Visa CEO Says It May Add Cryptocurrencies to Its Payments Network

Visa CEO Al Kelly, speaking on its fiscal first-quarter 2021 earnings call, described Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as digital gold, which are not currently used as a form of payment in a significant way. He said Visa could make cryptocurrencies more “safe, useful and applicable” and add them to its payments network.

He said:
“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 credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally.”

Kelly also said stablecoins could be used for “global commerce” and that “digital currencies running on public blockchains as additional networks just like RTP or ACH networks.”

“Today, 35 of the leading digital currency platforms and wallets have already chosen to issue Visa, including coin-based, BlockFi, Fold and BitPanda. These wallet relationships represent the potential for more than 50 million Visa credentials. The next leading network has a fraction of that. And it goes without saying, to the extent a specific digital currency becomes a recognized means of exchange, there’s no reason why we cannot add it to our network, which already supports over 160 currencies Today.”