Card payments in cryptocurrency top $1 billion in 6 months!
Well here we are. The age of global acceptance of cryptocurrency as a mainstream method of payment is wll and truly here.
Just a few months ago, CoinMetro looked at the rush toward cryptocurrency acceptance which has taken place by Visa and PayPal, two of the world’s most respected and dominant payment processing companies, both of which have invested in cryptocurrency-related initiatives alongside other old school companies to the tube of a combined $300 million.
This was the initial sign of a major breakthrough for the entire payments ecosystem, and that Visa and its notoriously draconian peers had gone from risk averse to participation in a very short space of time.
The reason is now very clear: There is serious money now changing hands in cryptocurrency-based transactions, and new data from Visa today has demonstrated that $1 billion has been transacted by consumers globally on goods and services through their crypto-linked cards in the first six months of 2021.
That is an astonishing figure, given that this is purely relating to the use of cryptocurrency as a method of payment rather than as a tradable asset class.
Visa’s Chief Financial Officer Vasant Prabhu told CNBC today “We are doing a lot to create an ecosystem that makes crypto currency 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.”
Perhaps the most interesting viewpoint from Visa, a traditional and risk averse company with the huge responsibility of ensuring security and safety for most payment processing around the world, is that it now considers that digital payments of various types including cryptocurrency have the potential to disrupt $18 trillion of annual consumer spending with cash and checks.
As part of Visa’s newfound interest in the massive potential offered by cryptocurrency, the global payments company has now released a plan to partner with approximately 50 cryptocurrency companies to allow clients to spend digital currencies.
This now means that cryptocurrency can be spent and transacted via Visa in all manner of environments in exactly the same fashion as users of traditional credit and debit cards, meaning that cryptocurrency holders can buy in cryptocurrency even at outlets which do not use cryptocurrency, due to Visa’s established payments system that covers all currencies globally.
One of the features that Visa has in the pipeline is the possibility of allowing its users spend fiat currency and earn cryptocurrencies as a reward, similar to how users can accrue cash back, airline miles, or hotel points, depending on the circumstance, product and platform.
This represents yet another step toward securing the use of cryptocurrency in a mainstream environment, as Visa is highly experienced in handling consumer-related matters such as insuring against poor customer service from retailers, handling chargebacks and resolving disputes relating to the purchase of retail products and services.
$1 billion in retail purchasing transactions in six months via Visa is a milestone, and as Visa goes further down the cryptocurrency route, it is also a pointer of even more developments to come that will likely empower consumers exponentially.