Consumers globally have spent $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies on goods and services using their Visa crypto-enabled cards in the first six months of 2021, according to a statement by Visa on Wednesday.
Without releasing exact figures, Visa said that its estimates for crypto spending were only a fraction of the actual amount. According to Visa’s CFO Vasant Prabhu, the company is now doing a lot to create an ecosystem for making cryptocurrency as usable as any other currency.
“People are exploring ways in which they can use cryptocurrencies for things they would normally use currencies for.”
Prabhu said that the company has picked up a growing trend of people using its card to buy cryptocurrencies at various regulated crypto exchanges. He added that due to Crypto’s volatility concerns, customers have a responsibility of managing and tracking their crypto assets.
More Consumers Plan To Try Paying With Crypto
Visa’s biggest Rival, Mastercard, reported in research that 93% of the North American consumer market intends to use emerging technology such as cryptocurrencies, biometrics, contactless, or QR code systems in 2022. The research also said that up to 75% of millennials would use cryptocurrencies if they could understand it better.
The two giant payment networks have been making big moves in the cryptocurrency space in a tight race. While Visa has partnered and extended its working relationship with crypto.com, Mastercard and Gemini crypto exchange are nearing the launch of the Gemini Credit Card for rewarding consumers with cryptocurrency.
Visa also added the popular crypto derivatives platform FTX to the Fintech Fast Track Program, whose aim is to make crypto more practical for retail and wholesale markets. Most notably, Visa has partnered with three top crypto startups, Coinbase, USDC stablecoin parent company Circle, and digital assets investments firm BlockFi. The partnerships have allowed Visa customers with crypto-linked cards to transact with crypto at over 70 million merchants worldwide.
According to Visa, emerging technologies such as QR codes and biometrics are going to disrupt the annual global $18 trillion that is spent with cash and checks.
Visa Doesn’t Hold Any Crypto
Unlike Tesla and MicroStrategy’s direct investments in bitcoin, Visa is not planning to add cryptocurrency to its balance sheet. According to Prabhu, Visa only holds three primary currencies, the dollar, Euro, and British Pound, which it uses to run its business, get paid in, or pay people with.
“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.”