Visa Anticipates Cryptocurrency Becoming ‘Extremely Mainstream’ — Working to Allow Bitcoin Use at 70 Million Stores

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by Kevin Helms, Bitcoin:

Visa CEO Al Kelly anticipates that cryptocurrency could become “extremely mainstream” within five years. He is working to position Visa in the middle of it should cryptocurrency take off. He further confirmed that Visa is working to allow bitcoin purchases, in addition to enabling the cryptocurrency to be used at 70 million stores where Visa is accepted.

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Visa Anticipates Crypto Going ‘Extremely Mainstream’

In the Leadership Next podcast with Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt published Tuesday, Visa CEO Al Kelly talked about bitcoin and his company’s cryptocurrency strategy. Given the recent rise in the price of bitcoin, he was asked what it means for his credit card business.

“I would like to divide crypto into two buckets,” Kelly began. “One is the more speculative asset” or “digital gold,” he explained, adding that he put bitcoin in this category. The CEO elaborated:

In that category, we are trying to do two things. One is enable the purchase of bitcoin on Visa credentials.

Secondly, Visa is “working with some bitcoin wallets to allow bitcoin to be translated into a fiat currency and therefore immediately be able to be used at any of the 70 million places around the world where Visa is accepted,” Kelly added.

“The other category of crypto is digital currencies,” he continued, adding:

There, we see a strong potential for those to become a new payment vehicle. In fact, it could be an accelerant in some of the emerging markets as we look around the world.

He proceeded to reveal that Visa is “working with lots of players” in this category. “There are about 35 different players we are working with,” he specified, clarifying that “These are currencies that are fiat-backed [stablecoins].”

His statement echoes what Visa explained in its Q1 2021 earnings call. “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 credentials to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally,” the company informed its shareholders.

During Tuesday’s podcast, Kelly was also asked where Visa stands given that cryptocurrency is used to lower the cost of transactions, so users do not have to pay as much to Visa and Mastercard as they do today.

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