Crypto enthusiasts spent more than $1 billion (£0.72 billion) through their Visa crypto-linked cards in the first half of this year. A report unveiled this news earlier today, saying the card’s usage had increased substantially. While Visa did not disclose exact figures for 2020 and 2019, it noted that the total amount spent through the card in the two years is a fraction of what the card handled in the first six months of this year.
In the report, Visa’s CFO, Vasant Prabhu, said the firm is actively working on an ecosystem that makes cryptocurrencies more usable. He added that people are increasingly exploring ways in which they can use cryptocurrencies in their daily lives. While he pointed out that volatility is a big issue, Prabhu said Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) gives crypto holders the freedom to manage and track the fluctuation of crypto prices.
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Prabhu went on to note that Visa has witnessed a large number of people on its network purchasing cryptos from various exchanges. The company believes that this trend will continue, pushing crypto-linked cards and other emerging payment methods, such as biometrics and QR Codes, to take over the $18 trillion (£13.06 trillion) spent through cheques and cash annually.
Visa does not intend to add crypto to its balance sheet
In the publication, Visa also announced that it had added Sam Bankman-Fried-founded FTX exchange to its FinTech Fast Track Program. In so doing, the payments giant seeks to make crypto use more practical for both individuals and corporate clients. Apart from FTX, Visa also partnered with Coinbase, Circle, and BlockFi to let cardholders spend crypto from their wallets at over 70 million merchants across the globe.
While the firm is working on improving the user experience of its crypto-linked cards, it does not share in the ambitions of companies such as Tesla and MicroStrategy, which have added crypto to their balance sheets. According to Prabhu, Visa does not intend to hold cryptocurrencies on its balance sheet because it only needs to hold currencies that help it run its business. Seeing, as the company does not get paid or make payments in crypto, it does not see the need of adding digital currencies to its balance sheet.
Meanwhile, Visa’s rival, Mastercard, is planning to launch a crypto card this summer through a partnership with Gemini Exchange and WebBank. Through this card, the companies seek to offer users an easy entry point into the crypto market.
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