More than US$1 billion was spent on crypto-linked Visa cards in the first six months of 2021, according to a Visa blog post this week.
- Apart from enabling customers to buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin using its cards, Visa has partnered with 50 crypto platforms on card programs — such as Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States and Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchanges Crypto.com and FTX — to enable customers to spend cryptocurrencies at 70 million merchants globally.
- Visa processed US$37.6 billion in total transactions from January to March, according to its Q2 2021 financial results. The spending on crypto-linked cards, while small for now, is increasing as Visa’s crypto partnerships expand.
- BlockFi, a U.S.-based crypto lending platform backed by venture capital firms including Valar Ventures, Galaxy Digital, Fidelity and Coinbase Ventures, this week announced the launch of its BlockFi Rewards Visa® Signature credit card to U.S. customers.
- According to Crypto.com’s Consumer Spending Insights Report for 2020 spending on its Visa card grew 55% year-on-year, with online spending increasing 117% relative to overall spending growth. The card, launched in 2018, is available in over 30 countries. In March, Crypto.com signed a global agreement with Visa that includes principal membership in Visa’s network in Australia, which means the company can directly issue its card in the country.
- Visa, which transacts in 160 currencies daily and settles every evening in 25 currencies, has been upgrading its infrastructure to allow financial institutions to settle with Visa in stablecoins starting with USDC, a stablecoin backed by the U.S. dollar. Earlier this year, Visa and Crypto.com announced the launch of a pilot that would allow Crypto.com to send USDC to Visa to settle a portion of its obligations for the Crypto.com Visa card program.
- FTX, a new Visa Fintech Fast Track member, is paying 50% of their remote employees in the stablecoin USDC, according to the Visa blog post.