NEW DELHI: Financial services giant, Visa, seems to be cozying up to cryptocurrencies. In a blog post titled “Advancing our approach to digital currency,” the company spoke about its existing works in crypto and said it believes “digital currencies have the potential” to improve the value of digital payments and allow more accessibility.
“As such, we want to help shape and support the role they play in the future of money. We look forward to sharing more with you on this work in the months that follow,” the company wrote.
The company also noted that it already works with cryptocurrency firms like Coinbase and has an investment in Anchorage. Visa’s research team has apparently been “exploring the science of blockchain technology” for several years.
Visa isn’t the only company focusing on cryptocurrency though, Mastercard had also issued a statement supporting blockchain and cryptocurrency in financial services. Mastercard announced a programm this week to increase its base of crypto card partners.
Both companies have also registered patents in blockchain technology, with Mastercard leading with 80 patents against Visa’s 24. It’s unclear though whether the company’s plan to issue their own cryptocurrency. Experts say that it’s more likely that they will work with existing coins, especially stablecoins. Stablecoins are a class of cryptocurrency that are backed by reserve assets, which keeps them from being volatile, like Bitcoin.
It’s worth noting that both Visa and Mastercard were amongst the original partners for social media giant Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project. While both companies have pulled out from that project, it doesn’t seem like they’re ready to abandon cryptocurrencies just yet.
The covid-19 pandemic has also driven the use of cryptocurrencies worldwide, as part of a growth in digital payments in general. Coca Cola Amatil had earlier partnered with digital assets platform Centrapay to allow users to pay for coke using bitcoins via the Sylo Smart Wallet app. A survey by Indian agency Bit2Buzz last month had found that 75% of the country’s youth population holds and uses cryptocurrency on exchanges and neo banks. India’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, WazirX, had seen 400% and 270% month-on-month growth in trading volumes for March and April, respectively.