the Australian Federal Government as well as industry financial leaders has led to a $181 million plan to explore and develop digital markets and cryptocurrencies. This project will be headed by the Digital Finance Corporate Research Centre and will benefit Australia’s contextualisation of future markets and economies.
Regardless of the recent price drops in the crypto market, financial institutions, governments, and relevant players are working harder than ever at getting a slice of what will inevitably become the next era of finance.