The world’s largest card company has doubled down on its bid to capture the cryptocurrency market. Visa today announced that it has launched a crypto consulting practice for its clients and partners under the Visa Advisory and Analytics (VCA) arm.
This news comes a few months after Coy Sheffield, Head of Cryptography at Visa, arrived in Declared that the asset class has become “cool” At a fintech conference last month. The payment giant made waves when it bought CryptoPunk NFT in August of this year, but its move to launch a dedicated crypto consultancy shows that its attempts to capture crypto market share in a crowded field extend well beyond marketing stunts.
Visa’s partnerships with crypto platforms have doubled in the past 18 months, Sheffield told TechCrunch in an interview. Sheffield said consumers also spent about $3.5 billion using Visa’s crypto-related card programs, Up from $1 million in July.
It also announced the results of a new global survey it conducted on consumer attitudes about cryptocurrencies, which found that 40% of more than 6,000 respondents are likely to switch primary banks to banks that offer crypto products.
Sheffield said that Visa has seen an “incredible number of calls coming in from hundreds of customers, partners, and traditional financial institutions” looking to incorporate encryption into their offerings. Visa’s advisory arm has about 700 employees, although the company has not shared how many employees will join the crypto practice.
“We see Visa well positioned as a neutral global brand, with deep crypto expertise, which can help remove some of the complexities involved in these new technologies and help banks bring them into their core products,” Sheffield said.
To this end, Visa has invested in blockchain compliance firm TRM Analytics by participating in the $60 million Series B Series, which was announced yesterday. American Express and City also participated in the fundraising. Visa is just one of many established companies scrambling to make headway in the crypto space, threatening their fee-based business model by replacing them with new core payments infrastructure.
MasterCard for its part Launched crypto rewards program in October of this yearusing Bakkt as a custodian of digital assets. Visa does not hold cryptocurrency directly either, but is partnering with Anchorage Digital to provide this capability – Inc. Invested in it for the first time In 2019. Sheffield said that Visa is building its crypto API platform on top of Anchorage, enabling other banks to access their custodial services.
Sheffield anticipates growth in Visa crypto-related debit card programs as well as use cases such as Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC). Although only seven countries have launched CBDCs so far, another 87 are considering it, According to the Atlantic Council.
Sheffield said that Visa hopes to capitalize on this benefit by helping banks develop digital currency-related products for central banks.
“We’ve spent a lot of time researching what infrastructure CBDCs will use for consumer experiences, and how consumers will interact with them. We’re taking that experience and the engagements that we’re making with central banks and helping banks to start thinking about their role in the preparation, where we believe that There will be a number of countries that end up this way.”