Visa CEO Alfred Kelly has announced that his company is willing to accept bitcoin (BTC)-related business in earnest, saying that collaborations in both the crypto and stablecoin industries are now in the works – while also stating that cash is on the way out.
Kelly said on a Fortune podcast that the coronavirus pandemic had taken a heavy toll on currency, saying: “Cash and cheques will be with us for some time, but I do think their usage will decline at an accelerated rate because of the pandemic.”
He stressed the importance of Visa being “in the middle” of the crypto industry, even though the future of coins like Bitcoin was still unclear.
He tried to make a line between “digital currencies” backed by fiats such as the dollar – most likely a reference to stablecoins – and “more speculative assets,” crypto-assets such as BTC, once again.
He called the coin “digital gold” once more, doubling down on similar sentiments expressed in January, and outlined Visa’s BTC-related plans, stating: “We’re trying to […] enable the purchase of bitcoin on Visa credentials. And working with some bitcoin wallets, [we will] allow bitcoin to be translated into a fiat currency.”
This, he added, would allow BTC to be “immediately be able to be used at any of the 70 million places around the world where Visa is accepted.”
Meanwhile, Kelly said Visa was currently working with “about 35 different players” in the stablecoins region.
According to cryptonews.com, Fiat-pegged tokens, he said, have “a strong potential” to “become a new payment vehicle” and serve as an “accelerant” in “emerging markets around the world.” he said.
“These are currencies that are fiat-backed, but we’re allowing this translation […] into a fiat currency and in a wallet where there’s a Visa card. And again that Visa card can be used with the translated digital currency over to the fiat currency to [make purchases].”
But when pushed, he refused to make any bold predictions about the fate of crypto. He stated that he could not forecast whether crypto would “take off” in the mainstream, adding,
“Are we going to say about [crypto] five years that it was a fad, or is it going to become extremely mainstream? I’m not smart enough to know. But what I am smart enough to do is to make sure that our company is in the middle of it today.”