Visa partners with Circle — Sees blockchain as a critical part of their business model
Visa is partnering with Circle Internet Financial to offer U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC) to its 60 million merchants worldwide.
This will allow Visa credit card issuers to start integrating USDC into the payment network. As the partnership matures, Visa will issue the first corporate credit card that lets businesses transact directly using USDC from any business.
USDC is backed 1:1 by U.S. dollars and are audited by accounting firm Grant Thornton to ensure the actual amount of the asset in circulation is at least equal to the dollars backing the assets. The reserves are governed by the nonprofit Centre Consortium founded by Coinbase and Circle.
“We continue to think of Visa as a network of networks. Blockchain networks and stablecoins, like USDC, are just additional networks. So we think that there’s a significant value that Visa can provide to our clients, enabling them to access them and enabling them to spend at our merchants”-Cuy Sheffield, Visa head of Crypto
According to Visa, nearly $120 trillion in payments are made annually using checks and wire transfers which roughly costs a flat fee of $50 each. Leveraging USDC, which settles on the Ethereum blockchain transactions would be significantly faster and nearly free. It is almost guaranteed that merchants will opt for this method for instant payment.
“Imagine a capital marketplace that is for anyone who needs capital, or anyone who needs to offer capital that has the same efficiency that Amazon has for e-commerce, the same efficiency that YouTube has for content, effectively, capital markets with the efficiency of the internet, which is essentially zero. And that will ultimately return trillions of dollars in value back to the economy, it will reduce costs for every business in the world, it will accelerate the way in which individuals can participate in commercial activity and commerce activity, in conducting their labor and interacting with businesses around the world.”- Jeremy Allaire, Circle CEO
Just today, Visa also announced it is working with Anchorage to allow customers at traditional banks to buy and sell digital assets. Visa launched a Visa Crypto API pilot program that will allow clients to easily connect with Anchorage to allow their customers to buy and sell digital assets such as Bitcoin as an investment. Visa is moving quick to offer a product set that extends to other cryptocurrencies along with stablecoins such as USDC (mentioned above).
Anchorage is a federally chartered digital asset bank founded in 2017 which builds technology infrastructure for storing assets issued on a blockchain. Anchorage was Visa’s first public investment in blockchain by co-leading a $40 million series B last year.
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