Today, the value of crypto assets held in digital wallets is estimated at hundreds of billions, and for tens of millions of people using those platforms, one of the easiest ways to spend cryptocurrency is through a Visa card.
The fact that 1 billion U.S. worth of cryptocurrency was spent by consumers globally on goods and services through crypto-linked Visa credit cards during the first six months of this year, is an indication that crypto-assets are entering a new era.
With the increase in consumer demand and in order to enable them to access, hold and use digital currencies, together with business needs to offer products with such a payment option, Visa is making life much way easier for crypto businesses.
To create an ecosystem that makes the crypto currency more usable and more like any other currency Visa is partnering with more than 50 of the leading crypto platforms on card programs that make it easy to convert and spend digital currency at 70 million merchants worldwide. This is a significant creation of new value that is now finding its way into the more traditional economy through card networks.
What’s more important, these programs don’t require coffee shops, dry cleaners, or grocery stores to directly accept cryptocurrencies at the checkout. With simple “tap and go” there is no complexity of new acceptance points or cryptographic keys.
Connecting digital currency to Visa's global network helps move money for the crypto community's broader acceptance of cryptocurrencies through new cards and other initiatives, suggesting how widespread crypto debit and credit cards could become in the future.
What you can do with crypto now?
FTX cryptocurrency platform is added to Visa Fintech Fast Track Program, focused in part on making cryptocurrency more practical for consumer and business spending. Besides FTX, Circle, BlockFi, and Coinbase, which went public on the Nasdaq in April, are also current Visa partners.
So, what does it all mean for consumers and merchants?
For example, if you want to buy bitcoin on an exchange, such as FTX, one of the easiest ways to do so is with your Visa card. Visa served as an on-ramp to get funds into a crypto exchange.
Maybe the value of your bitcoin goes up, and you want to cash out a portion of your investment to pay for a new refrigerator. With the FTX Visa card, you can seamlessly spend your Bitcoin at any of the 70 million merchants worldwide that accept Visa.
All the conversions happen instantly, behind the scenes. In-store, online, it’s as easy as a standard Visa transaction. And the store where you bought the new fridge doesn’t need to change anything about how it accepts payments, and they’re paid in their preferred currency, just like any other Visa transaction.
Visa also is seeing a trend of remote-first companies paying their employees in stablecoins (a digital currency backed by fiat) like USDC. Visa's role is to help employees who are paid in this way, to get more utility from these stablecoins.
Through a crypto-linked card program, you can use that stablecoin balance to buy groceries or take your family out to dinner, without having to send your earnings to a traditional bank account.
How you can earn Crypto reward?
Visa provides a network for several crypto-linked debit cards, as well as some new crypto rewards credit cards.
Consumers want to have a choice in all things, and loyalty and rewards are no different. Programs like the BlockFi Rewards Visa Credit Card let users spend fiat and earn crypto rewards in a similar way other cards offer rewards programs for airline miles or hotel points.
By combining engagement in the crypto economy with the utility of a standard Visa card, these programs have the potential to win long-term customer loyalty among both crypto enthusiasts and new adopters, particularly for consumers new to crypto who may not be directly investing in it, but are excited for the opportunity to earn it as they spend fiat.