Crypto and digital currencies are an evolution of money with new cryptographic assets, according to Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa.
Sheffield added, “Visa cares about how this money moves across the world, so we found it is important to develop our network, product, and solution, to ensure that these new forms of money can be used in a secure, convenient, and reliable manner.”
Cryptocurrency, which is independent of any government and central bank, is a digital currency that can be used to buy goods and services, and uses an online ledger with strong cryptography features to secure online transactions.
Sheffield said, “Now we are seeing a trend of more large banks and digital wallets adding cryptocurrency as just another type of account inside of their core financial products.”
Noting that this trend is likely to continue, he highlighted stablecoins, which are digital currencies backed by fiat currency held at commercial banks. He pointed out that stablecoins are a way to represent fiat currencies on top of new block chain infrastructure, that people can then transfer from one crypto wallet to another.
He affirmed that Visa “does not see stablecoins as a new currency, but instead as a new form factor for existing currency”.
“If stablecoins can help with this trend of exhilarating the business-to-business payments, Visa thinks it is a big opportunity and it would like to help to use it in a secure way,” Sheffield said.
While the stablecoins are issued by the private sector, the Central Bank Digital currency is issued by governments and backed by central banks.
The Visa approach for digital currency includes adding Visa credentials to digital currency wallets. The company has piloted a settlement of transactions in USDC with Crypto.com.
Visa also provides infrastructure for clients to exchange and transfer digital currency, alongside launching the Visa crypto API pilot programme with Anchorage, ensuring issuers can enable their consumers to buy and trade bitcoin.
About 8-13% of the population in Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) markets own crypto accounts, with five of the top 10 countries by crypto adoption in the region.