VISA Completes First Cryptocurrency Transaction on Ethereum

In brief

  • Visa has announced support for USD Coin to be used to settle transactions on its payments network.
  • The announcement is part of a wider pivot to the crypto industry for the payments giant.

Visa has announced today that it will allow the use of the USD Coin cryptocurrency to settle transactions on its payments network, per Reuters. In a trial conducted earlier this month, Crypto.com sent a USDC transaction to Visa’s Ethereum address at crypto custody service Anchorage.

Per today’s announcement, Visa’s use of the Ethereum blockchain removes the need to convert digital coins into traditional money before the transaction can take place—removing pre-existing complexities for businesses.

The USD Coin is a stablecoin—a crypto asset that is pegged to the US Dollar.

The move comes at a time when major institutions like BNY Mellon, MicroStrategy, and PayPal have all embraced the crypto industry. Earlier this month, Tesla invested a whopping $1.5 billion into Bitcoin, signalling just how appealing the crypto industry is proving to be to large investors.

“We see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold and use digital currencies and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers,” said Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa.

Part of that increasing demand is taking place in Latin America, where consumers want access to cryptocurrencies not just as a hedge against inflating national currencies, but as a means for spending. According to a Visa survey conducted last month, 25% of all credit card users in Latin America would like to experiment with cryptocurrencies if payment processors gave them that opportunity.

But Visa’s pivot into the crypto industry doesn’t stop there. According to CEO Al Kelly, Visa is also looking to “enable the purchase of Bitcoin on Visa credentials.”