On Wednesday, financial services company VisaInc. revealed that in the first half of this year,over $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency has been spent on goods and services through crypto-linked Visa cards.
According to Visa, cryptocurrency spending in the first halves of both 2019 and 2020 wasnothing to be compared to the figure for this year. Visa failed to mention the figures for 2019 and 2020 but emphasized the fact that the first half of 2021 had a rapid increase in crypto spending.
According to Vasant Prabhu – Chief Financial Officer of Visa, “We are doing a lot to create an ecosystem that makes cryptocurrency more usable and more like any other currency. People are exploring ways in which they can use cryptocurrencies for things they would use normal currencies for. There are lots of issues in terms of volatility, etc. But that’s up to the owners of cryptocurrencies to manage and track”.
Cryptocurrency became more mainstream after the pandemic broke out. Many people turned to it as a way of making profits on investments while others took to it for fun. The use of cryptocurrency for various purposes saw a rapid rise during the pandemic than any period. According to a recent research by Mastercard, another financial payment company, more than 90 percent of North Americans have plans of using cryptocurrency, wireless payments options, and emerging payments technology such as QR codes, etc. in the next year. 75 percent of millennials would adopt cryptocurrency if they knew more about it, the research added.
Although the cryptocurrency market has been facing quite terrible times with more than $300 billion wiped off as a result of recent crackdown actions, people continue to hold and transact with cryptocurrency. “We see a lot of volume on our network of people buying cryptocurrencies at these various regulated exchanges and as far as we can see that trend continues”, Visa’s CFO said.
Carbon – a Nigerian digital bank, recentlypartnered with Visa to offer its customers digital and physical debit cards powered by Visa’s platform. Visa has plans of launching a card with Gemini, another exchange platform that is making waves. Visa and Gemini also plan to add a cash-back feature for consumers – they would earn cryptocurrency as a reward when they use this card.
Visa is set to release its quarterly earnings on the 27th of this month. Although global companies like Tesla, MicroStrategy have included cryptocurrency in their balance sheet, Visa’s CFO said that the company has no short-term plans of adding any cryptocurrency to its balance sheet. “We don’t hold cryptocurrencies on our balance sheet today. We hold currencies on our balance sheet that we need to run our business. We hold currencies that we get paid in or we pay people in. That tends to be the dollar, euro, pound. So we don’t have plans to hold cryptocurrency because it’s not typically the way we get paid or the way we pay people”, Vasant Prabhu said.