Visa Inc. announced that it will allow the cryptocurrency USD Coin to be used to settle transactions on its payment network, the latest sign of the mainstream financial industry’s growing acceptance of digital currencies.
Visa has announced the launch of a pilot program with payment and cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com, with plans to expand the program to more partners later this year.
The USD Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin cryptocurrency whose value is directly linked to the US dollar.
Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto, said, “We’re seeing the demand from customers around the world to be able to access, keep, and use digital currencies, and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to create products that provide that access for consumers.”
If a customer wishes to pay for a coffee with a Crypto.com Visa card, the digital currency stored in a cryptocurrency wallet must first be converted into conventional money.
Traditional fiat currency will be deposited in a bank account and wired to Visa at the end of the day to settle any transactions, increasing the expense and uncertainty for companies.
Visa’s new step, which will make use of the Ethereum blockchain, eliminates the need to convert digital currency into fiat currency in order to complete a transaction.
Visa announced a collaboration with digital asset bank Anchorage, and the first transaction was completed this month, with Crypto.com sending USDC to Visa’s Ethereum address in Anchorage.
Visa’s move comes as financial institutions such as BNY Mellon, BlackRock Inc, and Mastercard take steps to increase their use of cryptocurrencies payment.