Visa announced that global consumers spent more than $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency used to purchase various goods and services using crypto-linked cards during the second half of 2022.
In comparison, Visa estimates crypto spending is only a fraction of that amount in the same period last year and 2022 whose figures were not released to the public with certainty.
“We are doing a lot to create an ecosystem that makes cryptocurrencies more useful and more like any other currency. People are exploring ways in which they can use cryptocurrencies for things they would use for normal currencies,” Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu said.
According to recent research from rival Visa Mastercard, 93% of North American consumers plan to use cryptocurrencies or other new payment technologies, such as biometrics, contactless, or QR code systems, in the next year. The study also shows that 75% of millennials would use cryptocurrencies if they understood it better.
“We saw a lot of volume in [jaringan] we are from people buying cryptocurrencies on these various regulated exchanges and as far as we can see the trend is continuing,” said Prabhu.
This summer, Mastercard will launch a card with crypto exchange Gemini, co-founded by billionaire Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The card will allow consumers to earn cryptocurrency as a reward. However, cardholders will not be allowed to access their digital wallets on the site.
FTX Joins the VISA Program Soon
Visa also announced on Wednesday that the cryptocurrency platform FTX, founded by billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, will be added to its Fast Track Fintech Program, which is focused in part on making cryptocurrencies more practical for consumer and business spending.
Circle, BlockFi, and Coinbase, which went public in April on Nasdaq, are Visa’s current partners that allow cardholders to spend from their cryptocurrency wallets at more than 70 million merchants worldwide.
Visa estimates that crypto-linked cards and other new payments including biometrics and QR codes have the potential to impact the $18 trillion spent annually in cash and checks globally.
Bitcoin’s market cap hit $1 trillion for the first time in February and hit an all-time high near $65,000 per one Bitcoin in April due to the enthusiasm of retail investors during the Covid-19 pandemic as a store of value and inflation hedge.
However, bitcoin has fallen about 45% since then and is currently in the $33,000-$34,000 range.
Despite being known to be crypto-friendly, Prahbu said that at this time Visa has no short-term plans to add cryptocurrency to its balance sheet as Tesla, MicroStrategy, and other companies have done recently.
“We do not hold cryptocurrencies on our balance sheet today. We keep the currencies on our balance sheet that we need to run our business, among them dollars, euros, pounds. So we have no plans to hold cryptocurrencies because this is not how we get paid or how we pay people,” he said.