It’s a new dawn. Credit card giant Visa is now in the cryptocurrency business. They won’t be buying and selling yet, though. Its new division will focus on advising everyone.
From retail customers to financial institutions, even central banks can get information from Visa’s crypto experts. A lot of people still value the input traditional institutions can give, even if they don’t have the track record. So this seems to be good news for the crypto industry as a whole.
“Visa’s services include educating institutions about cryptocurrencies, allowing clients to use the payment processor’s network for digital offerings, and helping manage backend operations.”
And Visa promises:
“Tap crypto’s potential with a pioneer in global payments. For crypto to realize its full potential, we are connecting crypto and blockchain networks to our trusted, global payment network. And we’re propelling innovation to deliver even more access and value to the crypto ecosystem.”
Visa’s CFO Still Doesn’t Understand Bitcoin
In a bizarre move, considering they’re offering expert advice in cryptocurrencies, Visa’s CFO said the darndest thing. Vasant Prabhu told Reuters:
“If the price is going to fluctuate from $60,000 to $50,000 in a few hours, it’s a very difficult thing for a merchant to accept (bitcoin) as a currency. I don’t know if cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will ever be a medium of exchange. Stablecoins will.”
Bitcoin is already a medium of exchange. It’s legal tender in an entire country. It’s a process, but merchants will quickly learn the benefits of holding a deflationary currency instead of an inflationary one. If Prabhu doesn’t understand this, how does he expect his clients to take his advice seriously?
What Did Visa’s Crypto Research Department Found Out?
As an introduction to the company’s crypto research department, the company says, “For financial institutions eager to attract or retain customers with a crypto offering, retailers looking to delve into NFTs, or central banks exploring digital currencies, understanding the crypto ecosystem is a vital first step.”
As the first show of power, they produced “The Crypto Phenomenon: Consumer Attitudes & Usage.” A report that, among other things, found out the following:
• “Almost universal awareness of cryptocurrency at 94% globally among adults with discretion over their household finances.”
• “Nearly one in three crypto-aware consumers already own or use cryptocurrency, with the majority saying that their use has increased in the past year (62% Owners), and two-thirds expecting that they will increase the share of their investable assets invested in crypto in the next 12 months (66% Owners).”
• “In Emerging Markets, ownership (37%) and curiosity about (27%) cryptocurrency is even more pronounced.”
• “The biggest drivers of owning and using cryptocurrency are to take part in the “financial way of the future” (42% Owners) and to build wealth (41% Owners)”
• “Most crypto owners would be interested in buying cryptocurrency from their bank (85% Owners)”
• “More than a third of current owners indicate that they plan to switch to a bank that offers crypto products within the next 12 months (39% Owners).”
• “The significant majority of consumers who use cryptocurrency express interest in crypto-linked cards (83% Active Owners) and rewards (86% Active Owners).”
Conclusions To Avoid Confusion
Even though Visa’s study seems to be skewed to what its clients need to hear to acquire their new service, the results are interesting. It’s useful to see what the research department of a company with that kind of resources can come up with. Let’s hope they keep it coming. And let’s also hope that Visa’s CTO reads “The Bitcoin Standard,” because that quote was embarrassing.