Global payments giant Visa recently reported that more than $1 billion was spent by Visa users on products and services through cryptocurrency-linked cards globally in the first six months of the year 2021.
While disclosing over $1 billion in crypto spending in the first half of 2021, the company noted they will continue to support, develop, and adopt the cryptocurrency industry as a part of its business, according to media reports.
The global payments technology business also said it is joining forces with more than 50 cryptocurrency companies to let users frictionlessly convert and spend their digital currencies through its card programmes.
The company is currently partnered with Coinbase, Circle, and BlockFi that allows its cards to access crypto wallets on those platforms.
This agreement will give cryptocurrency holders with Visa cards the ability to spend at nearly 70 million merchants globally, even at those that do not accept digital currencies.
Head of innovation and design at Visa for CEMEA, Akshay Chopra said Visa’s strategy to support digital currencies is simply to serve as a bridge between the crypto ecosystem and our global network of 70 million merchants and 10,000 financial institutions.
“We just crossed the $1bn mark in spend on various crypto-linked programmes … of course, that is only a small fraction of the total Visa card spend … but considering these programmes didn’t exist in any significant way a year ago, it is an indication that they are slowly gaining traction.”
Visa is also partnering with 50 major companies in the crypto industry as well as a crypto card program that will enable its users to convert and spend digital currency at 70 million merchants worldwide.
Given the massive amounts of spending linked to Visa crypto cards, the company said that they are clear that the crypto community sees value in linking digital currencies to Visa’s global network.
Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu told the media, “We are doing a lot to create an ecosystem that makes cryptocurrency more usable and more like any other currency. People are exploring ways in which they can use cryptocurrencies for things they would use normal currencies for. There are lots of issues in terms of volatility, etc. But that’s up to the owners of cryptocurrencies to manage and track. We see a lot of volume on our [network] of people buying cryptocurrencies at these various regulated exchanges and as far as we can see that trend continue.”
The company also noted that its digital currency support does not require global merchants to accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) directly. Visa has already been working with major crypto players like cryptocurrency exchange platform Crypto.com so that they can enable a crypto settlement system for fiat transactions. They have also been working closely with other major crypto companies like FTX exchange, Coinbase, CoinZoom, and others.