Visa CEO says CBDCs and stablecoins can have a “meaningful role” in the payments space.
World’s largest credit card company has several crypto initiatives, from the Universal Payment Channel (UPC) initiative to programable payments for stablecoins. 
Visa seeks to maintain its grip on the payments industry by staying ahead of the curve on blockchain. 

Visa, the world’s largest credit card company, believes that crypto assets will have a future in the payment space. 

Speaking at the company’s annual call with shareholders, outgoing CEO Alfred Kelly said that stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) would have a “meaningful role” in the payments space. 

Kelly, set to leave Visa on Feb. 1, said that the company has a “number of initiatives underway” in the blockchain space.

“It’s very early days, but we continue to believe that stablecoins and central bank digital currencies have the potential to play a meaningful role in the payments space,” explained Kelly.

Visa has actively explored the potential of blockchain technology and crypto in the payments space. The company invested in several crypto funds and companies. 

“We’ve had an immaterial amount of investments in crypto funds and companies as we seek to invest in the payments ecosystem,” Kelly said.

Despite the 2022 bear market, Kelly claimed that Visa’s balance sheet did not suffer due to its crypto investments.

“We’ve had no credit losses related to these failures […] In everything we do, please know that we’re extremely focused on maintaining the integrity of Visa’s payment system and the payment system in totality and, of course, the reputation of our brand standing for trust.”

Visa Explores Blockchain to Maintain Grip On Payments

To maintain its dominance in the payments industry in the future, Visa is looking into blockchain. 

In September 2021, Visa started working on a blockchain interoperability project called the Universal Payment Channel (UPC) initiative. UPC aims to establish a “network of networks” for private stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to flow through various payment channels. 

Moreover, Visa has been working on making self-custody better. In December, the company released a technical paper on programable payments for self-custodial wallets. 

Visa is the largest credit card company in the world, with over three billion Visa-branded cards in circulation. Its card is the most widely accepted credit card brand globally.

On the Flipside

Visa’s forays into blockchain tech are still in their early stages. It is unclear how they will impact the company or the technology.

Why You Should Care

As the largest player in the credit card industry, Visa’s interest in blockchain technology and crypto is bullish for crypto. It is also a sign that institutions believe in the underlying technology. 

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