Visa said Monday that it will allow the use of cryptocurrency USD Coin to settle up transactions in its payment network, the latest indication of the growing acceptance of digital currencies by the mainstream financial industry.
Visa has launched the pilot program with payment and crypto platform Crypto.com, and the company said it plans to offer the option to more partners later this year.
“We’ve seen record-breaking growth in our business and the broader crypto ecosystem over the last year,” said Kris Marszalek, co-founder and chief executive officer of Crypto.com. “To continue accelerating the world’s transition to cryptocurrency, we need partners who understand the opportunity and the tools that will help us get to market faster and more efficiently. Having been a Visa partner for several years, we’re excited to deepen that relationship through our global agreement and to pioneer an exciting world-first in stablecoin payments.”
According to Visa, if a customer chooses to use a Crypto.com Visa card to make a purchase, the digital currency held in a cryptocurrency wallet needs to be converted into traditional money.
The company explained how transactions work, noting that the cryptocurrency wallet will deposit traditional fiat currency in a bank account, which will be wired to Visa at the end of the day to settle any transactions, adding cost and complexity for businesses.
Visa’s latest step, which will use the ethereum blockchain, negates the need to convert digital coin into traditional money in order for the transaction to be settled, the firm said.
Visa said it has partnered with digital asset bank Anchorage and completed the first transaction this month with Crypto.com sending USDC to Visa’s Ethereum address at Anchorage.
Visa’s move comes as major financial firms, such as Mastercard, BlackRock and BNY Mellon, have also accepted digital coins, which has caused some to predict that cryptocurrencies will become a regular part of investment portfolios.
Last week, Tesla boss Elon Musk said customers can buy his company’s electric vehicles with bitcoin, marking a huge step forward for crytocurrency’s use in mainstream commerce.