VISA loves cryptocurrencies

10.12.2020 |

Visa and cryptocurrencies

We have two stories from VISA, whose cards are used by half the world (for the rest there is Mastercard). Both show how far cryptocurrencies have moved into the mainstream.

The first news — Visa’s partnership with Circle

VISA has partnered with Circle, the financial institution behind the ERC-20 stablecoin USDC. This partnership will enable all businesses connected to Visa to use USDC. Stablecoins can be sent and received instantly worldwide, with lower fees than a typical international transfer. The USDC you receive can be immediately converted into your local currency and spent wherever Visa accepts it. Given that Visa serves 60 million businesses, this service could be more than in demand. Stablecoin USDC is also gaining momentum and is already one of the top 15 cryptos in terms of capitalization — so their cooperation is mutually beneficial. Visa is not going to hold USDC tokens for payments, it will only connect issuers to Circle software.

Later in the partnership, a special credit card will be issued for USDC payments. This is not the first card in Visa’s line of crypto products. Prior to that, a card for Coinbase users has already been issued. In addition, the card, also available in many countries, is powered by Visa as well.

The second news — Visa’s partnership with BlockFi

Visa is partnering with startup BlockFi and is also issuing a credit card for it in early 2021. This card will allow for cash-back in Bitcoins, 1.5% in BTC equivalent for each purchase, and $250 in BTC for $3 000 worth of purchases in the first three months. The card will be issued by Evolve Bank & Trust and will have an annual fee of $200.

Visa has come a long way towards the crypto industry — we can remember that just two years ago it had a showdown with Coinbase over its refusal to send funds from its cards to the platform. Now it’s partnering with every known cryptostartup, aiming to maintain its leadership in payments in the future. Great decision, Visa.