Despite recent price drops, VISA seems to think cryptocurrency investors will continue using their holdings for everyday purchases.
CNBC reported that the world’s largest payment network is teaming up with global crypto exchange FTX to introduce debit card services in forty countries, focusing on Latin America, Asia, and Europe.
The cards, already available in the US, will offer instant access to the user’s account for investing in FTX. According to Visa’s CFO, the move enables customers to spend digital currencies without transferring them from an exchange “like you would with any bank account.”
Visa’s latest step into the sector brings the company’s total number of crypto partnerships to over 70. The San Francisco-based business has partnered with FTX rivals Coinbase and Binance.
Rival Mastercard is in a similar collaboration, partnering with Coinbase for NFTs and Bakkt to enable financial institutions and retailers on its network to provide cryptocurrency-related services.
FTX’s CEO recognized an element of irony in these partnerships. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were developed to bypass traditional financial institutions and intermediaries. But banks and payment firms have suddenly started to embrace the technology as cryptocurrencies become more prominent and contribute to increasing payment volumes.
According to Bankman-Fried, accepting card payments is essential to expand the market beyond its current role as a speculative asset or, for some, a store of wealth. The collaboration makes it easy for businesses to accept cryptocurrency without committing resources.
Both executives see the most significant potential in emerging markets, which, due to factors such as currency volatility and inflation, make access to digital assets more in demand than it is in the US.