Visa has processed a USDC payment on Ethereum for a new service that the payment giant plans to introduce to its partners later this year.
The move, the latest sign of increased adoption of digital currencies by the old-guard financial industry, caused the price of bitcoin (BTC) to surge more than $1,500. In recent trading, BTC was at $58,018.80, up 3.14% in the last 24 hours.
Per a press release shared with CoinDesk, Crypto.com sent a USDC transaction to an account at Anchorage custody under Visa’s name. Crypto.com issues “crypto-backed” Visa cards which allow its users to spend the coins in their Crypto.com wallet.
Usually, the custodial service has to sell these coins to cover its obligations to Visa in cash, but this new program will allow Crypto.com to pay the card provider in USDC going forward.
“Crypto-native fintechs want partners who understand their business and the complexities of digital currency form factors,” Visa Chief Product Officer Jack Forestell said in the press release. “The announcement today marks a major milestone in our ability to address the needs of fintechs managing their business in a stablecoin or cryptocurrency, and it’s really an extension of what we do every day, securely facilitating payments in all different currencies all across the world.”
Visa goes in on bitcoin, crypto
Of the credit card giants, Visa has been pushing the most aggressively into crypto.
The payment network’s fast track program has furnished dozens of crypto companies with resources and Visa cards. In addition to Crypto.com, BlockFi, Fold, Bitpanda and others have Visa cards with bitcoin-back rewards, and one upstart called Moon allows its users to buy prepaid digital cards with Bitcoin’s Lightning network to use at any Visa-accepting online merchant.
Visa’s USDC settlement with Crypto.com comes almost two months after news surfaced that the payments company is building out APIs for banks and financial institutions to buy and sell cryptocurrencies for their clients using Visa’s network and Anchorage’s custodial services.
Going forward, Visa plans to flesh out its crypto-native services by “support[ing] reconciliation and currency conversion for stablecoins such as USDC” and creating “settlement reports” with blockchain wallet addresses to verify transactions.
Visa also said in the press release that Anchorage will be “Visa’s digital asset settlement agent” and that it will “integrate [its] treasury systems with Anchorage.”
“After further testing and additional conversations with clients, partners and members of the regulatory community, we hope to launch this capability for other partners in the year ahead,” Visa said in a blog post about the news.
UPDATED (March 29, 09:58 UTC): Updates with price of bitcoin moving on the news.