Visa will enable the use of cryptocurrency USD Coin to settle up transactions in its payment network, the latest indication of the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies by the leading financial industry.
Visa started the pilot program with payment and crypto platform Crypto.com, and the company said it aims to provide the option to more partners later this year.
“We’ve seen record-breaking growth in our business and the broader crypto ecosystem over the last year,” said Kris Marszalek, co-founder and chief executive officer of Crypto.com. “To continue accelerating the world’s transition to cryptocurrency, we need partners who understand the opportunity and the tools that will help us get to market faster and more efficiently.
“Having been a Visa partner for several years, we’re excited to deepen that relationship through our global agreement and to pioneer an exciting world-first in stablecoin payments.”
According to the company, if a customer chooses to use a Crypto.com Visa card to buy goods, the digital currency held in a cryptoc wallet needs to be converted into traditional money.
The company explained how transactions work, saying that the crypto wallet will deposit traditional currency in a bank account, which will be wired to Visa at the end of the day to settle any transactions, adding cost and complexity for businesses.
Visa’s latest step, which will use the ETH blockchain — technology that enables anyone to send cryptocurrency for a small fee — and negates the need to convert digital coin into traditional money in order for the transaction to be settled, the company said.
The company added that it has partnered with digital asset bank Anchorage and completed the first transaction this month with Crypto.com sending USDC to Visa’s Ethereum address at Anchorage.
Visa’s move comes as some other top financial firms, like Mastercard, BlackRock and BNY Mellon, have also accepted digital coins, which has caused some to predict that cryptocurrencies will become a regular part of investment portfolios.
Last week, Tesla boss Elon Musk said its users can buy his company’s electric cars with Bitcoin, marking a notable step forward for cryptocurrency’s use in mainstream commerce.